Colts 2020 Betting Record
Point Spread: 9-8
Total: Over-Under: 10-7
The Colts were stunned by Andrew Luck’s surprising retirement from football before the 2019 season due to chronic injuries. The Colts sorely missed him and finished 7-9. In 2020, Philip Rivers signed a one-year deal with the Colts after 16 seasons with the Chargers. The eight-time Pro Bowler gave the Colts a proven NFL option at QB to alleviate the sting of losing Luck.
Indianapolis also made an aggressive offseason move by trading its first-round pick for Niners DT DeForest Buckner. Buckner had a First-Team All-Pro season and is indubitably Indy’s best defensive player. Plus, 2020 second-round pick and former Wisconsin RB Jonathan Taylor rushed for over 1,000 yards and impressed in his rookie season. NFL Betting odds listed the Colts at +2500 to win the Super Bowl and they outperformed their sportsbook lines O/U of 9.5 wins, going 11-5. Indianapolis was a popular online betting pick and was the favorite in 15 of their 16 games, going 10-6 ATS in the regular season.
The Colts returned to the playoffs with Rivers under center but lost in the Wild Card round. Following the season Rivers retired, which prompted a risky move to acquire former NFL MVP Carson Wentz. Wentz will reunite with his former Eagles offensive coordinator, Frank Reich, who is the current head coach of Indianapolis. The Colts have a lot of potential entering 2021 but, after a disastrous 2020, it remains to be seen whether Wentz can find his form again and take the Colts to the playoffs.
Rivers’ first game with the Colts didn’t go according to plan. They fell to the Jaguars 27-20 and he threw two interceptions, including a costly pick-six in the fourth quarter. The Colts defense allowed Jaguars QB Gardner Minshew to complete 19 of 20 passes and throw three touchdowns.
Reich’s Colts bounced back with a big 28-11 win over the Vikings in Week 2. Indianapolis held Minnesota to its lowest point total of the entire season and picked off Kirk Cousins three times. Taylor picked up 101 yards, marking the first 100-yard game of his career.
In Week 3, the Colts blew out the Jets 36-7 for an easy victory. They made it three wins in a row against the Bears in Week 4 and handed Chicago its first loss of the season in the process. Barring the shocking Week 1 loss, it was an excellent start for the Colts. After four games, the Colts were holding opponents to the fewest yards in the league, at 236.2 per game.
Point Spread: 3-1
Total: Over-Under: 1-3
The Indianna Colts dropped to 3-2 with a 32-23 road loss against the Browns. Rivers struggled as he threw two interceptions and Indianapolis managed just 69 rushing yards.
Indianapolis was in serious danger of dropping to .500 as the Bengals got out to a 24-7 second-quarter lead in Week 6. However, the Colts outscored Cincinnati 24-3 from that point on and picked up an important comeback win. It meant that the Colts were heading into their bye week in a solid position at 4-2.
After the bye week, the Colts held the Lions to just 29 rushing yards in a comprehensive 41-21 win. Indy was favored by a point in Week 9 against the Ravens but were beaten by two scores by Lamar Jackson and Co. At 5-3 midway through the season, the Colts established themselves as playoff contenders and a threat to win the AFC South.
Point Spread: 1-3
Total: Over-Under: 3-1
WR and 2020 second-round pick Michael Pittman Jr. had his best game of the season in Week 10 against the Titans. He had seven receptions for 101 yards, which are both career-highs. The Colts steamrolled the Titans 34-17 in an important divisional win.
The next week, they trailed 28-14 at halftime to the formidable Green Bay Packers. TE Jack Doyle caught a TD pass from Rivers and Rookie K Rodrigo Blankenship hit three second-half FGs to take a 31-28 lead. Packers K Mason Crosby hit a last-second FG to force overtime. In OT, the Colts forced a fumble and Blankenship hit his fourth FG of the game to propel the Colts to a 34-31 win and a 7-3 record.
Indianapolis lost the divisional rematch with the Titans in Week 12 but bounced back with a win against the Texans a week after. The Colts were in a tight divisional race with the Titans. With the teams splitting their 2020 meetings, Indianapolis needed every win it could get from there on out.
Point Spread: 3-1
Total: Over-Under: 3-1
The Colts had their best offensive game of the season in Week 14, putting 44 points on the Raiders in a win. CB Kenny Moore had a ridiculous one-handed interception in the end zone and led the Colts with four interceptions on the year. In Week 15 against the Texans, Buckner had three sacks in a 27-20 win. He led the team with 9.5 sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss in 2020.
In Week 16, the Colts were one-point favorites against a Steelers team who had lost three straight games after starting 11-0. With a win and Miami or Baltimore loss, Indianapolis would clinch an AFC playoff spot. However, they blew a fourth-quarter lead and lost 28-24, putting their playoff destiny out of their hands.
At the very least, the Colts would need to beat the Jaguars in Week 17 to have any hope of qualifying for the playoffs. They’d need a loss or tie from one of the other four teams who stood at 10-5. Taylor had a huge game against the Jaguars and set a Colts record with 253 rushing yards on 30 attempts, in a 28-14 win. It capped off an incredible rookie season in which he led all rookies in yards and touchdowns. He also finished third in the NFL in rushing yards, with 1169.
With Taylor and the Colts taking care of business, they needed a little bit of luck, which they got. The Dolphins lost their season finale to the Bills which meant the Colts clinched the seventh and final playoff spot in the AFC. But, they certainly didn’t make it easy for themselves.
Point Spread: 1-3
Total: Over-Under: 2-2
Divisional Record: 4-2
Conference Record: 7-5
With the expanded playoff format, the seventh seed Colts were matched up with the second seed Buffalo Bills. The Bills were rolling coming into the playoffs with six straight wins. QB Josh Allen had an MVP-caliber season and the Bills offense was a force to be reckoned with.
Despite that, the Colts, as one touchdown underdogs, gave the Bills a scare. Down 27-24 with 2:30 to play, Indianapolis had an opportunity to tie or win the game. Rivers drove the Colts down to the Buffalo 46 yard line with 45 seconds left. He completed a short pass to Pittman Jr. for a gain of just a yard. With three more downs, Rivers threw three straight incomplete passes, which ended the game, the Colts season, and his HOF-caliber career.
It was a rough end to a very good Colts season. Their rookie wideout, Pittman Jr., led all receivers in the wild-card loss with 90 yards. Taylor had an incredible rookie year which he’ll look to build on, Blankenship hit 37 of his 42 FGs, and the Colts had both a top 10 offense and defense. There figure to be some more changes in the offseason but the Colts have a good core group of young players.
Full Season Grade: A-
Looking Ahead to Next Season
In Justin Houston and Denico Autry, the Colts could be losing two of their best pass rushers this offseason. The duo combined for 15.5 sacks in 2020 and the Colts will certainly have to address the gaping hole in their defense should either, or both, move on in free agency.
LT Anthony Costanzo retired, so Indy will have to retool an offensive line that was second-best in the NFL at protecting their QB. WR is another issue, especially if T.Y. Hilton leaves in free agency. Pittman Jr. and Zach Pascal are solid wideouts, though.
The Colts know what they have in RB Jonathan Taylor and he should be a huge part of the offense as long as he’s with the team. Carson Wentz is a wild card coming off of a rough season, in which he was benched for rookie Jalen Hurts. Wentz set career lows in completion percentage and yards and a career-high in interceptions. His options in Philadelphia were subpar, so maybe a fresh start will be what he needs to find his form.
The Colts had one of the best run defenses in the league, giving up the second-fewest yards. Indianapolis also forced the sixth most turnovers, with 25 in 16 games. Even if there are offseason changes, the Colts have a solid core on defense.
With Super Bowl Odds of +2200, the Colts are expected to be on the playoff bubble once again. There are a wide range of outcomes in 2021 for this Colts team that are within the realm of possibility. I could see 6-10 happening just as easily as 12-4. A lot rests on the QB play of Carson Wentz.