New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones
New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones, right, hands off to running back Rhamondre Stevenson during the second half of an NFL football game in Orchard Park, N.Y., Monday, Dec. 6, 2021. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)


Patrick Werkmeister

Following an efficient 2-1 performance in Thursday night football’s best bets, this Saturday night special edition of the NFL is a great opportunity to stay hot. For this AFC showdown, Mac Jones and the New England Patriots travel to Indianapolis where they face off against Jonathan Taylor and the Colts. Last week, both of these teams were on their bye, so they will be well rested and on an even playing level. With the Colts clawing their way within a game of their division, the Patriots are atop the AFC conference with the number one overall seed and are facing their biggest test so far. With this in mind, here is what I love for this NFL Saturday action.

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Colts (-2.5)
The Colts opened this game as two and a half-point home underdogs, but the line has completely flipped where Indy is a two and a half-point favorite. While New England is a stellar 7-0 ATS in their previous seven games, the Colts have been an impressive 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games. However, the Pats are 4-0 ATS in their last four on the road. Although the Pats have proven they are a lock for the top seed in the postseason, this will be their biggest test of the year as the Colts face a must win. With the Colts getting better each week, they have clearly proven they belong in the playoff picture. If Indy can mitigate turnovers by taking care of the ball, they should easily beat this team. Although this Patriots defensive unit has been a serviceable bunch this season, they have had some inconsistencies where they have been scorched on that side of the ball vs tougher opponents. With a record of 7-6, I believe Indy’s record to be a wildly inaccurate reflection of how good they really are. Take the Colts minus the points, where they will outwork this less skilled Patriots team.

Rhamondre Stevenson Over 69.5 Rushing Yards
After running for 78 yards for 24 carries on the ground vs the Bills, Rhamondre Stevenson has stepped up as the Pats number one back in the absence of starter Damien Harris. With how dominant the Pats offensive line has been, he won’t need nearly as many carries to pass up this yard mark. Rhamondre has been an absolute stud for New England where in two starts he has 178 yards and two rushing touchdowns. While New England is known for its running back by committee approach, Stevenson will get the lion’s share of the carries tonight with Harris sidelined due to injury. Although the Colts hold fairly good numbers against the run this season, Rhamondre is an extremely serviceable backup who runs hard. However, in Week 12 the Colts defense allowed over 100 yards rushing vs the Bucs average rushing attack. With one of the best offensive lines in the league, coach Belichick will be guaranteed to grind it out and really test this Colts rush defense. With his carries volume and how hard he runs, he should be able to easily hit this mark. Take Rhamondre Stevenson to run by this total rushing yardage prop.

Jonathan Taylor To Score 2+ TDs (+270)
With the limited number of options for the Colts, running back Jonathan Taylor has been a complete juggernaut for their offense. While he dominated the defenseless Texans in Week 14, Taylor was able to score two touchdowns vs the super bowl defending Tampa Bay Bucs. So far on the season, Taylor has a monstrous total of 16 rushing touchdowns, so he has been able to find the end zone multiple times in a game with much success. With nearly 1,500 total yards rushing alone already, he has a real shot at being the 16th running back as league MVP if he keeps this up. The Pats are currently ranked in the top half in rush defense, but they have yet to see an offensive line-running back duo of this proportion. Additionally, New England will be without several key players on that side of the ball. This should allow Taylor to be productive at the very least. Take him to score twice in what should be a great game.

Same Game Parlay
Jonathan Taylor to Score 2+ TDs, Mac Jones Over 228.5 Pass Yds, Taylor Over 94.5 Rush Yds, Michael Pittman Jr. Over 54.5 Rec Yds, Kendrick Bourne Over 39.5 Rec Yds, Hunter Henry Over 25.5 Rec Yds, Jack Doyle Over 19.5 Rec Yds, Colts to win by 1-13 Pts and Under 52.5 Total Points.

SGP Odds +44556

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