- Andrew Luck’s retirement has elevated Jacoby Brissett to the Colts starting QB
- Online sportsbooks have moved the Colts from +3.5 to +7 versus the Chargers in Week 1
- Is there any value betting Indy in their season opener getting this many points?
Andrew Luck’s retirement sent shockwaves through the NFL Saturday night and online sportsbooks believe the Chargers will be the first team to benefit from the news.
NFL players send their love and respect to Andrew Luck after he announced his decision to retire. pic.twitter.com/8sBNjpAaLf
— ESPN (@espn) August 25, 2019
Indy has moved from a 3.5-point underdog to a 7-point underdog in Los Angeles in Week 1, and now that Jacoby Brissett is scheduled to start, that line could climb even higher.
Colts vs Chargers NFL Week 1 Odds
|Team||NFL Week 1 Odds|
|Indianapolis Colts||+7 (-110)|
|Los Angeles Chargers||-7 (-110)|
*Odds taken on 08/25/19
There’s no doubt that Luck was one of the league’s premier quarterbacks, but the Colts are still loaded at every other position and there’s a case to be made that they’ll still be a force to be reckon with especially in Week 1.
Ground and Pound
The Colts offensive line has a massive advantage over the Chargers defensive line and Luck’s injury doesn’t change that. Indy has invested heavily up front over the past few seasons and ranked third in Pro Football Focus’ run blocking metrics last season, while LA graded out as the fifth worst rush defense.
Oh Marlon Mack.
He’s fancy ?
— NFL (@NFL) January 5, 2019
To make matters worse for the Chargers, three of their top four rush defenders from last season are either no longer with the team or injured, including stud safety Derwin James. The Colts would be wise to try and emulate the Patriots run-heavy game plan against LA from January’s Divisional round, that produced 155 rushing yards and four touchdowns on 34 carries.
— NFL (@NFL) January 13, 2019
Indy’s success in Week 1 will depend heavily on how well they run the ball, because while Brissett is a very competent backup, they’d prefer he didn’t drop back 40 times a game.
Brissett is Better Than You Think
Jim Irsay famously called Brissett the best backup in football, and while that may be reach, he can certainly help the Colts win games. He played in all 16 games in 2017 while Luck was injured, and put up respectable totals behind what was at the time a brutal offensive line, and a different coaching regime.
#Colts GM Chris Ballard on what they have in Jacoby Brissett moving forward:
“Jacoby Brissett is a rare, rare leader.” pic.twitter.com/zLSAV7dJWa
— Locked On Colts Podcast (@LockedOnColts) August 25, 2019
He can beat you both through the air and on the ground and he rarely turns the ball over. For Indy to succeed, they don’t need him to throw for 5,000 yards, they just need him to protect the ball and run the offense the way it was designed. He’ll keep the Colts competitive all season and even if they don’t beat the Chargers in Week 1, they’ll almost surely keep it close.
Back the Colts in Week 1
Getting a full touchdown versus LA looks juicy but there’s an excellent chance this number climbs once an overzealous public weighs in. As such, I’ll wait until it moves beyond a touchdown because even though the drop off from Luck to Brissett is significant, Indy still boasts one of the best rosters in football and has a major advantage up front.