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Colts win prediction at 8.5. Are you team over or under?

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By: Jon Spradley

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Winners of nine last season, Vegas sees the Colts staying put in the win column.

The Indianapolis Colts achieved more than most thought possible in 2023. Coming off a 4-12-1 season with rookies at the quarterback and coaching position, it was going to be an uphill battle. Fans were certainly thrilled, however, when they witnessed a quarterback in Anthony Richardson who was more polished than touted and a head coach who was more than capable of steering their team to victory. Although the projected win total increased from last year, the expectations from Vegas show a carry over as the Colts are seen as an eight or nine win team.

Seeing the team take a step forward and with a healthy Richardson waiting in the wings, that win total seems disappointing at first blush. The Colts return virtually the same club, have the seventh easiest strength of schedule, and hope to have healthy playmakers back to form. That alone seems like it could add at least one win if not several more. The question that lingers over the team is whether they overachieved in 2023 and are set for stagnation or even a backslide.

Chris Ballard didn’t go all in this offseason like many hoped he would. I personally thought this might the year he would let his hair down. (While he let it grow out physically, I wouldn’t say he figuratively let it down…) He played this year like every other: conservatively and close to the vest. Is he simply sticking to his old ways, or does he believe the Colts aren’t as close to taking that next step as it appears? The Colts got a lot out of Gardner Minshew. What looked like a lost season turned into something unexpectedly enjoyable. Was it a fluke? Was he a product of the system? Luck? I put faith in the fact that Richardson is a major upgrade over Minshew, but he is also young and missed the majority of his rookie year. I am not ready to anoint him as the savior for the 2024 season just yet.

That brings us back to the win total of 8.5. I think Vegas nailed it, and I am not sure I would feel overly confident betting on it. Anthony Richardson is a wildcard. I have no clue what he is going to look like this year. Will he even play a whole season? Until I see more from him, I won’t be touching this win total. “Oh, don’t cop out. Just make a prediction already,” you say? Ok. If you insist. I think the Colts will just miss out on the over as I see eight wins in their future. I hope I am wrong though…

Originally posted on Stampede Blue – All Posts