Andrew Luck threw the football-loving world for a loop Saturday night with news of his plans to retire from the NFL. Many fans were sad to see him go. Many more have bashed him for quitting on his teammates so close to the start of the regular season.
Regardless of how anyone feels, he doesn’t feel like playing anymore—so he isn’t.
The news had the expected impact on sportsbooks. They were forced to get all wagers involving the Colts offline before opportunistic gamblers could take advantage of them. Most, if not all, have since adjusted their odds on the Colts and reposted them.
While they are still a good team, one thing is for sure—they are not Super Bowl contenders anymore; at least not in the sense that they are one of the teams favored to win. They have gone from being in the top five to having relatively long odds at +5000 (at DraftKings).
Using conventional wisdom, that would mean they are no longer a good bet, and they aren’t. But does that mean you shouldn’t put any money on them? Not at all. They may no longer be favored to win the Super Bowl, the AFC, or the AFC South. But they are a great dark horse candidate to do all three.
Their odds (via DraftKings) to do so are as follows:
- AFC South +500
- AFC +2500
- Super Bowl +5000
The Texans are the understandable favorite, but they also just lost their starting running back. Hopes are high for Jacksonville, but we still have no idea what the offense is going to look like. While Tennessee has a solid defense, it remains to be seen if Marcus Mariota is the right man to lead the offense.
As for the Colts– yes, the Colts lost an incredible quarterback. But Jacoby Brissett has done well for the Colts in the past. If he can’t, Chad Kelly has looked promising during the preseason.
The offensive line should be just as reliable as it was last year. Marlon Mack is a decent running back; the Colts running back platoon of Mack, Jordan Wilkins, and Nyheim Hines was very productive last season. They also have a good pair of tight ends in Eric Ebron and Jack Doyle not to mention T.Y. Hilton and Devin Funchess at receiver.
Offensively, they are going to be fine; they will not be as good as they could be if Luck were playing, but fine, nonetheless. Losing Luck shouldn’t impact the defense at all. Will they be good enough to win the division?
Probably not, but they will have an honest shot at it, and at +500 odds, the payout is worth the risk. But if you really want to put money down on the Colts, the better bet would be for them to win a wild card spot (+1000).
There are going to be learning pains for the offense as they adjust to their new starting quarterback. They will lose a few games early on that they may not lose later in the season. But if they can progress as the season goes on, like last year, they could make a similar run and win a wild card spot once again.
Once they are in—anything can happen. Will they win the AFC or the Super Bowl? Probably not, but at those odds, you will not have to risk much for the chance to enjoy an incredible payout if they do.