Colts Won't Crack The 9½ Season Wins Mark Trading Across NFL Betting Markets

Indianapolis Colts

Monday, July 18, 2016 9:57 PM GMT

The Indianapolis Colts look to bounce back from a horrendous 2015 season. Can they crack the 9.5 projected season win total? We preview the NFL schedule and serve up game-by-game NFL picks.

Indianapolis Colts 2015 Look Back
It was a challenging season, to say the least for Chuck Pagano’s Colts, who finished on a modest 8-8 SU mark and second behind the Houston Texans in the AFC South. It saw the Colts miss the playoffs for the first time since the Luck era began and, admittedly, that did surprise many NFL pundits, experts and fans alike that had the Colts as their top Super Bowl pick at the start of the season. Heck, NFL betting markets had the Colts amongst the top three contenders in 2015.

Andrew Luck’s injury spelt the beginning of the end for the Colts. Playing without your chosen NFL bauble – the face of your franchise – is the worst-case scenario which few teams can overcome successfully. Of course, things could have been much worse had they not grabbed Matt Hasselbeck. The veteran quarterback provided reliable leadership and signal-calling for the Colts in relief duty, lifting them to six of their eight wins (Luck accounted for just two), and served to put a respectable enough stamp on 2015. But to suggest their season was symptomatic of Luck’s injury alone is misleading.

What Luck’s injury inevitably served to do is expose serious shortcomings particularly on the offensive side of the ball. Weaknesses that may have been successfully masked by the quality, talent, and skill of their prized signal caller. To some extent, it also reignited the debate about the measure of the AFC South altogether, one of the weakest divisions in the current game, hitting a particular nadir between 2012 and 2014 by all accounts. (Between 2012 and 2014 the Colts lost just one of their 18 divisional games, a run of form that included 6-0 finishes in the division in 2013 and 2014.)

Are the Colts really as good as their previous season win totals suggest (11-5 from 2012 to 2014) or were the Colts merely as good as the AFC South was bad during those seasons?

Now, Colts fans are sure to look at this negative outlook as a premature reaction to last season. Arguing a healthy Andrew Luck is sure to lift the Colts back to the pinnacle of the AFC South. Then there are those seemingly good acquisitions in the NFL draft and the signing of Joe Philbin as the offensive line coordinator as pluses to consider.

Be that as it may, it presupposes the status quo in the AFC South remains unchanged. That the Texans, Jaguars, and Titans will continue to struggle for consistency and the Colts will return to their dominating ways over the field in the upcoming season. Besides, Joe Philbin was sent packing out of Miami, repeatedly failing to get anything significant going there as the head coach. How he’s to become the X-factor all of a sudden boggles the mind.

Effectively the Colts got by in the league by dominating the AFC South, meaning they needed to win only 50% of their remaining ten non-divisional games to finish with an 11-5 SU record (from 2012-2014). Will that formula to success work in 2016? Can we simply chalk up six wins in the division and then rundown the schedule to find four or five games the Colts are sure to win in order to deliver another double-digit winning season?

It’s no secret that their AFC South rivals have been busy in the offseason and are taking strides to be more competitive as we move towards the start of the 2016 NFL season. Those can convert realistically for the Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars you’d think. More so than the Tennessee Titans who are a bit behind in the development process.  

Impossible to ignore the valid question marks or the glaring concerns on the Colts’ roster in the context of NFL betting. So while the Colts pen Andrew Luck to a mega contract without doing a whole lot else to address the offensive holes on their roster in the offseason, bookies roll out a 9.5 projected season win total for the Colts with…and this is the important bit…drum roll…the UNDER favoured at -145 NFL odds. The OVER is trading at +115 NFL odds, a price available at Bet365 amongst several other sportsbooks.

The Colts do boast the highest projected season win total in the AFC South field and they are favoured to win the division at just above EVEN money, but it’s a glaring contradiction to these aforementioned markets to have the UNDER favoured rather than the OVER. It’s a red flag.

With that in mind, we rundown the NFL schedule and serve up our predictions for the Colts in 2016 and wrap up with our final NFL pick for their projected season win total. This game-by-game rundown comes with a reader advisory: The following is an EXTREMELY negative outlook for the Colts on 2016, not suitable for Colts fans of any age. Reader discretion is advised.

 

Week 1 vs. Detroit, Sunday, September 11
Inasmuch as the Colts struggled in 2015 so did the Detroit Lions. While many are projecting a bounce back year for Andrew Luck and the Colts the same can’t be said for Matthew Stafford and the Lions. The main reason behind the largely average predictions for the Lions is the retirement of Calvin Johnson. Doesn’t that seem a bit simple-minded for a game that is greater than one individual player. The Colts have home advantage, which is definitely something to consider when making your NFL picks. 

But the Lions will be up for this clash in week 1 of the NFL betting season too after their 2015 season. Rumour has it they might be acquiring Arian Foster (so pay attention to that). In any event, you have to think the pressure is going to be all on Luck to deliver after his struggles in 2015 and, not least, because he now has a shiny new contract and there will be many keenly dissecting him in proportion to the dollars splashed his way. Call it a hunch, but this one could go against the NFL betting grain.

NFL Picks: Loss
Record 0-1

 

Week 2 vs. Denver (away), September 18
A trip to Mile High for the first time without a meeting between Andrew Luck and Peyton Manning, the young vs. the old and all the random comparisons the matchup generated on account of Peyton Manning’s legacy with the Colts. While the Denver quarterback is yet to be named, the Broncos have home advantage and a formidable defense that could give Luck headaches.

NFL Picks: Loss
Record 0-2

 

Week 3 vs. San Diego, Sunday, September 25
The San Diego Chargers were largely disappointing in 2015 and while Philip Rivers is a notable quarterback the holes in the team are just too much for the signal caller to compensate for on his own. This is a winnable game for the Colts at home.

NFL Picks: Win
Record 1-2

 

Week 4 vs. Jacksonville (away), Sunday, October 2
Last year the Jaguars decimated the Colts in one of their worst defeats of the season, a 51-16 loss in Jacksonville that sent seismic shockwaves through NFL betting circles. It’s unlikely the Colts will perform as badly as they did then. Understandably, they’ll want revenge too. However, assuming things will fall back to the way they were in this rivalry just because Luck is healthy is to ignore the significant changes the Jaguars are making and Blake Bortles’ growth and maturation as an NFL quarterback. We’re not simply handing it to the Colts rather we expect a much closer affair that either side could potentially win. Plus, this game takes place in London, which is fast becoming a second home to the Jaguars.

NFL Picks: Loss                           
Record 1-3

 

Week 5 vs. Chicago, Sunday, October 9
After a cross-Atlantic trip to London, the Indianapolis Colts don’t take a bye week. Instead, they flit back home to take on the Chicago Bears in week 5 of the NFL betting season. That decision might be one they rue. Jetlag and the grind of the game itself can be brutal and it wouldn’t surprise anybody if it came on top of them. Granted the Bears aren’t the most daunting sides in the NFL. Under any other circumstances this would be a sure win at home. As it is, it could be a trap and, we can’t in good conscience blithely chalk up a WIN. So we’re going to be contrarian and put in a LOSS instead.

NFL Picks: Loss
Record 1-4

 

Week 6 vs. Houston (away), Sunday, October 16
The Houston Texans welcome Andrew Luck and the colts in week 6 NFL betting, determined to underscore their 2015 AFC South winning credentials in primetime TV. Everything hinges on the manner in which Brock Osweiler plays for the Texans, whether he’ll live up to the optimistic prognosis shared by many NFL insiders. Of course, there’s also the Texans defense which is nothing to sniff at. Once again, the Colts could face a divisional foe that simply won’t back down.

NFL Picks: Loss
Record 1-5

 

Week 7 vs. Tennessee (away), Sunday, October 23
The Tennessee Titans traded away the No.1 draft pick to the Los Angeles Rams in order to bolster up the team with more NFL picks. Now, that is sure to be something that pays off down the road but as these two teams currently stand the Colts are the better side and should get the win in this rivalry.

NFL Picks: Win
Record 2-5

 

Week 8 vs. Kansas City, Sunday, October 30
The Kansas City Chiefs are a tough team to play on any given Sunday. Last season, they rode the momentum of a 10-game winning streak to close the season into the playoffs and decimated the Houston Texans 30-0 in the wildcard game. This matchup, therefore, can’t be taken for granted but the Colts with Andrew Luck could light up and outshoot the Chiefs.

NFL Picks: Win
Record 3-5

 

Week 9 vs. Green Bay (away), Sunday, November 6
Andrew Luck and the Colts descend on Lambeau Field to take on, arguably, one of the best quarterbacks in the league. Aaron Rodgers struggled on offense last season without Jordy Nelson and the Packers succumbed to some shocking defeats at home in 2015. That shouldn’t be the case this term. Rodgers should have Nelson back this term barring any unforeseen twists. It’s week 9 of the NFL season and the Cols could well be feeling the strain of the travel and schedule. It’s cold in Green Bay in November and one wonders how the Colts defense will hold up, if at all.

NFL Picks LOSS
Record 3-6

 

Week 10 BYE

 

Week 11 vs. Tennessee, Sunday, November 20
Finally, a much needed Bye week and rest for a tired, taxed Colts side. Oh, and a date against favourite punching bag Tennessee Titans. Well, granted, the Titans should be improved from last season, but not enough so to challenge the Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium.

NFL Picks: Win
Record 4-6

 

Week 12 vs. Pittsburgh, Thursday, November 24
The Pittsburgh Steelers descend on Lucas Oil Stadium for a Thanksgiving game with the Colts, marking a first in Indianapolis franchise history. The Steelers boast a formidable offense, which could give the Colts defense massive headaches particularly as it’s a short week for them. The Colts have struggled against the Steelers in recent memory, losing the last two meetings by a combined total of 52 points. Ben Roethlisberger Is dialled into this matchup and so long as he is fit and healthy you still have to like the Steelers even if they are on the road.

NFL Picks: Loss
Record 4-7

 

Week 13 vs. NY Jets (away), Monday, December 5
The Colts get a nice long week to prepare for the New York Jets, which is an advantage. Whether it’s enough to overcome the disadvantage of being on the road and in freezing temperatures in New York remains to be seen. Last season, Ted Bowles’ side shocked Andrew Luck and the Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium in week 2 as they won 20-17. Luck will be keen to reverse that outcome, give them a taste of the same medicine on their turf. However, things don’t always go to plan, do they?

NFL Picks: Loss
Record 4-8

 

Week 14 vs. Houston, Sunday, December 11
The Colts host the Texans in week 14 at Lucas Oil. The Texans finally got a win in Indianapolis last season, ending a hefty losing streak to the Colts. This term while the Texans figure to be competitive in their title defense campaign most expect the Colts to return to winning form over their foes. It’s a reasonable assumption given Luck’s past successes over the Texans on home turf.

NFL Picks: Win
Record 5-8

 

Week 15 vs. Minnesota (away), Sunday, December 18
The Indianapolis Colts trek to Minnesota for week 15 to take on Teddy Bridgewater and the Vikings in their new stadium. It’s a dome, which is good news all around but none more so than for Andrew Luck. The Vikings figure to be a tough team to beat and this is a bit of a tossup on our NFL picks. The Colts could get the surprise road win in a non-divisional and non-conference game but we’re loathe to bet against the Vikings.

NFL Picks: Loss
Record 5-9

 

Week 16 vs. Oakland (away), Saturday, December 24
As the Raiders improve from season to season the notion that they are beatable dwindles. What would have been a winnable game for Luck in season’s past is anything but. This could turn into a shootout between Derek Carr and Andrew Luck, one that the former wins on account of not only home edge but a younger core group of players that is exciting many NFL bettors across the nation.

NFL Picks: Loss
Record 5-10


 

Week 17 vs Jacksonville, Sunday, January 1
The Colts close the season at home with a visit from the Jacksonville Jaguars in week 17. For a second straight week, the Colts will be facing an offense that could prove dangerous and explosive, more so than the sum total of Colts’ parts. It’s home advantage though and Andrew Luck and the Colts could do just enough to edge the Jaguars on the road. Plus, if things go as dire as we are predicting in this game-by-game rundown, pride just might be on the line as the Colts attempt to finish the season on a win against a divisional foe.

NFL Picks Win
Record 6-10

 

NFL Projected Season Win total Predictions for the Colts: We did issue a warning at the start that this outlook isn’t going to be favourable for the Colts at all. So, don’t be so shocked that we’re hanging their season on a 6-10 SU mark yeah.

Hanging the Colts on such an abysmal mark all while boasting one of the most expensive quarterbacks in the league is brazen, crazy and, perhaps even, absurd. Be that as it may, it’s not really the point here. Although an early trip to London followed by a slew of games and no bye week in sight until week 10 is a risky move by the Colts one that could backfire spectacularly.

In any event, the point is we’re predicting the Colts won’t crack the 9.5 season win total that is trading across sports betting markets, which is ultimately the point of this game-by-game rundown. Whether they do so by coming up with a 6-10 mark as we suggest or they come off more positively with a 9-7 or 8-8 mark at the end of the day is irrelevant really in the context of our recommended NFL pick, which is to shade the UNDER 9.5 at -130 at Bodog.

 

Free NFL Picks: Under 9.5 at -130