The NFL calendar turns to Week 5 with the Patriots hosting the Colts in an intriguing Thursday night matchup. For this game and every other primetime contest, we’ll break down the sports betting lines and recommend where to place your bets at DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook.
Keep an eye on injury news right up until kick off since things can change quickly in the NFL. Any player listed as questionable may see limited action or not suit up at all if they don’t respond well in warm-ups.
Week 5 Thursday Night Football Betting
Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots NJ Odds
DraftKings Sportsbook Odds: Patriots -10.5, 50.5 total
888 Sportsbook Odds: Patriots -10.5, 50.5 total
FanDuel Sportsbook Odds: Patriots -10.5, 50.5 total
BetStars Sportsbook Odds: Patriots -10, 51 total
Once again, the Patriots opened the season in sluggish fashion before hitting the afterburners around Game 4 and pounding the Dolphins 38-7. Thus, they’re big favorites at home once again in a matchup they’ve dominated.
New England (2-2) has won seven straight against Indianapolis by an average of 19 PPG, so this 10.5-point spread is not unfounded. Indy (1-3) is giving up 377.2 YPG this, and the Patriots are 16-2 against the spread since 2006 when facing teams that give up at least 350 YPG.
Both teams are beset by injuries on a short week, but the Colts are far worse off with T.Y. Hilton, Jack Doyle, and Marlon Mack all ruled OUT. Defensively, the Colts could be without DT Hassan Ridgeway (calf), LB Darius Leonard (foot), and LCB Quincy Wilson. Furthermore, top CB Kenny Moore (concussion) is also questionable.
The biggest injury new to watch on the Patriots side is, of course, Rob Gronkowksi (ankle). He missed Monday’s practice and Tuesday’s walkthrough, while getting in very limited work on Wednesday. On Thursday morning, Adam Schefter reported that Gronk will play on Thursday. His workload could be limited by a shifty coaching staff. UPDATE: GRONK OFFICIALLY ACTIVE
In wideout news, New England will welcome back Julian Edelman from suspension. Then, Josh Gordon could continue to see more work as he learns the playbook. In short, Tom Brady will have enough weapons to exploit the Colts secondary. Speaking of Brady…
All this said, this is not the same Colts defense that’s been a doormat in recent years. Indy ranks second in non-adjusted DVOA pass defense and has only allowed five passing TDs through four games.
With a fearsome defensive line that includes former Patriot Jabaal Sheard, rising star Denico Autry, and massive run-stopper Al Woods, the Colts have the second-most sacks (17) in the NFL this season. They have the personnel necessary to generate pressure on Tom Brady with four or five rushers. This is especially true against a Patriots line that ranks 25th in pass blocking, per Pro Football Focus.
Despite Bill Belichick’s assertion that Edelman will be eased back into action, he will be needed in this matchup. The returning WR makes for a solid option in Showdown DFS contests on DraftKings.
Chris Hogan is a great cheap option to consider in tournaments. He’s played on 70 offensive snaps (86.4%) while Josh Gordon saw just 18 in Week 4. James White has been producing regardless of game flow. On that note, it’s worth noting the Colts have allowed the fifth-most receiving yards (241) to RBs this season.
Sony Michel is a great play if you believe the Patriots will dominate time of possession the way they did on Sunday.
On the other side, Gillette Stadium has been a house of horrors for Andrew Luck. He’s 0-5 with 4 TDs, 9 INT, and an unsightly 48% completion rate in road games against the Patriots. Without Hilton and Doyle, the public may see Luck as dead in the water in this spot, but that’s not the case.
The biggest difference between this matchup and previous matchups is coaching. No disrespect to former Colts coach Jim Caldwell, but he lacked the creativity necessary to beat Belichick’s disciplined defenses. Recent Colts coach Chuck Pagano fumbled repeatedly in big spots against Belichick, most notably calling the disastrous “Swinging Gate” play when these teams played on national TV two years ago.
New HC Frank Reich has a great offensive mind, proven by game plans that made Nick Foles look like Joe Montana during the Eagles Super Bowl run last season. He’s implemented a quick-hitting West Coast offense that has Luck ranking 31st in YPA (6.08) with only four completions of 25-plus yards this season.
Luck is thriving in that system. What’s more, the run-pass option approach of Reich’s offense should help offset the loss of Hilton. Chester Rogers and Zach Pascal are capable of stepping up in Hilton’s absence. Plus, pass-catching back Nyheim Hines represents a matchup problem for the Patriots linebackers.
Because Indy is allowing a 40.5% first down rate, and New England isn’t far behind at 38.6%, this game has a deservedly high point total (50.5). And that’s actually come down since opening at 53 points. The Colts have run the seventh-most plays per game (69), and the Pats lead the league in that category (67.5) last year.
Based on Football Outsiders’ Pace Stats, Indy is running the fastest offense in the league through four weeks. New England has the fifth fastest in game-neutral situations. This game has the makings of a track meet, but Thursday night contests don’t always go according to script.
Right now, over 70 percent of the money is coming on the Patriots (-10.5), while 60 percent of the bets are coming in on the Over. While the ticket total is high on the Over, 65% of the money is on the Under in this game, indicating the sharps pushed the number down from 53 to 50.5-51.
At such a lofty spread, taking the Colts (+10.5) is a reasonable vote in confidence in Reich. The new coach may have won over his locker room by going for the win instead of a tie in Sunday’s OT loss. That said, the injuries to this team might be too much in a road game with the Pats.
Both defenses tend to bend without breaking. That could lead to an odd score with a lot of FGs instead of TDs. We lean Under and like a Pats/Under teaser.