One of today’s great pro quarterbacks is calling it a career. Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck announced his retirement from the NFL on Aug. 24, and the abrupt news was felt throughout the football world and at the sportsbooks.
The Colts odds to win the Super Bowl dropped from +1500 to +6000 at FanDuel Sportsbook. Perhaps the biggest move was in the Colts’ season win total, which dropped from 9.5 to 6.5.
At Luck’s press conference, he told reporters that his pro football career is over after a “cycle of injury, pain and rehab.”
Luck, 29, was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 draft out of Stanford. He replaced a legend in Indianapolis, taking over for QB Peyton Manning and becoming an instant star guiding the Colts to three straight 11-5 seasons and the playoffs without missing a start. His 2014 season was his finest, passing for 40 touchdowns and 4,761 yards while leading the Colts to the AFC Championship game.
Injuries then started to mount for Luck, who missed 26 games starting in 2015 including the entire 2017 season due to a shoulder injury. But the four-time Pro Bowler bounced back in a big way in 2018, passing for 39 touchdowns and 4,593 yards to earn AP Comeback Player of the Year honors.
Luck was expected to lead the Colts to another strong season in 2019, and Indianapolis was one of the favorites in the AFC to advance to the Super Bowl.
The Luck impact at sportsbooks
Luck’s announcement to retire from pro football was felt across the sports betting landscape, and books across the country dropped the odds on the Colts sharply. At FanDuel Sportsbook, Indianapolis went from a +110 favorite to win the AFC South to the last place choice at +700 odds. The Colts’ odds to win the AFC and Super Bowl dropped sharply.
But the season win total dropping from 9.5 to 6.5 signifies the stark dropoff from Andrew Luck to backup Jacoby Brissett.
Indy’s Week 1 contest at the Los Angeles Chargers also saw significant movement at the sportsbooks, going from the Chargers -4 to now -7 (-120) FanDuel, with the total dropping to 45.
Perhaps it’s an overreaction and the sportsbooks anticipated the betting action would be one-sided, but there is no denying the Colts fortunes for a most successful season and potential run to the Super Bowl took a drastic hit with Luck’s retirement.
Still, if the NFL is the ultimate team sport, the Colts should be fine as the offensive line is stronger and QB Jacoby Brissett is much improved from his rough season in 2017 replacing Luck. Indianapolis’ offensive line is rated No. 5 by Pro Football Focus entering the 2019 season, and the group receives especially high run blocking grades.
The Colts offense averaged 381 yards per game last year to rank seventh in the league during a 10-win regular season led by Luck. The running game was near league-average at 111 rushing yards per game, but will be improved with a stronger offensive line and now more running and mobility from Brissett. The Colts averaged 25.4 rushing attempts per game and 4.4 yards per rush last year, both near league average, and those numbers likely also rise this season to offset the potential passing production dropoff from Luck to Brissett.
So before making your bets against the Colts with the reaction to Andrew Luck’s retirement, realize there may be some value in some of the movement, especially in the Week 1 line which is also at Colts +7.5 at some locations like DraftKings Sportsbook. The Colts futures odds did not drop as much at DraftKings, which has the Colts Super Bowl odds at +5000 and odds to win the AFC South at +550. The Houston Texans (+125) are now taking a majority of the bets to win the AFC South at DraftKings, followed by the Jacksonville Jaguars (+230) and Tennessee Titans (+400).
Colts refunds and freerolls offered by DraftKings and PointsBet
Along with a risk-free bet of up to $200, DraftKings Sportsbook is also offering a deposit bonus up to $500 for a first-time customer deposit. For existing futures bets on the Colts including Andrew Luck for Most Valuable Player, DraftKings Sportsbook will honor those bets and they will stand as placed. DraftKings Sportsbook is providing customers with DraftKings dollars to match their futures bets.
PointsBet Sportsbook, meanwhile, is offering a Good Karma refund on Colts bets to win the Super Bowl, AFC and Luck MVP. All of those bets will be refunded with no action. PointsBet adjusted the Colts Super Bowl odds to +5000, division odds to +600 and made the biggest drop in season win total to 6 wins (Under -120).