Each week throughout the 2023 NFL Season, coach Kevin Kelley will give a coach’s perspective and provide analysis for a few games against the spread.


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Indianapolis Colts vs. New England Patriots Spread Prediction:

Look for the New England Patriots to cover the spread as 2.5-point underdogs against the Indianapolis Colts.

» Bet the Patriots +2.5 now

Why I like the Patriots to cover the spread vs. the Colts in Week 10:

The New England Patriots have had a bad season by their expectations for sure. Sometimes a trip like this, away from home but not into enemy territory, is just what a team needs. I think this is one of those times.

The Colts, with Jonathan Taylor and Gardner Minshew, come into the game with a win over Carolina and have looked decent in some of their losses including a one-point loss to the Cleveland Browns. The Patriots have several one-score losses including against the Commanders, Raiders, Dolphins (the first time), and Eagles.

The line has moved to the Colts -2 ½. I hope it goes to -3, so I will wait, but I like the Patriots to win this football game. There are several things that led me to this conclusion.

First of all, the Colts are towards the bottom of the league in pass defense, and they really allow people to use the middle of the field quite a bit. If the Patriots offense is paying attention, they will use Hunter Henry and Mike Gesicki to take advantage of that.

They also are bottom 10 in the NFL on defense in rush yards per game. I know the Patriots will utilize the run game a lot, which will also allow them to open up the play action pass against the Colts.

Mac Jones hasn’t been great, but he is completing 65% of his passes and is 10 slots ahead of Minshew in Completions Above Expected, which is a metric I have used often when handicapping. Against the Colts, I expect him to finish in the top 5 in the entire NFL this week in that area.

I also like that the Patriots are using Rhamondre Stevenson in the passing game a little more as of late. In the last four games, they have targeted him 22 times for 128 yards. In the four games before that, they targeted him 12 times for 23 yards.

They have changed his routes and told Mac to quit taking drive-killing sacks and get the ball out. I am usually not a fan of this, but in the Patriots case, it has been effective and protects that offensive line.

The Patriots will NOT finish the year averaging 15 points per game, and I think this game gets them headed in the right direction in that world. Henry caught a TD pass last week, and he is their key in the red zone in my opinion. They have been most effective in the red zone with play action passes, and the tight ends need to be the targets for those passes. I also like that Jones is No. 3 in the NFL in time to throw.

The Colts don’t want the game in Minshew’s hands, so Taylor and Zack Moss will shoulder that load. Both have been effective, but Bill Belichick still is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, defensive minds that has ever coached. And the offense with all of its problems has made that defense look way worse than it is.

They will provide looks that Minshew hasn’t seen much of, and they are in the top third of the league against the run. I think this leads to more third and longs, and I think they get an interception or two that help them win this game.

Michael Pittman Jr. is quietly having a nice year on pace for well over 1,000 yards. Josh Downs isn’t bad either but he’s not going to beat you, and he is at best questionable for this game. Coach Belichick has made a living shutting down the best receivers, and I think he can do that with Pittman.

Take the Patriots +2 ½, but wait until right before game time and see if you can get 3 on this.

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Jacksonville Jaguars vs. San Francisco 49ers Spread Predictions:

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