NFL Picks: Indianapolis Colts Season Win Totals & Game-by-Game Predictions

Tuesday, May 19, 2015 8:11 PM UTC

Tuesday, May. 19, 2015 8:11 PM UTC

High expectations move Colts' season win totals up on the NFL odds board. Here's a game-by-game preview complete with NFL picks as the Colts look to crush a projected 11 win-total en route to a third straight AFC South title.

Colts Have Favorable NFL Schedule
The football gods are smiling on Andrew Luck and his precious Colts. For a second straight season, the Colts have one of the softest NFL schedules in the league; second softest to be exact based on last season's win totals and packing as much clout as cotton candy. In fact, the winning percentage of 0.417 is even lower than 2014 when they had THE softest schedule (Ranked 32) of the entire field with a 0.430 winning percentage. 

Colts can thank the inadequacies within the AFC South field and the fortuitous crossover with the hapless NFC South for receiving one of the weakest schedules in recent memory. The Colts open the season against Buffalo, have dates with the Broncos, Saints and Patriots all at Lucas Oil Stadium, take an advantageous week 10 bye and finish the season against the Titans at home. Barring any key injuries or shocking twists that are simply impossible to predict at this early vantage point, colour the world shocked if the Colts don't cruise to a double-digit winning season.


Give the Colts the AFC South Title Now
Is it any wonder then that the Colts are practically preordained to win the AFC South for a third straight season at -350 NFL odds. To put it into perspective, those are the most favouable NFL odds of all the teams (both AFC and NFC) trading in the NFL's 'To Win Division' markets. No team is favored as high as the Colts, not even the Broncos, Packers or Patriots in their respective divisions. That must give NFL bettors an idea of the strength (or lack thereof) of the AFC South field.

Last season, we correctly picked the Colts to go OVER the 9.5 win total projected across the sports betting market, an NFL pick then matched at +100 NFL odds. Can you believe the UNDER was favored at -130. It beggars belief.

After opening on a projected 9.5 wins again in early NFL betting markets at sportsbooks like Bovada, public perceptions promptly bet them up to 10.5 wins.  Most recently, they've moved to the stratospheric heights of 11 wins, which marks the ceiling of their accomplishments thus far with Andrew Luck in the regular season.

Consider the Colts finished 11-5 three years in a row, the win totals are right on the money, you could say. The last two seasons that was enough to deliver the AFC South title. In 2012, Houston Texans clinched the title behind a 12-4-0 SU record. (They figure to be the Colts' only competition this season).

As it is, odds makers are favoring the OVER at -120 NFL odds but the UNDER is not far off at -105 NFL odds. The significant movement on the NFL odds board and tight NFL betting odds, however, make us a bit wary about the Colts. Things aren't always as they seem and they don't always go to plan. The obvious question that begs an answer is whether the win totals are now too high?  Let's find out as we go through each and every game and serve up our way too early NFL betting verdict.


Week 1: vs. Buffalo (road), Sunday, Sept 13 at 1 PM
The Colts open their season on the road in Buffalo, a game that marks Rex Ryan's coaching debut with the Bills. Buffalo upset the New England Patriots in Week 17 last season, but the game was meaningless in the broad spectrum of the postseason. The Bills were already out; the Patriots were already the AFC's top seed.

Still, it's something they'll look to build on now that they know they beat the Super Bowl champs as it were. They've added Percy Harvin, LeSean McCoy to the roster, which will make them potent in key positions. But the problem with the Bills is the dicey quarterback situation with EJ Manuel and Matt Cassel looking to be the go-to options right now. Andrew Luck simply has a field day with teams that boast average quarterbacks.

NFL Picks: Win
Record: 1-0


Week 2: vs. NY Jets (home), Monday, Sept 21 at 8:30 PM
From Rex Ryan's new team to Rex Ryan's old team they go into week 2 NFL betting, welcoming the NY Jets to Lucas Oil Stadium. The additions of Brandon Marshall and Darelle Revis are positive for the Jets, but the quarterback carousel features veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick, Geno Smith and rookie Bryce Petty. Once again, it boils down to the shot calling and Luck simply rises to the occasion against his lesser counterparts.

NFL Picks: Win
Record: 2-0


Week 3: vs. Tennessee (road), Sunday, Sept 27 at 1 PM
For the third straight week, the Colts descend on a team burdened with quarterback questions. It can't get any easier than that, surely? Is it going to be Zack Mettenberger, Charlie Whitehurst or NFL draft pick Marcus Mariota to lead the mighty 2-14 SU Titans? Will it even matter when the Colts have won 12 of their last 13 meetings with the Titans. Best bet: notch up another win for the Colts in the win column for your NFL picks.

NFL Picks: Win
Record: 3-0


Week 4: vs. Jacksonville (home), Sunday, Oct 4 at 1 PM
By week 4 NFL betting, the Colts should be loving life in the 2015 NFL season. They'll have beaten up on some suspect teams and, in turn, starting to feel invincible. Helping along this heady notion is going to be yet another date with a suspect side that is coming off a 3-13 SU season. Although the Jaguars are showing signs of a pulse and might be headed in the right direction, the Colts should have another field day at Lucas Oil Stadium.

NFL Picks: Win
Record: 4-0


Week 5: vs. Houston (road), Thursday, Oct 8 at 8:25 PM
After the tough opener on the season against a Bills side that lives and dies by its defense, the Colts will face their second test in 2015 in another formidable defense in Houston. The game marks only the second game of the season that looms tricky. Last year, the pair delivered a dramatic showdown in Houston with the Colts edging the win 33-28. NFL bettors are going to be distracted by the subplot of Andre Johnson's return to his stomping grounds as a Colt this season. When the game decider is sure to be the quarterback position. Whether Brian Hoyer (if he clinches the starting position) can rise to the occasion. As well, if the Texans' defense, spearheaded by JJ. Watt can give Luck headaches. This could be another close divisional showdown on the NFL betting card, marking Thursday Primetime Football.

NFL Picks: Loss
Record: 4-1


Week 6: vs. New England (home), Sunday, Oct 18 at 8:30 PM
Everybody circle this date on the NFL betting calendar. It's the rematch of the AFC Championship showdown and all eyes will be trained on this Primetime clash on Sunday night. It's going to be a long week ahead of the Colts' date with the New England Patriots. A long time recalling the unsavoury memory of being beaten down 45-7 with deflated balls and planning their payback. It's also, most likely, going to be Tom Brady's first game back in 2015 following a four-game suspension for said DEFLATE-GATE unless it's overturned or reduced (ongoing saga). Oh the drama, drama. Who will come up trumps in this highly anticipated rematch. On a side note, pay close attention to NFL prop betting here as there's sure to be a prop on how many times DEFLATE-GATE will be mentioned. (Cringe-worthy stuff).

Last term, the Patriots crushed the Colts 42-20 at Lucas Oil Stadium in week 11 NFL betting before routing them in the AFC Championship game. There's really no reason to assume this one-sided NFL betting trend. Patriots are riding four straight wins by 25-plus points against the Colts, and given the history between these two sides we feel they'll continue this run of form.  It's not often Luck loses two in a row; the first time it happened in his pro-career was last year when the Colts lost the first two games of the season to Denver and Philly. It could happen here with back-to-back losses in Houston and at home to New England.

NFL Picks: Loss
Record: 4-2


Week 7: vs. New Orleans (home), Sunday, Oct 30 at 1 PM
After coming back down to earth against the Patriots, the Colts look ahead to a Sunday date with the New Orleans Saints. While we can't dismiss New Orleans out of hand, they were underwhelming last season and one wonders how Drew Brees and Co. will fare this season. Hanging over them is a rather poor road record over the last few seasons (10-14 SU since 2012). Colts should bounce back to winning form as the likely home favorites on the NFL odds board.

NFL Picks: Win
Record: 5-2


Week 8: vs. Carolina (road), Monday, Nov 2 at 8:30 PM
When Andrew Luck and Cam Newton collide we're constantly reminded of the fact that the pair were drafted as the No.1 picks in successive NFL drafts (2011 and 2012). That's ages ago. Let's move on, shall we.

The point that's being made here is that these are quality quarterbacks, and in game where solid shot calling is key, it's sets up an intriguing matchup. Where the Colts have the advantage is on paper: they are the better team because of the strength of their bench. Where Panthers have the advantage is location: they get home advantage.  It's a tossup really. Most NFL bettors are sure to lean towards the Colts here, but this is one game that the Panthers could serve up at home.

NFL Picks: Loss
Record: 5-3


Week 9: vs. Denver (home), Sunday, Nov 8 at 4:25 PM
The clash between Denver and Indianapolis will always be special so long as Peyton Manning is the starting quarterback for the Broncos. His return to Lucas Oil Stadium, his old stomping ground, will never cease being a bittersweet occasion. The Colts will have the confidence behind a 2-1 SU record over Manning in the last two seasons, but Manning and the Broncos will be looking for revenge for their untimely exit from the playoffs last season. This could be the most sentimental NFL pick, but we're going with the Broncos here.

NFL Picks: Loss
Record: 5-4


Week 10: Bye


Week 11: vs. Atlanta (road), Sunday, Nov 22 at 1 PM
Rested, regrouped and revived, the Colts burst out of the gates in week 11 NFL betting, a much easier second half of the season looming ahead. They trek to Atlanta where Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and the Falcons will be waiting. The Falcons are coming off a disappointing 6-10 SU season. Too many inconsistencies and injuries hurt them last season. It remains to be seen where they are at by week 11 in 2015, but this has all the makings of a shootout no matter the form either side boasts. Case-and-point, despite a poor season last year the Falcons still gave the Packers a run for their money at Lambeau. This should be a high-octane affair, but look for the Colts to edge the Falcons on the road.

NFL Picks: Win
Record: 6-4


Week 12: vs. Tampa (home), Sunday, Nov 29 at 1 PM
Another week, another NFC South side on the NFL betting cards. Tampa Bay is another NFL franchise that is faced with a quarterback carrousel. They drafted Jameis Winston, who might feature in this game. There other go-to options are the mighty Mike Glennon (that's sarcasm, by the way) and Brett Smith. As mentioned earlier, Colts have teams with suspect quarterbacks for breakfast. This is such a case. Chalk up another home win for the Colts on your NFL picks.

NFL Picks: Win
Record: 7-4


Week 13: vs. Pittsburgh (road), Sunday, Dec 6 at 8:30 PM
Just as the Colts seem to be rolling, a date with the Steelers looms on Sunday Primetime in week 13 NFL betting. This could be one of the season's classics as Andrew Luck looks to exact revenge on Big Ben and Company for a 51-34 rout on their last visit to Heinz Arena. Steelers went 6-2 SU at home and Big Ben is typically clutch on Primetime TV. Big Ben may not throw for another 522 yards and six touchdowns, but he should get the job done with home advantage. Simply put, this is going to be a tough one for the Colts to win.  

NFL Picks: Loss
Record: 7-5


Week 14: vs. Jacksonville (road), Sunday, Dec 13 at 1 PM
It's the Jaguars on the NFL schedule for week 14 NFL betting thrills. Last season, Andrew Luck served up the first win for the Colts with a 44-17 rout of the Jaguars in Jacksonville. He might not have as big of a night on the road, but NFL bettors have to feel confident the Colts are the smart NFL pick in this game. Colts complete another series sweep over the Jaguars.

NFL Picks: Win
Record: 8-5


Week 15: vs. Houston (home), Sunday, Dec 20 at 1 PM
The Colts swept the Texans last season with a 33-28 win in Houston and a 17-10 win at home. Texans weren't able to get consistent quarterbacking for the options they had at their disposal. Clearly, their formidable defense wasn't enough to stop the Colts. Unless, they can get solid quarterbacking from Brian Hoyer, winning at Lucas Oil Stadium is going to be a tough NFL pick to recommend.

NFL Picks: Win
Record: 9-5


Week 16: vs. Miami (road), Sunday, Dec 27 at 1 PM
A defense headed up by newly acquired Ndamukong Suh looms as a tough obstacle for the Colts down the stretch. Then there's the matchup between Ryan Tannehill and Andrew Luck to consider. These two teams have split the last two meetings, but they also haven't met since the Dolphins won the last meeting in 2013. With the Dolphins' defense beefed up so, Luck might not have an easy time of it.

NFL Picks: Loss
Record: 9-6


Week 17: vs. Tennessee (home), Sunday, Jan 3 at 1 PM
Andrew Luck and the Colts close the season at home against the hapless Tennessee Titans. This is the perfect matchup to end the season on as the Colts look to sweep the Titans in 2015, not to mention extend their losing record at Lucas Oil Stadium to 12 straight since last winning in 2003. Luck and the Colts serve up the win for their NFL bettors as the decisive NFL odds favorites.

NFL Picks: Win
Record: 10-6


NFL Betting Verdict 
Call us crazy, but we're fading the public and odds makers and taking the Colts to go Under 11 wins at -105 on our NFL picks. Our projections have the Colts going 10-6 SU, with a view towards an 11-5 SU season also in consideration (they sweep the Texans for instance contrary to our stated NFL pick for week 5 NFL betting).

Obviously, not all these NFL game predictions are going to go down well with the majority, particularly when most NFL experts are projecting one of the best seasons for the Colts with Andrew Luck and cracking the 11-win ceiling of the last three seasons (those NFL predictions favor a 12-4 or 13-3 SU record). Heck, anything is possible in the NFL. We can't say it won't be so with absolute certainty. Nevertheless, our NFL recommendation is the UNDER 11 at -105 but we reserve the right to change it when the season gets closer.

comment here