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Schedule Bodes Well for Colts to Challenge for Playoff Spot in 2024

The Indianapolis Colts were left wondering what might have been as promising rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson was limited to four games and star running back Jonathan Taylor was sidelined for seven games in 2023. Even without the two players that the Colts are building their offense around, Indianapolis fell only one game short of reaching the playoffs.


Schedule Bodes Well for Colts to Challenge for Playoff Spot in 2024
Anthony Richardson #5 of the Indianapolis Colts | Andy Lyons/Getty Images/AFP

Rookie defensive end Laiatu Latu and receiver Adonai Mitchell could make an impact as both are showing up in the Rookie of the Year sportsbook odds.

The Colts are third at +325 behind the Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars in the odds of winning the AFC South.

When looking at the NFL futures odds, Indianapolis is only 20th at +7000 in the odds of winning the Super Bowl.

The Colts have +160 odds to reach the playoffs. There are +110 odds for the Colts to go over 8½ wins during the regular season.

Things get underway in the preseason when the Colts play host to the Denver Broncos on Aug. 11. Six days later, the Arizona Cardinals come to town and then the Colts square off with the Cincinnati Bengals in the lone preseason road game on Aug. 22.



Richardson, Taylor to Hit the Ground Running

The anticipation was off the charts as the Indianapolis Colts looked forward to having rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson in the same backfield with former NFL rushing champion Jonathan Taylor.

That took place in exactly one game during the 2023 NFL season.

Taylor ran six times for 18 yards in his 2023 debut while Richardson completed 9 of 12 passes for 98 yards before Richardson suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in a 23-16 win over Tennessee.

Taylor has +700 odds to be the top rusher in the NFL during the upcoming season, with only Christian McCaffrey of the San Francisco 49ers having shorter odds.

The Colts added another pass catcher when former Texas star Adonai Mitchell fell to No. 52 in the 2024 NFL Draft.

He joins last year’s rookie star Josh Downs along with Alec Pierce and Michael Pittman to give Richardson some talented options in the passing game.

The bigger concerns come on the other side of the ball as no AFC team allowed more points during the 2023 regular season than the Colts.

The top five tacklers return for the Colts and time will tell whether that is good news.

Colts Begin With Tough Test

It shouldn’t take long to see where this Colts team is when the regular season gets underway.

The Colts welcome the Houston Texans, viewed as a Super Bowl contender, to town in the season opener on Sept. 8.

Indianapolis is listed as a 2-point underdog in the game. That is followed by the road opener against the Green Bay Packers and the Colts figure to be listed by the Las Vegas odds as the underdog once again.

The quarterbacks that the Colts could face in the first five games of the season are reigning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year C.J. Stroud of the Houston Texans, Jordan Love of the Green Bay Packers, No. 1 pick Caleb Williams of the Chicago Bears, Russell Wilson of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Trevor Lawrence of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

When looking at the NFL betting trends, keep in mind that the Colts were 4-5 against the spread at home in 2023 and 2-1 as the home favorite. Indianapolis was 2-3 ATS as the road underdog last season.



Ready To Make Their Move?

There was a 12-year stretch when the Colts won the AFC South title on nine occasions and had at least 10 wins 11 times in those 12 seasons.

That seems like ancient history. Since winning the division title with an 11-5 record in 2014, the Colts have reached the playoffs just twice. In the last three years, Indianapolis is 22-28-1 as other teams in the division have moved ahead of the Colts.

There are just four players on offense and two on defense on the Colts’ current roster at least 30 years of age as Indianapolis has been rebuilding the roster through the draft. Are they ready to take that next step and win another AFC South Division title?

Can the Colts Finish With a Flourish?

If the Colts can keep their heads above water during a difficult early-season schedule, there could be a chance for them to make a move.

The December schedule features matchups with the New England Patriots, Denver Broncos, Tennessee Titans and New York Giants. Even though three of those four showdowns are on the road, the Colts could easily win each of those games.

That would set the stage for the regular-season finale when the Jacksonville Jaguars come to town for a game that could have playoff seeding implications. The hope for the Colts is that the playoffs are not only in the future plans for the visiting Jaguars.

Season Prediction

Indianapolis was in plenty of games a season ago. The Colts went 6-3 in one-score games and that is something to consider when it comes to the NFL picks.

The key is to pick up some wins early in the season because the schedule becomes much more manageable as the season moves along.

There isn’t a team in the division that the Colts can’t beat. However, the other AFC South teams can also return the favor, especially if the leaky defense doesn’t show signs of growth.

The +110 odds for the Colts to go over 8½ wins during the regular season does offer good value. Tread carefully when it comes to picking the Colts to make it into the playoffs.

The Colts are doing things the right way with some smart draft picks over the last few years. Are all these young players ready to put it all together?



Odds and information are accurate at the time of writing. Please check with official sources for the latest updates before placing any bets.


Questions of the Day

Do the Colts have the toughest schedule in the NFL?

The Colts are showing up around No. 25 when it comes to the rankings of the toughest schedules in 2024.

Which Indianapolis players have the best odds to win NFL individual awards?

Defensive end Laiatu Latu (+550) has the second-shortest NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year odds. Running back Jonathan Taylor is tied for eighth with +2500 odds to win the NFL Offensive Player of the Year award. Receiver Adonai Mitchell is tied for 12th at +3300 in the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year odds.

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