The Indianapolis Colts will take the first step in their march back toward playoff contention this weekend, kicking off their NFL exhibition schedule against the Green Bay Packers at the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game as small 1-point underdogs at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
With quarterback Andrew Luck sidelined for the final seven regular-season games, the Colts endured a disappointing 2015 NFL season, struggling to finish with an 8-8 record and missing the postseason for the first time since 2011.
However, Luck is expected to be back under center for Sunday night’s Packers vs. Colts betting matchup at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio, and also could be joined by a number of other Colts regulars in the first of their five preseason contests.
August football has been largely unkind to the Colts in recent years. A 24-14 win over the St. Louis Rams last summer marks the Colts’ only victory in their past nine preseason games, dropping them to a feeble 7-23 in their past 30, including just four wins as the home team.
Indianapolis’ preseason futility includes a pair of losses to Green Bay, most recently blowing a four-point halftime lead to fall 24-21 on its home turf prior to the start of the 2011 NFL season while covering as 8.5-point underdogs, according to the OddsShark NFL Database.
But with Green Bay likely to sit a number of regulars, including star pivot Aaron Rodgers, who is expected to see little, if any, action, opportunity knocks for the Colts.
The Packers also had a rocky 2015 season, picking up SU wins in just four of their final 10 regular-season contests and finishing with a 10-6 record, falling from the top of the NFC North standings for the first time in five years.
Green Bay’s inconsistent play carried over into last season’s NFL playoffs, where the Packers handed the Washington Redskins a 35-18 beating as 2-point underdogs on Wild Card Weekend but were unable to get past the Arizona Cardinals in their NFC divisional playoff matchup. The Packers fell 26-20 to the Cardinals but covered as 7-point underdogs.
Despite failing to live up to expectations as early Super Bowl betting favorites last season, the Packers once again return to action near the top of the Super Bowl LI odds, trailing only the New England Patriots at +850.
The Patriots, who will be without quarterback Tom Brady for the first four weeks of the regular season, lead the way as +600 chalk on the latest Super Bowl odds, while the Colts sit in the middle of the pack alongside the Oakland Raiders and New York Giants at +2500.
Thumbnail photo via Kevin Hoffman/USA TODAY Sports Images
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