11/29/2005 12:00AM

Colts can - question is, do they care?


LAS VEGAS - The Colts are still undefeated at 11-0 after going through the toughest part of their schedule - their last three games have been at the Patriots, at the Bengals, and home vs. the Steelers on Monday night.

Just a few weeks ago, you could have gotten 6-1 on the Colts going 16-0 in the regular season, but those odds are long gone. As of noon Tuesday, the Palms' prop on whether the Colts would complete the regular season at 16-0 had the "yes" at +175 (win $1.75 for every $1 wagered) and the "no" at -200 (risk $2 for every $1 you want to profit).

The Colts' remaining games have them at home this Sunday vs. Tennessee as 16-point favorites, at Jacksonville, home vs. San Diego, at Seattle, and home vs. Arizona. The Jaguars, Chargers, and Seahawks provide the toughest competition down the stretch, but the other obstacle for the Colts to clear is the fact that they won't have much to play for and will be tempted to rest their starters for the Super Bowl run.

"It's really kind of a no-brainer," Colts coach Tony Dungy told Sports Illustrated's Peter King. "As soon as the games aren't meaningful in the standings, [resting starters] is something we'll think about. They don't give out rings for being 16-0."

The Palms, along with several other Vegas sports books such as the Las Vegas Hilton, Station Casinos, and the Leroy's chain, has a line on the Super Bowl with the AFC now favored by 11. In September, that line was just -3, but with the Colts' impressive run and the overall superiority of the AFC over the NFC, the line has steadily climbed during the season.

The Palms is also the only book to have a prop on whether the Manning brothers - Peyton with the Colts and Eli with the Giants - will meet in Super Bowl XL. The "no" is -1300 with the "yes" at +1000. The odds on the "yes" were raised this week after the Giants' 24-21 loss at Seattle, which hurt New York's chances of getting a first-round bye in the NFC.

NFL who's hot, who's not

While the Colts are obviously the hottest team in the NFL, their 8-3 record against the spread still trails the 8-2-1 mark of the Broncos. Right behind the top pair are the Bears, Giants, and Chargers at 7-3-1.

The Broncos have also covered a league-high six games in a row. The Vikings, with four straight, are the only other team with more than two straight covers.

* The Eagles snapped a six-game losing streak against the spread with their 19-14 win over the Packers as 4-point favorites. Philadelphia is now tied with the Jets and Cardinals with the NFL's worst spread record, at 3-8. The Jets and Redskins now have the longest skid, with three straight non-covers.

* In totals wagering, the Browns went under in their 24-12 loss to the Vikings and are now 9-2 with the under. This week, the Browns have a total of 34 vs. the Jaguars. Right behind the Browns at 8-2-1 are the Bears, who have the absurdly low total of 31 vs. the Packers on Sunday. Other top under teams are the Vikings at 8-3 and the Ravens at 7-3-1.

* The Rams and Cardinals are the top over teams, at 8-3. No other teams have gone over in at least two-thirds of their games. The Rams have a total of 46 at home vs. the Redskins, and the Cardinals have a total of 44 at the 49ers.

NFL league-wide betting trends

The trend of favorites dominating NFL betting continued over the Thanksgiving weekend, and then some. Favorites went 12-4 against the spread to improve their already gaudy record to 100-72-4 (58 percent, excluding pushes).

* A lot of the favorites were on the road, so home teams were only 6-10 against the spread and have a nominal overall lead on the season at 90-81-4 (53 percent).

* With favorites doing so great and home teams not faring so well, it's not surprising that home underdogs had a bad week, but it was

worse than that - they were 0-6 both straight up and against the spread and are a combined 21-30-1 (41 percent) on the year. It seems foolish to even point out the home dogs, but here they are: Browns +3 vs. the Jaguars, Lions +3 vs. the Vikings, Saints +3 1/2 vs. the Buccaneers, 49ers +3 vs. the Cardinals, Rams +3 vs. the Redskins, Chiefs +1 1/2 vs. the Broncos, and Eagles +4 vs. the Seahawks.

* While home dogs, a historically profitable betting angle, are not coming through in this crazy run of favorites, double-digit underdogs are at least showing a slight profit, at 9-8. This week's double-digit dogs are the Titans +16 vs. the Colts, Jets +10 vs. the Patriots, and the Raiders +11 vs. the Chargers.

* In totals wagering, unders went 10-6 last weekend and are 89-82-5 (52 percent) on the year. Expect totals to start dropping, as the temperatures do the same at the stadiums in the northern climates.

College conference title trends

Handicapper Marc Lawrence of playbook.com passes on some trends relating to this weekend's slate of college football conference championship games.

* Teams coming off a double-digit loss - in this weekend's case, Colorado and Florida St. - are 7-1 against the spread in conference title games.

* Teams on the shorter win streak - in this weekend's case, that would be Akron, Colorado, Georgia, Tulsa, and Florida St. - are only 14-14 straight up but an impressive 18-9-1 (67 percent) against the spread.

* There have been 25 same-season rematches in conference title games. In 21 of the 25 rematches, the team who lost the first game either won the rematch or at least played closer.

Lawrence, a big horse racing fan, will be at the Stardust at 9 p.m. Friday to take on local radio host Steve Cofield in a semifinal match of the Stardust Invitational. The contest takes place in the sports book and is broadcast live on KDWN AM-720 and on kdwn.com.