Colts vs Panthers Predictions & Best Bets

Last Updated: Nov 2, 2023

The Indianapolis Colts vs the Carolina Panthers was supposed to be a battle between two rookie quarterbacks selected in the top five of this year’s NFL Draft.

Sadly, Anthony Richardson suffered a season-ending shoulder injury that required surgery, taking some excitement out of the game.

Still, Carolina head coach Frank Reich will face his former employer, the game’s spread is slight, and the total is high enough for this to turn into a shootout if it goes over.

Colts vs Panthers Odds

NFL odds used for this Indianapolis vs Carolina preview were found at Caesars Sportsbook and are current as of November 1 at 10:30 p.m. ET.

  • Moneyline: Colts (-140) • Panthers (+118)
  • Spread: Colts -2.5 (-115) • Panthers +2.5 (-105)
  • Total Points: Over 44 (-110) • Under 44 (-110)
  • Implied Score: Colts 23.25, Panthers 20.75

Colts vs Panthers Predictions

Score Pick: Colts 24, Panthers 20

The Colts have frequently played in shootouts this year. Conversely, the Panthers have had only two games that bested 40 total points, both blowout losses.

The Colts average a robust 25.6 points per game, with a median of 23 this year. Carolina averages only 18.1 points per game, with a median of 17.

The differences also apply to the defenses, with the Colts permitting 28.6 points per game and tallying a median of 30. The Panthers have allowed 28.4 points, but their median of 24 is less damning.

Ultimately, styles make fights, and Indianapolis’ preference to lean on the run and Carolina’s susceptibility to get gashed on the ground should allow the Colts to move the ball and score points.

Yet the Panthers had a pass-leaning offense in their first game off of the bye, which was offensive coordinator Thomas Brown’s first game calling plays.

Fortunately for Carolina, the Colts are more beatable through the air than on the ground. Since Week 5, the Colts have allowed 234.5 passing yards per game, so the Panthers can enjoy some offensive success.

The projected final score is influenced by Indy’s and Carolina’s scoring averages and medians, finding a happy medium. Furthermore, the Colts are 4-4 against the spread (ATS), with their games going over six times in eight contests this season.

The Panthers are 1-5-1 ATS, and their totals have gone under four times. This projected score would align with Carolina’s inability to cover spreads this year.

Colts vs Panthers Best Bets & Props

Jonathan Taylor Over 64.5 Rushing Yards (-133)

Caesars Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 unit

Jonathan Taylor began the year on injured reserve and was eased into a modest workload in his season debut in Week 5.

According to Pro Football Reference, his offensive snap share opened at 15% and gradually climbed to 61% last week.

Taylor’s production has risen as his playing time has, increasing to 75 rushing yards on 18 attempts in Week 7 and 95 on 12 in Week 8. Indy’s explosive running back should smash in a Charmin-soft matchup.

Per The 33rd Team, the Panthers have coughed up 136 rushing yards per game and 5.3 yards per carry to running backs since Week 4. It’s an eruption spot for Taylor, so this is the NFL bet of the day.

Adam Thielen Over 68.5 Receiving Yards (-119)

Caesars Sportsbook • WAGER: 0.5 units

Adam Thielen has gulped from the fountain of youth, taking his move to the slot for the Panthers like a fish to water.

According to The 33rd Team, Thielen’s 74.8% slot rate this year is 14.5% higher than his previous career-high mark.

Thielen has responded to the move by pacing the Panthers in targets (70), receptions per game (8.1), and receiving yards per game (83.0). The veteran wideout has bested 68.5 receiving yards five times this year, with a median of 76.

Finally, the Colts have allowed seven wide receivers to eclipse 68.5 receiving yards this year. Thus, the matchup is a plus for Thielen’s receiving yardage potential.

Bryce Young Over 229.5 Passing Yards (-117)

Caesars Sportsbook • WAGER: 0.5 units

According to RotoViz’s pace app, the Panthers passed on 58% of their 60 plays in a neutral game script in Brown’s first game as the club’s play-caller last week.

Bryce Young rewarded his new play-caller by setting new highs for quarterback rating (103.6) and adjusted net yards per pass attempt (5.41).

The rookie quarterback had over 229.5 passing yards for the second time in his last three games, passing for 235 in Week 8 and 247 in Week 5. Not all players develop linearly, but it makes sense Young has played better lately than in his first few games as a professional.

Young can build on his career-best effort in a plus matchup. The Colts have held only two opponents to fewer than 229.5 passing yards this year, and the median outcome against them was 310 passing yards by Derek Carr.

Additionally, the Colts were carved up by the other rookie quarterback they faced this season. In Week 2, C.J. Stroud passed for 384 yards.

Colts vs Panthers Same-Game Parlay

Colts vs Panthers SGP (+131)

Caesars Sportsbook • WAGER: 0.5 units

  • Bryce Young 200+ passing yards (-350)
  • Adam Thielen 50+ receiving yards (-400)
  • Jonathan Taylor 50+ rushing yards (-250)

The suggested three-leg same-game parlay (SGP) has three correlated overs. However, instead of taking the lines for singles above, these are lower alternative lines.

Individually, -400, -350, and -250 lines are chalky, but a +131 line for parlaying them is palatable and gives gamblers wiggle room relative to the posted lines for singles at Caesars Sportsbook.

And, again, the legs are correlated. The Colts have run frequently in neutral game scripts lately and would be incentivized to milk the clock if they lead. Meanwhile, the Panthers must pass if they’re in a negative game script and trailing.

So a good game script for Taylor’s rushing potential is ideal for Young’s passing outlook and Thielen’s receiving production. Finally, Thielen’s receiving production directly correlates to Young’s passing yards.


Josh Shepardson

Josh is a fantasy gamer of roughly 20 years and a fantasy pundit for more than 10 years. He's experienced in numerous season-long baseball and football league types and a daily fantasy sports grinder, too. Additionally, Josh is a recreational gambler who has a soft spot for futures and prop bets. He studied and completed his Bachelor's degree in Sport Management at the State University of New York at Cortland, and he remains in Central New York, residing in Auburn.

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