The AFC Championship betting odds have Tom Brady, Gronk and the Patriots favored by 7.5 points at home for a second straight week when they face Andrew Luck, T.Y. Hilton and a Colts team that wasn’t expected to reach the title game after they drew the short end of the stick and were a one touchdown underdog in their Divisional Playoff visit to Mile High to take on the Denver Broncos. The Patriots last faced the Colts in Week 11 and won by 22 points.
Andrew Luck can become 4th QB to beat Manning & Brady in consecutive games. Last QB to do so? Joe Flacco in 2012 postseason. (@EliasSports)
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 12, 2015
A Closer Look At The Colts Vs Patriots AFC Championship Odds, Betting Analysis, TV/Streaming Info
This will be New England’s fourth straight trip to the AFC Championship Game, and they were beaten by double digits in each of their last two title games. From 1999-2012, 11 of 14 AFC champions advanced to the Super Bowl by beating their opponent by at least a touchdown.
Tom Brady's having fun on facebook again. pic.twitter.com/xR2FcIP0mX
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) January 12, 2015
New England and Indianapolis will most likey lead to a high-scoring affair, after finishing the 2014 season with the No.2 and No.3 scoring offenses in the AFC. The Colts have played low-scoring games of late, with their last six contests finishing with a total of less than 50 points. Compare that with last week’s Pats/Ravens tilt that totaled 66 points in their divisional playoff game.
Matchup: Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots
Date: Jan. 18, 2015
Start Time: 6:40 p.m. ET
Location: Foxboro, Massachusetts
Stadium: Gillette Stadium
TV Info: CBS
Radio: Indianapolis Vs New England
Point Spread: Patriots -7.5
Game Total: 53.5
The Colts will win the 2015 AFC Championship if
Chuck Pagano can out-coach Bill Belichick!
The first thing the Indianapolis Colts need in order to beat the New England Patriots is get a solid performance from quarterback Andrew Luck.
New England head coach Bill Belichick is known for coming up with outstanding defensive game plans that have frustrated and confused opposing quarterbacks in the postseason, most notably, former Colts quarterback Peyton Manning.
If the Colts want to win this contest, it starts with the gifted Luck, though it should be noted that Indy’s franchise cornerstone player has struggled immensely against Belichick and the Pats.
In three career games against Tom Brady and company, Luck is not only a winless 0-3, but in two of the meetings between these AFC rivals, Luck has been downright atrocious!
In his first game against New England, back in November 2012, Luck threw three interceptions – including a pick-six – in 59-24 loss. Luck’s second game against the Patriots wasn’t much better as he tossed a whopping four interceptions en route to a convincing 43-22 loss in last season’s AFC divisional playoffs.
— PFTonNBCSN (@PFTonNBCSN) January 12, 2015
Luck didn’t play quite as bad in Indy’s 42-20 regular season loss to New England in Week 11 but the Colts still suffered a humbling 42-20 defeat despite winning the turnover battle that day.
In three career games against New England, Luck has completed just 53.8 percent of his passes (70 of 130) while tossing six TD passes and eight interceptions. The Colts have been outscored by a whopping 144-66 over the three games, losing by an average of 26 points per game.
Luck will need to hook up early and often with speedy wideout T.Y. Hilton (1,345 yards, fifth) when he’s not handing the ball to Boom Herron, Indy’s new starting running back (351 yards, 4.5ypc).
The Colts also need to shut down a New England rushing attack that has repeatedly gashed them in recent meetings.
Former running back LeGarrette Blount ran for 166 yards and four touchdowns in last season’s playoff matchup while unheralded starter Jonas Gray burned the Colts for 201 yards and four touchdowns in their regular season meeting in November.
The Patriots will win the 2015 AFC Championship if
They use the power running game to overwhelm the Colt D.
In week 11, when these two last met, the Patriots rushed for a season-high 246 yards, with running back Jonas Gray shooting into the national NFL consciousness with a 201-yard, four-touchdown performance.
When the teams met in the playoffs in the 2013 season, New England rushed for well over 200 yards, led by LeGarrette Blount, who rushed for 166 yards and four touchdowns.
Despite that recent history, the Patriots don’t expect such a relatively easy go of things against the Colts this Sunday in the AFC Championship game.
“Those games were what they were,” coach Bill Belichick said on a Monday conference call. “There were a lot of things that happened in other games that we played. This is a new matchup, it’s a new situation, and we’ll just see what happens this week. I don’t know.
“That’s why we’ll all be watching the game on Sunday to see how it unfolds. I don’t think any of us really have any idea. We’ll just have to see.”
If the Pats can get that power running game back, they will be Tom Brady upright and mostly free from pressure. Indianapolis repeatedly harassed Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning in Sunday’s AFC divisional matchup, limiting the sure-fire Hall of Famer into a mediocre 26-for-46 passing day and they could do the same against Brady if New England’s offensive line doesn’t play well.
Tom Brady has more playoff wins (19) than Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson, and Aaron Rodgers combined (14). pic.twitter.com/ID8IY7mK4J
— NFLonCBS (@NFLonCBS) January 12, 2015
Sure, the Pats ranked third in total offense as Brady finished fifth in passing touchdowns (33), tight end Rob Gronkowski finished 15th in receiving yards (1,124) and Julian Edelman, eighth in receptions (92), but the Pats had better be prepared for a Colts defense that is playing fantastic football right now, particularly in the secondary.
Will Indy or New England win the 2015 AFC Championship?
I picked the New England Patriots to reach the 2015 Super Bowl and I’m going to stick with that pick even though I think it’s possible the Colts could potentially pull off the upset.
I love Colts’ head coach Mike Pagano, but there aren’t many coaches in the same class as New England’s Bill Belichick and I fully believe he is going to come up with another game plan that leads to a Patriots victory, even if it isn’t as commanding as some of their more recent wins over Indianapolis.
I like Indianapolis to find a way to cover the AFC Championship betting line as a touchdown road dog, particularly seeing as how the Patriots are a dismal 0-5 ATS in their last five AFC Championship games and a pitiful 3-11 ATS in their last 14 playoff games overall.