Week 15 features a Saturday showdown between two of the hottest teams in the NFL as the Indianapolis Colts host the New England Patriots at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Oddsmakers are predicting a close contest with NFL betting lines opening the Colts as slim 1.5-point favorites before sliding to -2.5.
Here are our best free Patriots vs. Colts NFL picks and predictions for Saturday, December 18, with kickoff at 8:15 p.m. ET.
Patriots vs Colts odds
Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.
The line opened with the Colts at -1.5 with the Over/Under at 44. Early money has come in on the Colts and the Over moving the line to -2.5 and the total to 45.5.
Patriots vs Colts predictions
- Prediction: Patriots +2.5 (-110)
- Prediction: Over 45.5 (-110)
- Best bet: Patriots team total Over 21.5 (-110)
Predictions made on 12/16/2021 at 11:15 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.
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Patriots vs Colts game info
• Location: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN
• Date: Saturday, December 18, 2021
• Time: 8:15 p.m. ET
• TV: NFL NETWORK
Patriots at Colts betting preview
Patriots: David Andrews C (Questionable), Christian Barmore DT (Questionable), Ja'Whaun Bentley LB (Questionable), Brandon Bolden RB (Questionable), Trent Brown T (Questionable), Nick Folk K (Questionable), Adrian Phillips S (Questionable), Yodny Cajuste T (Out), Damien Harris RB (Out), JJ Taylor RB (Out), Dalton Keene TE (Out), Yasir Durant G (Out), Jonathan Jones CB (Out), Josh Uche OLB, James White RB (Out).
Colts: Ryan Kelly C (Questionable), Grover Stewart DT (Questionable), Antwaun Woods DT (Out), Zaire Franklin LB (Out), Julian Blackmon S (Out), Parris Campbell WR (Out), Rodrigo Blankenship K (Out).
Find our latest NFL injury reports.
Betting trend to know
The Over is 6-0 in New England's last six games on FieldTurf. Find more NFL betting trends for Patriots vs. Colts.
Patriots vs Colts picks and predictions
Our predictions are compiled from the analysis of the spread and total and are indications of where we are leaning for this game.
Our best bet is the play that we like the most for this game, which we would actually put some of our bankroll behind.
The Patriots are coming off a bye week and when we last saw them they were running the ball down the throat of the Bills in messy weather on Monday Night Football. They ran 46 times for 222 yards in Buffalo, coming away with a 14-10 victory, and have now gone 7-0 SU and ATS in their last seven games.
The Colts are also fresh off a bye and are also playing well after getting off to an ugly 1-4 start to the year. They have since gone 6-2 SU (5-3) ATS with their only losses during that span coming against the Super Bowl favorite Buccaneers and the Derrick Henry-led Titans in overtime.
The Patriots seem to be getting better as the season goes on. They rank second in the league in defensive DVOA according to Football Outsiders and their offense has been running the ball very well while quarterback Mac Jones is the Rookie of the Year favorite.
The Colts are quarterbacked by Carson Wentz who is doing a solid job under center but the real key to their success has been the dominant play of their offensive line and running back Jonathan Taylor who leads the NFL with 1,348 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns.
One interesting thing about this matchup is that despite not playing in the same division, they have already played six opponents in common, including the Bucs, Bills, and Titans. While New England's defense has done a good of preventing points from all of those teams, the Colts got torched by Tennessee and Tampa Bay. The Colts 41-15 rout of the Bills in Week 11 is their only really impressive win this season with four victories in the last two months coming against Houston (twice), Jacksonville, and the New York Jets.
The Colts rank a respectable ninth in the league in defensive DVOA but it's fair to question just how good they really are in that area, with Indy allowing 5.9 yards per carry since Week 10. And in Week 9 they surrendered 412 passing yards and four touchdowns to the Jets who had Josh Johnson and Mike White throwing the football.
They've also been brutal in the redzone, allowing a touchdown on 71.05 percent of their opponents' trips inside the 20-yard line. The Patriots' defense looks like the real deal and their offense should be able to get the job done. Take the visitors with the points.
Prediction: Patriots +2.5 (-110)
With a dominant defense that's allowing just 15.4 points per game, you might think the Pats are an Under bettors dream. But thanks to an efficient offense that's exceeding expectations they've actually cashed the Over in six of their last nine games.
Jones might not have the biggest arm but he ranks a respectable 12th in the league in yards per pass attempt (7.5) and his completion percentage of 70.3 is third-best. New England coach Bill Belichick is putting his rookie QB in a position to succeed while the running game is churning out 155.1 rushing yards per game over their last seven games.
That said, the Pats have shown some vulnerability when it comes to defending against the run. They are giving up 124.8 rushing yards per game on 5.2 ypc over their last six games and could have a tough time limiting Taylor. With the Colts going 5-2 O/U in their previous seven games back the Over on Saturday.
Prediction: Over 45.5 (-110)
When the Pats were on Monday Night Football in Week 13, they scored just 14 points but that was largely due to incredibly windy conditions and a conservative gameplan that saw them throw the ball just three times. Before that game they had scored at least 24 points in eight straight games, averaging 33.1 ppg over that span.
Meanwhile, the Colts have played 10 games against teams not ranked among the Bottom-2 lowest-scoring teams in the league. They allowed at least 25 points in eight of those contests, including matchups against the offensively inept Dolphins and Jets. Take the Over on New England's team total.
Pick: Patriots team total Over 21.5 (-110)