Andrew Luck's Retirement Altered AFC South Odds

On August 24th, Luck made an announcement that instantly changed the NFL landscape

Keith Allison, Flickr
  • Before Andrew Luck's retirement news broke, the Colts were +1500 to win the Super Bowl (per DraftKings). Now they are +5000. 
  • Before the news, they were +700 to win the AFC. Now they are +2500
  • Before the news, they were +100 to win the AFC South division. Now they are +550 while the Texans (+125), Jaguars (+230) and Titans (+400) all have better odds than them.
  • Luck went 24-7 against AFC South opponents. Now, the future is very unclear in Indy.

In quite possibly the most shocking sports retirement since Michael Jordan, 29-year-old superstar quarterback Andrew Luck informed the Indianapolis Colts and the entire sports world that he was stepping away from the game of football. 

After suffering multiple injuries and experiencing the rigors of rehabilitating all of them in recent years, the Stanford grad, four-time Pro Bowler and 2018 Comeback Player of the Year decided to walk away now, due to his waning interest in taking a physical beating to play the sport he was once passionate about.

The Sudden Void 

Projected to be AFC South favorites and Super Bowl contenders with Luck at the helm, the Colts now find themselves in the hands of Jacoby Brissett, who watched from the sidelines as Luck guided Indy to a 10-6 record and into the playoffs last season. The previous year, Brissett went 4-11 as the Colts starter (the team went 4-12 overall) while Luck was injured. 

As you might expect, the Colts’ odds shifted dramatically as a result of the shocking announcement.

Per DraftKings:

  • Before the news, the Colts were +1500 to win the Super Bowl. Now they are +5000. 
  • Before the news, they were +700 to win the AFC. Now they are +2500. 
  • Before the news, they were +100 to win the AFC South division. Now they are +550 while the Texans (+125), Jaguars (+230) and Titans (+400) all have better odds than them.

In other words, but only was Luck’s retirement a shock to the entire NFL community and Colts fans, but it might have shifted the course of the entire league for the upcoming season. 

What To Expect Now

With skilled receivers like T.Y. Hilton, Devin Funchess and Eric Ebron to throw to, a revitalized offensive line, multi-dimensional running back group and a new offensive system under second-year coach Frank Reich, it seems as though Brissett can take over and produce.

After all, he’s recognized as one of the few starter-quality backups that exist in the NFL. 

Although, an emphasis on the running game night now become more of a reality for Indianapolis’ offense. 

Last season, the Colts were a pass-heavy team with Luck under center, throwing the ball 61.6 percent of the time (9th-highest in NFL). With Brissett at the helm the year before, they threw the ball 54.6 percent of the time (27th-highest in NFL).

Although there’s a new coaching staff in place now, there’s reason to believe that the crowded backfield that currently includes Marlon Mack, Nyheim Hines, Jordan Wilkins and Charcandrick West (along with the injured Jonathan Williams) could become one of the most-utilized backfield groups in the NFL. 

Most of all, from a psychological standpoint, it remains to be seen whether or not the Colts will be able to move forward from losing the face of their franchise. As seen repeatedly in the past, that's not exactly an easy thing to do. 

AFC South Impact

The fact that the Colts now have worse odds than each of their AFC South opponents to win the division makes sense, as Luck went a combined 24-7 against them in 31 career regular-season starts.

  • Luck was 6-4 in 10 career starts against the Texans and threw for 2,776 yards with 23 touchdowns and seven interceptions against them (91.9 rating). 
  • In 10 career games against the Jaguars, Luck was 7-3 and threw for 2,790 yards with 17 touchdowns and seven interceptions (93.9 rating).
  • In 11 starts against the Titans in his career, Luck was 11-0 with 2,935 yards passing, 21 touchdowns and nine interceptions (98.4 rating). 

The Colts have one more preseason game to use as a dress rehearsal before heading west to take on the San Diego Chargers on the road in Week 1. As of Sunday afternoon, there was already a four-point swing on the spread as a result of the news.

To check out the line movement of every Week 1 NFL game, CLICK HERE!  

Luck is a role model, a superstar on and off the field and should be remembered and admired for his toughness, production and the joy that he brought to the faces of practically everyone that he came across in the league.

The reactions of the Colts organization, his fellow and former teammates, opposing players, members of the media and respectful Colts fans convey all you need to know about Andrew Luck the man more than Andrew Luck the football player.

That's really all that it's about, isn't it?