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Can Rivers and Colts go 9-7 or better?

June 21, 2020 12:53 AM

Last season was a whirlwind for the Indianapolis Colts. Before it even began, Indianapolis was blindsided by the surprise retirement of franchise quarterback Andrew Luck, who was just 29 at the time. In six seasons with the Colts, Luck went an impressive 53-33 and finished with 171 touchdowns, 83 interceptions and an 89.5 quarterback ranking.

Despite Luck's retirement, Indianapolis got off to a hot 5-2 under Jacoby Brissett in 2019. But then the wheels came off and Indy went 2-7 down the stretch to finish a disappointing 7-9.  

Indianapolis has undergone a big offseason metamorphosis. First the Colts acquired stud defensive lineman DeForest Buckner, formerly of the 49ers, in exchange for a first-round pick. Then Indy made its biggest move of free agency: Signing 8-time Pro Bowl quarterback and long-time Charger Philip Rivers. Indy drafted wide receiver Michael Pittman (USC) and running back Jonathan Taylor (Wisconsin) while also adding quarterback Jacob Eason (Washington) for the future. 

So what do oddsmakers expect out of Rivers and the Colts in 2020?

Indy's win total is between 8.5 and 9 across the board, creating a valuable shop for the best line opportunity. FanDuel is hanging and 8.5 with the over -160 and under + 135. DraftKings is at 9 games with -110 juice on both sides. Circa Sports is also 9 but the over is -140 and the under + 120.

Reading between the lines, a combination of sharp money and house liability are on a 9-7 to 10-6 season. The sharpest play appears to be over 8.5. Several books have risen during the offseason, moving from 8.5 to 9. 

The Colts are middle of the pack in terms of strength of schedule. Indianapolis' 2020 opponents went a combined 128-127-1 (.502) in 2019, giving the Colts the 16th hardest schedule in the NFL.

Here is the full Colts schedule

Week 1: at Jags

Week 2: vs Vikings

Week 3: vs Jets

Week 4: at Bears

Week 5: at Browns

Week 6: vs Bengals

Week 7: Bye

Week 8: at Lions

Week 9: vs Ravens

Week 10: at Titans

Week 11: vs Packers

Week 12: vs Titans

Week 13: at Texan

Week 14: at Raiders

Week 15: vs Texans

Week 16: at Steelers

Week 17: vs Jags

The Colts are expected to make the playoffs this season. Indianapolis is a -200 favorite to make the postseason at DraftKings and a + 163 underdog to miss the postseason.

Indianapolis is the favorite to win the AFC South at + 110, followed by the Titans + 180, Texans + 350 and the Jags + 2000.

The Colts have the third best odds to win the AFC at + 1100, trailing only the Chiefs + 300 and Ravens + 325. Indianapolis is + 2500 to win the Super Bowl.

In terms of player props, Rivers' over/under passing yards is 4,099.5 and passing touchdowns 27.5 at FanDuel. Last season, Rivers finished with 4,615 yards and 23 touchdowns. Rivers is + 6000 to win MVP.

Taylor's over/under rushing yards is 700.5. 

Marlon Mack's over/under rushing yards is 750.5 at DraftKings. In 2019 Mack led the Colts in rushing with 1,091 yards. 

T.Y. Hilton's over/under receiving yards is 1,050.5. Hilton finished with 501 yards in 10 games last season. 

Frank Reich is + 2000 to win Coach of the Year. 

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