The 2021 NFL season will feature a new wrinkle: 17 games.
Fans are used to 17 weeks. But 17 games? That’s something new.
The decision to add an additional game to the NFL season will not only impact team revenue; it is also a major shift for NFL bettors.
One of the markets that will feel the change most immediately is win total bets.
Indiana sportsbooks have set the win total at 10 for the Indianapolis Colts.
That double-digit total will mean less in 2021 than ever before, but it will still likely be a good indicator of a playoff berth.
Can the Colts reach that total with a new quarterback and a favorable pre-season strength-of-schedule?
The team’s division could say as much about that answer as Wentz.
AFC South up for grabs, features likely Colts wins
The Colts 10-game total is the highest in the AFC South on DraftKings Sportsbook:
- Colts: Over 10: +110; Under 10: -134
- Titans: Over 9.5: +123; Under 9.5: -150
- Jaguars: Over 6.5: +100; Under 6.5: -121
- Texans: Over 4.5: -110; Under 4.5: -110
But that top-ranked position doesn’t mean the Colts don’t have some loose ends to tie up heading into the season.
In fact, the odds on their total, ranging from +115 on the over at PointsBet to -110 on William Hill, prove that fact.
The Colts play in a questionable division.
Jaguars have hot new talent
The Jaguars, for example, enter 2021 as one of the NFL’s most interesting, yet unpredictable teams.
The team gains a legendary college coach in Urban Meyer and will likely draft the number-one overall pick in Trevor Lawrence. The future is bright in Jacksonville, but 2021 remains a question-mark after last season’s 1-15 campaign.
Houston quarterback embroiled in controversy
The uncertainty is even more pronounced in Houston, who have a quarterback that not only wants to leave the Texans, but is also facing one of the most serious sexual assault investigations in sports history.
With the Watson controversy, a new coach, and the departure of J.J. Watt, the upcoming season is full of doubts for Texans fans.
Titans trying to build on last season’s momentum
Meanwhile, the Colts’ biggest competition, the reigning division champion Tennessee Titans, face questions of their own.
Can quarterback Ryan Tannehill continue his Tennessee resurgence? Can Derrick Henry come close to replicating his 2K rushing season?
Both of those need to be answered with a resounding yes for the Titans to hit double-digit victories and repeat as AFC South winners.
The good news for the Colts is that each question posed about division competitors gets the team one step closer to another win in a division that has long been ranked among the league’s weakest.
But a failure on the Colts part to iron out its own uncertainties will likely mean easy money for under bettors.
Plenty of other betting opportunities
The win-total over/under isn’t the only possible bet to emerge on the Indianapolis Colts.
A bevy of others have arrived during the NFL’s always-busy off-season. Some potential wagers depend on the Colts having a magical season, others center on next week’s NFL Draft.
Let’s take a look at some other possible bets on the Colts at DraftKings:
- To make playoffs: Yes: -225; No: +180
- Win AFC South: +100
- Win AFC: +1200
- Win Super Bowl: +2500
- Wentz to win MVP: +3300
Still, the season isn’t where most fans’ minds reside right now.
The large majority of attention, betting and otherwise, is currently on the NFL Draft, which starts with the first round on April 29.
That night could be a big one for Colts bettors.
For example, bettors can choose which position the Colts will draft with the 21st pick:
- Offensive lineman: +120
- Defensive lineman: +300
- Cornerback: +500
- Wide receiver: +600
- Linebacker: +800
Bettors can also choose whether the pick will be an offensive player (-137) or defensive one (+111).
For what it’s worth, Mel Kiper’s latest mock draft has the Colts bolstering its pass rush with defensive end Jaelan Phillips, out of the University of Miami.
Others have pointed to the possibility of a trade, something that would drastically turn the tables.
If nothing else, it all proves how excitingly unpredictable the NFL Draft will be, just like next season’s Indianapolis Colts and the competition in the AFC South.