Colts Given Best Chance Among All NFL Teams to Go Over Win Total in 2020


Indianapolis Colts defense

The projected win total for the Indianapolis Colts for the 2020 NFL season is 8.5 but the NFL Win Probability Calculation gives them a 67.4% chance of going over that total. Photo by @StampedeBlue (Twitter.com).

  • The Indianapolis Colts are assigned a win total of 8.5 for the 2020 NFL season
  • Our NFL Win Probability Calculation gives them an NFL-best 67.4% chance of going ‘Over’ that total
  • Analysis of whether the Colts can exceed their projected 2020 win totals based upon this new analytic follows in the story below

Among the 32 NFL teams, certainly, the Indianapolis Colts were one of the squads that underwent some significant renovations during the offseason. Will it be a net win for them?

The Colts added a Pro Bowl-worthy quarterback in veteran Philip Rivers. They acquired defensive tackle DeForest Buckner, a starter for the NFC champion San Francisco 49ers. Indy selected Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor in the NFL Draft.

Still, oddsmakers are only pegging the win total for the Colts during the upcoming 2020 NFL season at 8.5.

Indianapolis Colts 2020 NFL Regular Season Win Total Odds

Total Over Odds Under Odds at FanDuel
8.5 -160 +135

Odds taken Aug. 5th. Team must play all 16 games for there to be action.

If that number seems low, there’s a reason for that.

Actually, there’s a litany of reasons why oddsmakers look to be selling the Colts short. And they’re all outlined in SBD’s Win Prob Calculation (WPC). A creation derived by SDB Editor in Chief Matt McEwan, the WPC assesses that the Colts are most likely to finish 9-7.

That outcome is given a 20.27% chance of coming to fruition. Indy has a 19.75% chance to go 10-6.

Indy’s Brief Downturn

Sideswiped on the eve of the 2019 season when quarterback Andrew Luck abruptly announced his retirement, the Colts really never completely recovered. Indy went 7-9, the club’s second losing campaign in three years. Both came with Jacoby Brissett under center as the starting QB.

It started out well. Indy was 5-2 seven games into the season, including a road victories over the eventual Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs, and the AFC Championship Game finalists the Tennessee Titans. However, the early promise was scuttled by a rash of serious injuries to key skill players such as Brissett, running back Marlon Mack, wide receiver TY Hilton and tight end Eric Ebron.

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Colts Offense Gets Upgrades

Right away, the move to add 17-season veteran Rivers to helm the offense is raising the possibilities of what the Colts might accomplish this season. Rivers’ career passer rating of 95.1 is 10th-best all-time among NFL quarterbacks with at least 1,500 passing attempts.

He also ranks sixth all-time in NFL history in both passing yards (59,271) and touchdowns (397). Consistency is a big part of what defines Rivers. He’s started every game since the beginning of the 2006 season. His 224 consecutive starts at QB are second in NFL history behind only Brett Favre (297).

Beyond Rivers, Indy beefed up its offense at other skill positions via the NFL Draft. With two second-round picks, the Colts added USC wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr and Badgers RB Taylor.

Coupled with Mack, a 1,000-yard rusher last season, and Hilton, who’s gone for over 1,000 yards in receptions in four of the past five seasons, it gives the team vital depth at positions where injuries are likely.

Rivers also works behind perhaps the NFL’s best offensive line, led by Pro Bowl guard Quinton Nelson.

Defensive Deference

The addition of Buckner provides Indianapolis with a dominant presence in the interior of the team’s defensive line. Last season, FootballOutsiders.com ranked the Colts defensive line as 21st-best against the pass and 15th overall at stopping the run.

Buckner was named to the Second-Team All-Pro last season. He was a Pro Bowler in 2018. His ability to disrupt in the middle should also enable more freedom for Pro Bowl linebacker Darius Leonard to make plays.

Improvement Seems Likely

Two years ago, Rivers helped the Los Angeles Chargers to a 12-4 record and a postseason appearance. His arrival could offer a similar impact to Luck’s 2018 return after shoulder surgery cost him the 2017 campaign. Indy jumped from 4-12 to 10-6.

Factor in how much better Buckner makes the Indy defense. The AFC South is a division that annually seems to be in flux. Over the past three seasons, all four teams have made the playoffs at least once. Two of them went to the AFC Championship Game.

In that environment, 9-7 certainly seems attainable. Jumping to 10-6 isn’t out of the question.

Pick: Over 8.5 wins (-160)

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Robert Duff

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