Can the New England Patriots start winning games at home?
For 16 games played over 17 weeks, all of the teams in the NFL are trying to set themselves up to hold home field advantage in the playoffs on the road to the Super Bowl. Some teams ride that home field edge all the way to the Lombardi Trophy, while others, after working so hard to get the reward, end up falling short. Perhaps the New England Patriots realize that they may want to fall short this year if they are going to continue playing like this at Gillette Stadium.
The normally unflappable Patriots are nine-point favorites on Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts, but in a rare show of confidence in an underdog, over 60% of the NFL picks made in this game according to SBR Forum, have been made on QB Andrew Luck and company.
And perhaps there’s some decent justification for that when you look at what New England has accomplished at home this year. The team is 3-1 SU, but it is just 1-3 ATS. All three of the ATS defeats and one of the SU losses came as double-digit favorites. This is a very comparable spread this weekend.
It goes deeper than that, though. At home this year, QB Tom Brady has averaged 258.8 passing yards and 1.5 TD passes per game. On the road, he has averaged 322.0 yards and 2.4 touchdowns per game. TE Rob Gronkowski? 54.8 yards per game at home. 78.4 yards per game on the road. RB Stevan Ridley? Just two scores at home to go with a fumble. Four scores and no turnovers on the road.
Even the much maligned defense has allowed at least 20 points in all four games this year, and that just isn’t going to cut it to say the least. Normally speaking, New England has the offense to cover up any mistakes that the defense might make. But this time though, there is no doubt that the Pats are going to need some luck to get by Luck and the Colts.