The hearts of Indianapolis Colts fans could be heard getting crushed across the country Saturday night as sports betting articles of franchise QB Andrew Luck suddenly announced his retirement from the NFL.
Luck, who was dealing with an injured ankle and had missed the entire 2017 season recovering from surgery on his shoulder, stunned NFL fans and sent sportsbooks back to work on the Colts’ odds for the upcoming season.
Indianapolis was a 3-point road underdog facing the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 1 – just two weeks away. But after news of Luck’s retirement, the spread and total were pulled from the betting boards and reposted later, with the Colts getting a touchdown versus the Chargers. The total would soon follow, cut down from 47.5 to 45 points.
The Week 1 line isn’t the only adjustment to Indy’s odds, with the Colts season win total dropping from 9.5 to as low as 6.5 at some books. Indianapolis futures for the AFC South slid from +125 to +400 while the Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars assumed co-favorite roles to win the division.
The Colts’ Super Bowl odds as well as odds to win the AFC Championship took a hit as well. Indianapolis was a favorite live underdog this offseason, moving from 10/1 to 30/1 to claim the conference title and spiraling from 20/1 to 60/1 to capture the Super Bowl title.
On top of the team’s futures, Luck was one of the front runners to win 2019 NFL MVP. He hit the board at 8/1 and was sitting at 10/1 before news broke Saturday. Luck was also among the favorites to top the NFL in passing yards, priced out at +350 – tied with reigning MVP Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs and 2016 MVP Matt Ryan of the Atlanta Falcons.
Backup Jacoby Brissett will jump into the starting role for the Colts, the same job he took over in 2017 when Luck was sidelined for the entire season and the team finished 4-12 on the year. Brissett was a far cry from the former No. 1 overall draft pick that season, passing for almost 3,100 yards on a completion percentage a shade below 59 percent. He totaled 13 passing touchdowns to seven interceptions and rushed for an additional 260 yards and four scores on the ground.
Indianapolis does have a solid base around Brissett, who has played well during the NFL preseason but was held out of Saturday’s exhibition contest with the Chicago Bears after Luck informed the team of his retirement. Receivers TY Hilton, Devin Funchess, and tight end Eric Ebron provide capable targets and running back Marlon Mack had a breakout 2018 before being slowed by injuries.