The New England Patriots have no problem kicking teams when they’re down.
The Patriots have rolled to five straight wins (3-2 ATS) since losing to Seattle in Week 6, facing a soft stretch of schedule that featured St. Louis, Buffalo, Indianapolis, and the New York Jets twice.
In that span, New England has averaged a dynamite 43.8 points per game and has turned up the intensity even more in its previous two outings, hanging 59 and 49 points on the Colts and Jets respectively – easily covering as big favorites in both games.
“New England doesn’t f@ck around. They play to win,” Peter Korner, founder of the Nevada-based odds service, The Sports Club, told Covers. “Just look at the scores they’re putting up.”
Korner’s group of oddsmakers sent out a suggested spread of Patriots -9.5 on the road against the Miami Dolphins in Week 13. Most early offshore lines concur, setting New England as 9-point road chalk, but some are dealing the Pats as low as touchdown faves.
Korner says the way New England is steam-rolling the competition, books will have no shortage of money on the favorite, putting them in a precarious position of rooting for the Dolphins come Sunday afternoon.
“New England isn’t coasting,” says Korner. “The top record in the conference and home field is still up for grabs. New England needs that home field over Houston.”
Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens (-9, 38)
The spread you see above is the suggested line with Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger out of Sunday’s AFC North rivalry game with the Ravens. As for the spread, if Big Ben is back under center, Korner says it could be down as low as a field goal.
“It could be down to -3 or -4,” he says. “(Roethlisberger) is worth a lot, especially compared to his backups.”
Pittsburgh has lost back-to-back outings since its starting QB went down versus Kansas City in Week 10, leaning on backups Byron Leftwich (who was injured in Week 11) and Charlie Batch, who threw three interceptions in a loss to Cleveland in Week 12.
The total would also see a boost as well with Roethlisberger back under center. If he is officially ruled out, Korner doesn’t expect the spread to climb to -10, due to the low number (38) suggested for the game.
New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons (-3.5, 56)
The Saints looked like they were back from the dead after handing the Falcons their first loss of the season a few weeks ago. But, New Orleans took one on the chin from San Francisco this past weekend – losing 31-21 – and now faces a must-win situation on the road in Week 13.
“That loss ruled out this line turning sharply towards New Orleans,” says Korner, who doesn’t see it dropping below a field goal. “This is a do-or-die game for the Saints, and that’s the great equalizer in this game for books to draw two-way action.”
The 56-point total is the highest in the NFL this season and matches the number from New Orleans’ meeting with Denver back in Week 8, which went as high as 56 before closing at 55 points.
“This is one of the highest totals of the year,” says Korner. “It’s indoors on a fast track.”
New Orleans and Atlanta played over the 54-point total in Week 10, with the Saints winning 31-27 at home.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Denver Broncos (-7, 50)
bettors believe in the Broncos with this spread, setting Denver as a
touchdown favorite versus a Tampa Bay team that has been competitive in
every game this season – win or lose.
The Broncos are especially
tough at home, where they are 4-1 SU and 3-2 ATS. Denver is averaging
more than 31 points per game at Mile High, and an improved Bucs offense - ranked fourth in the NFL in points (28.2 ppg) -
has this total opening as high as 50.5 points.
“Tampa Bay is competitive and can put up some points,” says Korner. “It’s going to be a entertaining, high-scoring game.”