Panthers vs. Colts Point Spread: NFL Pre-Season Week 1 Odds, Prediction

Nik Kowalski | Updated Aug 12, 2021

nfl-sam-darnold-panthers

Both the Carolina Panthers and Indianapolis Colts are beginning a new chapter when they hit the field Sunday, and it’s one they have in common.

Carolina
5-12
AT
August 15, 2021, 1:00 PM ET
Lucas Oil Stadium
Pointspread +3 -111
Moneyline +142
Over / Under o +33
Pointspread -3 -109
Moneyline -171
Over / Under u +33

Each club is entering 2021–22 with a different starting quarterback who they traded for in the off-season. The Panthers acquired Sam Darnold from New York, while Indianapolis pulled the trigger on Carson Wentz.

Darnold will likely suit up for Carolina in Indy, but Wentz will be sidelined after undergoing foot surgery just days into training camp. It’s now sparked a quarterback competition for the Colts.

Kickoff at Lucas Oil Stadium is set for 1 p.m. EST on Sunday.

NFL Point Spread and Betting Analysis

If you’re leaning toward the Panthers Sunday, whether your confidence is heightened or lessened after looking at trends depends on which lens you decide to look through.

On one hand, Carolina’s covered in seven straight road games and have beaten the Colts in six of their last eight meetings. On the other, Carolina’s covered just once in their last five games against Indianapolis and ended 2020–21 winning two of their last nine.

The Colts are -1.5 with the over-under at 34, according to oddsmakers. Carolina’s win-loss total for 2021–22 is set at 7.5, and Indianapolis’ 8.5.

Carolina Panthers

As a third overall pick in the 2018 draft, a change of scenery could be exactly what Darnold needs. Darnold threw just nine touchdowns in 12 starts a year ago, and put up a career-low 2,208 passing yards to go with 11 interceptions. Darnold will have a nice cast of talent around too, as running back Christian McCaffrey is back alongside receivers Robby Anderson, D.J. Moore, and 2021 second-round pick Terrace Marshall Jr.

On defence, Carolina picked up edge defender Haason Reddick in free agency and drafted cornerback Jaycee Horn eighth overall. Both should start in a young defence that features up and coming stars defensive end Brian Burns and free safety Jeremy Chinn.

Indianapolis Colts

Quarterback is the focus for Indianapolis all pre-season. Without Wentz, it’s a full on battle between sophomore pivot Jacob Eason and 2021 sixth-round pick Sam Ehlinger. Eason will start Sunday, with Ehlinger also seeing time under centre. Both have virtually no NFL experience combined.

Instead, the Colts may lean on their ground game which is led by breakout rookie Jonathan Taylor, along with Marlon Mack and Nyheim Hines to compliment Taylor’s workload. It may take a bit of time to pile up the rushing yards though as left tackle Eric Fisher, left guard Quenton Nelson, and centre Ryan Kelly are all battling injuries at the moment.

NFL Prediction: Who Will Win Panthers vs. Colts?

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