The Indianapolis Colts begin a road trip by heading to North Carolina to take on the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium. These two teams met four years ago in Indianapolis with the Colts crushing the Panthers with a score of 38-6. DraftKings Sportsbook anticipates a much closer contest than that, however, by opening the spread with the Colts as 2.5-point favorites.
The Colts currently sit at -142 on the money line with the over/under at 45.5.
The Colts are coming off another disappointing performance at home in which their defense was absolutely torched by the New Orleans Saints. The defensive backs were continuous beaten on big plays all day, and if the ball didn’t bounce off the helmet of a Saints’ receiver, the outcome would have been even worse. Unfortunately, the offense had some of their own struggles, although it was an upgrade from the defensive side. Jonathan Taylor was running the ball with authority early on, but then barely got it after that. Instead, Gardner Minshew threw 41 times for only 213 yards. The 10-point lead the Colts had evaporated into an 11-point loss.
Meanwhile, the Panthers claimed their first victory of the season over the Houston Texans by converting a field goal with time expiring. It was a battle of the 2023 first and second draft picks with the victory and better overall day going to Bryce Young. Young continued to take sacks, six to be exact, but he had 235 yards through the air with a 103.8 passer rating. It was a low scoring affair with both defenses keeping their teams in it. The lead changed hands several times, but a final drive allowed the Panthers to win their first game with Frank Reich at the controls.
Both the Colts and the Panthers have struggled so far in 2023. One team is navigating life with a rookie quarterback while the other is trying to navigate without theirs. The winner of this one could start some positive momentum and possibly salvage a disaster of a season. The other will be looking up their draft position in 2024.