When the Panthers and Colts meet at Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday, we’ll see a lot of changes among both of the teams. Both teams have changed starting quarterbacks among the numerous changes made in the offseason. The Colts are looking at making a long playoff run, while the Panthers are still rebuilding under second-year head coach Matt Rhule. Let’s take a closer look at both teams and how they arrived to this match so you can bet against the NFL Preseason odds.
NFL Betting Preview for Carolina Panthers vs Indianapolis Colt On Aug. 15th
Rhule’s Panthers finished 5-11 last season. The biggest change made in the offseason by the Panthers was the acquisition of Sam Darnold from the New York Jets. Rhule is hoping that the third overall selection in the 2018 draft needed a change of scenery and will play up to his true potential. Darnold should have some much-needed help in the backfield this season as Christian McCaffrey should be healthy to start the 2021 campaign. When McCaffrey is healthy, he is one of the top running backs in the league. He can not only run with the football, but he’s also lethal catching passes out of the backfield.
Robby Anderson and DJ Moore make up a formidable receiving duo. If the Carolina offensive line can make some improvements, and Darnold plays well, this could be a very good offense. If they have to deal with injuries again this season, the Panthers could be looking at another high draft pick.
Defensively, the Panther should be in pretty good shape. Derrick Brown and Brian Burns lead the defensive line. These two, along with free-agent signee Haason Reddick, can get to the quarterback. The linebacking corps is steady, while the secondary is young, but an up-and-coming group.
Carson Wentz was brought in from the Philadelphia Eagles to replace the retired Phillip Rivers. Wentz is currently out after having foot surgery, but it’s being reported that he could be ready for the start of the regular season. Since Wentz won’t be playing on Sunday, get ready to see a lot of rookie Sam Ehlinger, along with second-year quarterback Jacob Eason.
General Manager Chris Ballard has built one of the top offensive lines in the NFL. They’ll be ready to protect Wentz to give him time to throw to a very formidable group of wide receivers. Jonathan Taylor had a great rookie season running the ball. He’ll be backed up by Nyheim Hines.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Colts had one of the top defenses in the league last season. DeForest Buckner will lead a stout defensive line. Indianapolis drafted a lot of defensive linemen in the draft to help keep some of their starters fresh. Stud linebacker Darius Leonard just signed a huge extension, and they return their core group of secondary players from last season.
If all goes to plan, the Colts should be in the thick of the playoff race and could make a Super Bowl run.
The Colts come into this one as a 1.5 point favorite. This is probably due to them playing at home. We’ll see how Ehlinger and Eason handle the quarterback duties, as these two are fighting it out for the backup position. We’re going to go with the Panthers in this one, as the Colts can’t afford to lose any more players to injury, and will probably go most of the way with the backups.