Indianapolis Colts 2014 NFL Betting Preview

 

For so long the Colts were the model of consistency under Peyton Manning. When Indy’s franchise player was hurt in 2011 the Colts dropped to the bottom of the NFL standings, earned the first pick in the draft, and selected Andrew Luck, arguably the best QB prospect in a generation. As a rookie Luck turned Indianapolis around to the tune of 11 wins. Last year the media expected regression. Luck led the Colts to 11 more victories and outscored Kansas City in the first round of the playoffs before falling to New England in the Divisional Playoff. The Colts were 9-6-1 against the spread last year with eight overs and eight unders.

For so long the Colts were the model of consistency under Peyton Manning. When Indy’s franchise player was hurt in 2011 the Colts dropped to the bottom of the NFL standings, earned the first pick in the draft, and selected Andrew Luck, arguably the best QB prospect in a generation. As a rookie Luck turned Indianapolis around to the tune of 11 wins. Last year the media expected regression. Luck led the Colts to 11 more victories and outscored Kansas City in the first round of the playoffs before falling to New England in the Divisional Playoff. The Colts were 9-6-1 against the spread last year with eight overs and eight unders.

Indianapolis plays the easiest schedule in the NFL this year. Last season the Colts beat Denver, San Francisco and Seattle during the regular year. This season after dealing with the Broncos and Eagles during the first two weeks, the Colts face just two playoff teams during the final 14 games of the year. Three of the four playoffs teams on Indy’s schedule come at home. By a wide margin the AFC South was the weakest division in the league last year. Not only do the Colts get Houston, Tennessee and Jacksonville twice, but they cross over with the NFC East, which tied for the second easiest division in the league.

He might be old but Reggie Wayne is still productive and his return from injury should be the biggest “move” Indianapolis made during the offseason. They also added Hakeem Nix to a receiving core that features Wayne and T.Y. Hilton. D’Qwell Jackson was added at linebacker and Arthur Jones at defensive end. Vontae Davis was re-signed in the secondary. How Indy copes with the loss of safety Antoine Bethea to San Francisco, and deals with Robert Mathis’ four game suspension will be big story lines early in the season. Second round draft pick Jack Mewhort should play immediately on the offensive line, an area that could use improvements.

The Colts are 18-1 to win the Super Bowl and 10-1 to capture the AFC. They play in a bad division, have a weak out of conference slate, and should be in the mix for a bye. That said, come playoff time they will need better play up front on both sides of the ball than they got last season, unless of course Luck really is the second coming of Manning, and he might be.