If ever a team entered the 2022-23 NFL betting season with a chip on its collective shoulder, it’s the Indianapolis Colts. All Frank Reich’s squad needed to do was win its season finale against Jacksonville on the road as decided two-touchdown favorites. Indy grossly failed to cover the number, and it shockingly got destroyed 26-11. Because of it, the Colts were forced to watch the playoffs from home instead of strapping it up in the second season. It was a shame to consider the team owned the seventh-best point differential in the game and saw teams like the Steelers and Raiders punch tickets with negative differentials.
As great a season Jonathan Taylor churned out to become the league’s top rusher, it all went for naught. Carson Wentz proved to be one of the main reasons why, as he simply just couldn’t get out of his own way the back half of the schedule. With him out and veteran Matt Ryan in, the Colts are -125 favorites to win the AFC South at DraftKings Sportsbook, and in my opinion, are solid choices to buy shares of on the AFC and Super Bowl LVII futures odds; 12-1 and 22-1 respectively. Should Ryan continue being frugal in the turnover department and put a spark in the passing game, this offense will have a chance to be one of the best in the league. It would’ve been right there last season if not for that impotent passing attack with the ground game ranked No. 2 overall.
With five of its first seven games to come against divisional opponents, the potential is there for Indianapolis to hit the ground running and get out to a commanding lead atop the standings. Should that occur, you can bet your bottom dollar J.T. puts the team on his back and leads it back to the postseason, with an MVP or Offensive Player of the Year Award likely in tow!
Bet the Indianapolis Colts Season Wins Total at DraftKings Sportsbook
Indianapolis Colts Season Wins Total: 10 Under -115
As dominant the Colts were from a point differential perspective (+86), it only amounted to nine regular season wins. Losing those first three games against the Seahawks, Rams, and Titans did them no favors, nor did dropping back-to-back games against Las Vegas and Jacksonville to close it out. In four seasons under the current coaching staff, the Colts have gone 2-1-1 against their season wins total odds. It’s just gut-wrenching to think they beat playoff teams like the Bills, 49ers, Cardinals, and Patriots yet still managed to come up short when it mattered most.
They did so against a schedule that rated out as the tenth easiest overall, and it gets even better in 2022-23 with the folks at Sharp Football Analysis expecting them to run up against the third easiest schedule strength. Bothersome however, is the fact that its bye won’t arrive until week 14. That being said, it could’ve already wrapped up the division by then and would be grateful for the time off smack dab in the middle of its toughest stretch of games.
Indianapolis Colts Football Schedule
Week 1: Colts at Texans, Sunday, September 11, 1 p.m. ET
Week 2: Colts at Jaguars, Sunday, September 18, 1 p.m. ET
Week 3: Chiefs at Colts, Sunday, September 25, 1 p.m. ET
Week 4: Titans at Colts, Sunday, October 2, 1 p.m. ET
Week 5: Colts at Broncos, Thursday, October 6, 8:15 p.m. ET, PRIME
Week 6: Jaguars at Colts, Sunday, October 16, 1 p.m. ET
Week 7: Colts at Titans, Sunday, October 23, 1 p.m. ET
Week 8: Commanders at Colts, Sunday, October 30, 4:25 p.m. ET
Week 9: Colts at Patriots, Sunday, November 6, 1 p.m. ET
Week 10: Colts at Raiders, Sunday, November 13, 4:05 p.m. ET
Week 11: Eagles at Colts, Sunday, November 20, 1 p.m. ET
Week 12: Steelers at Colts, Monday, November 28, 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN
Week 13: Colts at Cowboys, Sunday, December 4, 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC
Week 14: Bye Week
Week 15: Colts at Vikings, Sunday, December 18, 1 p.m. ET
Week 16: Chargers at Colts, Monday, December 26, 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN
Week 17: Colts at Giants, Sunday, January 1, 1 p.m. ET
Week 18: Texans at Colts, Sunday, January 8, 1 p.m. ET
A number of things will have to come together for Indy to get back to the postseason and win the AFC South for the first time since 2014-15. Though the offensive line suffers a pair of big losses, it still looks to be in fine shape with the return of elite hogs Quenton Nelson, Ryan Kelly, and Braden Smith. Rookie OT Bernhard Raimann is no slouch either and could be shuffled into the starting mix faster than any of us think. The ground assault will be there. How could it not with Taylor going off the board first in upwards of 95 percent of fantasy football drafts and being the running fav to win OPOY at DK (10-1).
What about the passing attack? I believe Michael Pittman Jr. and Parris Campbell – when healthy - are excellent wide receiver options. The addition of big-bodied rookie speedster Alec Pierce and TE Jelani Woods only add to the number of excellent pass-catching options “Matty Ice” will have at his disposal. As already stated, I think Indy’s offense will be one of the best and most efficient in the league provided the O-Line does its job up front and the young pass catchers get on the same page with their new QB quickly. So far, Ryan is said to be settling in nicely.
The offense might be forced to trade points with the opposition, however, should the Colts pass defense continue to stink out loud. It ranked No. 19 in allowing nearly 235 passing yards per game. While much of that had to do with a lack of pressure evidenced by 33 overall sacks (No. 25) the pass D was wretched in ranking 26th in success rate allowed through the air. The addition of former shutdown corner Stephon Gilmore should help, but he’s no longer the player he once was.
The Colts have finished No. 13 or better at forcing turnovers each of the last four seasons; they clocked in at no. 2 each of the last two. With that, it’s pretty safe to assume the coaching staff knows how to get their men to get after it. Whether it results in another huge takeaway tally remains to be seen, but I’m a believer and expect its ability to force and recover turnovers to dramatically improve upon its 2-5 record in one-score games of a season ago.
The betting market looks to be buying into this team as a potential SB contender, with its odds to win LVII down to +2200 from the +2800 opener. I like many are down on the Titans this season, and the Jags and Texans won’t be competing for division titles anytime soon. Indianapolis is the cream of the division crop by far, but it’s gonna have to keep the pedal to the metal all the way through as tough the AFC looks to be as a whole. Should someone else in the division rise up to challenge them, they’ll need to win as many games as possible to get in as a wild card. I think they win the South going away and rip off a double-digit tally in the process!
Indianapolis Colts Season Win Total Prediction: Over 10