The New England Patriots have opened the week as 2.5-point underdogs to the host Indianapolis Colts. Typically the home team is granted 3 points, which means that Vegas would expect the Patriots to be the slightest of favorites on a neutral field.
This is entirely fair. The Colts are 6-1 over their past seven games, with those victories coming with an average score of 34.2-16.5 (factor in the Steelers game and the Colts are averaging 34.1-21.4 over the past seven games). With the Colts coming off of a bye, that helps to limit the advantage that Bill Belichick normally gains out of a bye week.
While it should be noted that four of those victories came against teams with losing records (Texans, Titans, Jaguars, Giants), and that the other two wins (Ravens and Bengals) were against teams that have not beaten a team out of their division with more than three wins (Titans, Jaguars, Falcons, Panthers, Buccaneers), the Colts can only play the teams on their schedule and they've been playing well.
This will be the fourth time the Patriots are the underdog this season (push versus the Bengals, +1.0 at the Bills, +3.0 versus the Broncos). New England boasts a 3-0 record straight up and, as a result, against the spread. They've also hit the Over on the Over/Under in all three games, winning by an average score of 41.0-20.0.
The Colts will be a challenging match-up. It looks as if the Patriots should be up to the task.