2015 Indianapolis Predictions
Last year was a coming out party of sorts for Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts. A division title and a trip to the AFC Championship game where they lost to the eventual Super Bowl champion New England Patriots. Indy is primed to make another deep run this year, and odds makers see it that way too as the Colts are the favourites to win the AFC.
NFL Handicapping Insight
2014 record: 11-5
Colts Odds to win 2015 AFC Conference: 3/1
Colts Odds to win 2015 Super Bowl: 8/1
The Colts definitely deserve to be held in high regard among the AFC, as they boast a superstar QB in Andrew Luck and an embarrassment of riches on offense.
The optimism behind this team should certainly be taken with a degree of caution however, as this team was very prone to getting lit up a season ago, and didn’t make many changes to their defense this offseason.
On offense the Colts were a juggernaut and moved the ball with ease on almost everyone, but they were questionable on defense, surrendering more points than any other team that made the playoffs in the AFC last season, and the Carolina Panthers were the only playoff team that gave up more points during the regular season.
Indy posted some statement wins over Cincy and Baltimore last year, but they had some hideous losses to go along with those wins.
The Colts choked away a loss at home to the Eagles, were beaten 51-34 by the Steelers, 42 – 20 by the Pats, 42-7 by the Cowboys and were absolutely decimated in the AFC Championship 45-7 at the hands of the Patriots.
So what did the Colts do to correct that in the offseason? They went out and got wide receiver Andre Johnson and running back Frank Gore…what?
Maybe the thinking is that they can just outscore their deficiencies on defense by adding enough weapons that they can just score 45 points every game and mask their shortcomings.
Ok, we’re being a little harsh here, the Colts did add some defensive help in the form of Trent Cole who will help in the pass rush. Kendall Langford will likely figure into the defense as well at defensive end, but other than that, the Colts’ defense remains very much the same as last year.
Another reason I would take precaution when looking to wager on the Colts is the fact that they have the bulk of their tough games in the early-mid season stretch. Indy will play Houston, New England, New Orleans, Carolina and Denver between weeks five to nine. What this means is that the Colts will have to be at their best midway through the season, and generally when that happens teams tend to run out of gas and slow down late.
In the NFL it’s not always about who is the best team but who is playing their best football late in the season. The Colts close out their 2015 campaign with a cupcake sched that includes the Bucs, Titans, Jaguars and Dolphins as four of their final six games. Not exactly the best way to tune up and make sure that you’re playoff ready and battle tested.
Colts Betting Outlook:
There’s no reason to bet against this team winning the AFC South, though I expect Houston will not make it comfortable for them. You always have to like a team that gets four games against the Titans and Jaguars, and the Colts are a very, very good team at home, so if they can lock down a few home playoff games, another trip to the AFC Championship is very much in the cards for this team.
Getting in on them right now however is a bit premature, as at 3/1 that payout isn’t very juicy and of the Colts’ horrible losses last year (Steelers, Cowboys, and Pats in the playoffs) they gave up 138 points, and all three of those games were on the road. I’d hold off and see if they have homefield throughout the playoffs, otherwise I’d be careful.
Colts 2015 Prediction
Playoffs are almost a guarantee, barring some catastrophic injuries. This team needs to figure out how to be consistent and keep themselves moving forward for a full 16 games. Every win streak that this team put together a season ago was ended in very ugly fashion, if they can keep their compete level high throughout this team could win 12 or 13 games and perhaps lock up home field for the entire post season.
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