The Indianapolis Colts really deserved better in their first season with Jacoby Brissett at quarterback. Indy started the season 5-2 SU/4-3 ATS but have been decimated by injuries in the second half. They’re now 6-8 and realistically out of hope for making the postseason. At least they’ve got a good opportunity to end a four game losing streak hosting the flatlining Carolina Panthers. Indy has also lost 6 of their last 7 games going 2-4-1 against the spread.
Carolina is already in rebuilding mode and heading into the offseason there’s not much clarity as to what owner David Tepper will do. Ron Rivera is already out and given the team’s performance since his dismissal there’s no reason to think interim head coach Perry Fewell will be back. For that matter, there’s no reason to think that anyone in any phase of the Panthers’ operation on or off the field is ‘safe’ with the possible exception of Christian McCaffrey. There’s no indication right now whether the Panthers will retain quarterback Cam Newton but it is evident that if they don’t they need to find another veteran starting quarterback stat.
The Panthers also got off to a promising start with Kyle Allen taking over for Newton following an 0-2 start to the season. Carolina won four straight and 5 of 6 both SU and ATS but haven’t won since losing 6 straight going 1-4-1 against the number. If they’re showing any interest at winning this season this might be the week to do it since they’ll host the New Orleans Saints next weekend with possible playoff seeding implications. After an embarrassing showing in the first game post Rivera, the Panthers put up a better effort last week losing by 6 to Seattle. The game wasn’t quite as competitive as the final score suggests. Carolina was down 30-10 in the fourth quarter but scored two TDs in the final 5 minutes to make it look respectable and push against the number.
The kneejerk reaction in this game would be to take the better coached Colts to end their losing streak. That’s tough to do given their injury situation. The lack of movement since the open is indicative that the marketplace just doesn’t have the confidence necessary to ‘pull the trigger’ with Indy. The game opened -6.5 and has drifted up to -7 at some books but not exactly a deluge of action on the home team. Colts are on a short week and have played in a lot of close games. 11 of their 14 games this year have been decided by 7 points or less. In a matchup of two struggling teams the points are the play.