Patriots a Merciless Covering Machine, Now 14-3 ATS

The New England Patriots covered a monstrous 16-point spread Saturday night. They're now 14-3 ATS this season.


With just over three minutes to go in Saturday night's game between the New England Patriots and Houston Texans, Brock Osweiler hurled a deep pass over the middle intended for TE Ryan Griffin.

Patriots safety Duron Harmon jumped in front, picked it off and returned it 31 yards.

Sportsline Image
Sun 01/22 6:40 PM EST
Pittsburgh +195 O/U 49.5
New England -240 -5.5

The Texans were down by 18 at the time and had they scored, anyone who bet the Patriots -16 would have lost.

Instead, Harmon preserved the bankrolls of Pats backers.

The Patriots committed three turnovers, two deep in their own territory, yet still covered the massive spread.

The spread was New England's biggest ever in the postseason and the largest Divisional Round spread in almost two decades.

New England also covered a second half line of 7.5. Even with an 11-point lead (24-13) in the second half, the Pats didn't take their foot off the gas.

New England is now a league-best 14-3 ATS this season. They're an incredible 4-0 ATS as double-digit favorites:

  • -10 vs. Cleveland: Won 33-13
  • -12 vs. San Francisco: Won 30-17
  • -13.5 vs. Los Angeles: Won 26-10
  • -16.5 vs. Houston: Won 34-16

"It's often difficult to win a game after losing the ball three times, let alone cover a huge spread like the Patriots did," odds consultant Scott Cooley said. "It just speaks to the high level New England is playing at on both sides of the ball."

"Watching the Pats over the last few months is reminiscent of the 2007 season when they were in a total state of domination," he continued. "It somewhat puts oddsmakers in a tough spot because we know no matter how high you set the line, the public is going to back them, but in the same light we have to be careful not to inflate too much because the wise guys are waiting for a value number."

While would have liked to see a Houston backdoor cover, the book's action was fairly balanced.

Next up for the Patriots is the AFC title game against the Steelers, whom they beat by 14 earlier this season. However, Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger was sidelined with a leg injury. New England is favored by six.