On Sunday (11/5/23), the Indianapolis Colts face the Carolina Panthers in a fascinating interconference matchup. In this article, find the latest betting odds for the game and a full preview of the matchup. Get Colts Vs. Panthers predictions as well as our best bet which is the Panthers +2.5.
Indianapolis Colts Vs. Carolina Panthers Prediction
The Panthers finally got off the mat with their first win of the season last week, and the team looked much improved coming out of the bye week. Head coach Frank Reich passed play calling duties to offensive coordinator Thomas Brown, and we saw a different Bryce Young as he set career highs with a 103.6 passer rating and 7.6 yards per attempt.
The offense utilized much more pre snap motion and unique alignments, and Young looked very comfortable. It didn’t hurt that starting guard Austin Corbett also returned to the lineup. I believe Young can continue to build on that success here against a Colts defense ranked bottom 12 in pass defense DVOA and EPA.
This would have been a fascinating matchup between rookie quarterbacks, but Anthony Richardson’s season-ending shoulder injury has made way for veteran Gardner Minshew as the starter. I have no interest in backing Minshew as a road favorite, especially against defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero, who is one of the most underrated coaches in the league.
I especially expect Minshew to struggle against a defense that ranks 11th in blitz rate – he is the second-worst quarterback against the blitz per PFF. The Panthers are dealing with a ton of injuries on defense at the moment, but Evero will have a strong game plan for Minshew, and the Panthers are above average in pass defense DVOA.
I believe the market rating is off on the Panthers after a slow start to the year, and it’s fitting of a Frank Reich team after he consistently started slow in Indianapolis. The Panthers will be a play on team for me moving forward. I’d love to get a +3 on Carolina here, but I believe they will win this game outright, so I have no problem with getting them as an underdog at +2.5.
Indianapolis Colts Vs. Carolina Panthers Prediction: Panthers +2.5
Indianapolis Colts Vs. Carolina Panthers Best Odds
The spread for this game actually opened with the Panthers as 2.5-point favorites, but action hit the Colts hard and pushed it all the way to Indianapolis -2.5. The market seems to have hit a stopping point here, and it’s unlikely that we hit -3 for the Colts. That would be a very key number. The over/under sits at 44 points at the moment.
Indianapolis Colts Vs. Carolina Panthers Key Injuries
The Colts will be without two key players this week as offensive tackle Braden Smith and cornerback Julius Brents have been ruled out. Of course, quarterback Anthony Richardson is out for the year with a shoulder injury. Carolina, meanwhile, remains without three of their best defensive players in linebacker Shaq Green-Thompson, safety Jeremy Chinn, and cornerback Jaycee Horn.
Indianapolis Colts Vs. Carolina Panthers Key Matchups
The Colts and Panthers might not be pushing for playoff spots in their respective conferences, but they still feature intriguing players who are worth monitoring in this game. Let’s break down some of the key matchups in this interconference bout.
Bryce Young Vs. Colts’ Pass Defense
It felt like everyone gave up on Bryce Young after the first few games of the season, and it didn’t hurt that C.J. Stroud was dealing in Houston. However, Young looked far more like his Alabama self last week and I’m hoping to see that progress continue this week. One area of improvement for Young will be avoiding sacks as he took six last week.
However, the Colts don’t figure to offer a huge challenge in terms of the pass rush. Indianapolis sacks at the lowest rate in the NFL and ranks 21st in pressure rate. With time in the pocket, Young can carve up a secondary that ranks 26th in PFF’s team coverage grades and has relied on multiple late round picks and undrafted free agents.
Jonathan Taylor Vs. Panthers’ Run Defense
If there’s one area where the Colts should excel in this game, it’s with their run game. Jonathan Taylor’s health has continued to trend up after he missed games earlier in the season. In the last two weeks, he has finished with a combined 30 carries for 170 yards. Taylor is averaged 6.17 yards after contact last week and forced four missed tackles per PFF.
The Panthers have struggled to defend the run all season, ranking dead last in DVOA and EPA in run defense. Injuries to linebacker Shaq Green-Thompson and safety Jeremy Chinn haven’t helped matters, and the Colts will be much more equipped to attack that weakness than the Texans were last week.