Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
The Lock Of the Week is the New England Patriots (-9.5) over the Indianapolis Colts.
At first glance the Colts (+9.5) look like a gift, but look again.
After all, rookie quarterback Andrew Luck looks like a veteran, and he is up against a seemingly beatable Patriots pass defense, but dig a bit deeper.
For the first time in three weeks, the Patriots are on a normal seven-day schedule and that will make this team more comfortable heading into this matchup.
The Patriots are at home, and Tom Brady will be eager to carve up a Colts defense that has a glaring weakness.
Darius Butler and Cassius Vaughn start at cornerback for injured starters Vontae Davis and Jerraud Powers. That is a serious drop in talent, and Brady will dissect this defense and move the ball with ease.
On defense, the Colts biggest pass rushing threat—linebacker Robert Mathis—has missed practice this week and if suits up on Sunday he will not be at 100 percent. This will give Brady the time he needs to put up big points on the scoreboard.
The Patriots defense will get a boost by cornerback Aqib Talib, who makes his debut as a member of the Patriots. Talib will give the Patriots flexibility to showcase different packages in an attempt to confuse Luck and cover up weaknesses that have been exploited in the past.
Luck is a fine young quarterback, but he still has plenty to learn; the Patriots will teach him a few things on Sunday. The Patriots at -9.5 is the lock of the week.
James Brown is a B/R featured columnist and can be followed on Twitter. Feel free to contact James at firstname.lastname@example.org. He also is a contributor at Bookie Blitz, a sports picks website.