- The Indianapolis Colts have seen their odds to make the playoffs balloon since Andrew Luck’s retirement leaked yesterday
- At +400, their playoff odds are nearly as long as their division title odds
- In a not-so-loaded AFC, that makes them a real value
“The Colts are out of Luck,” while technically a factual statement, has been an overblown response to the news that Indy’s franchise QB is retiring. Look no further than their NFL Playoff Odds. Once a favorite in the AFC, they’re now paying out four-to-one just to make the dance.
Indianapolis Colts Playoff Odds
|Will the Indianapolis Colts make the playoffs?||Odds|
Colts Offense Still Poised to Thrive
Jacoby Brissett’s first go-around as a starter in Indy was rough. Acquired in a trade eight days before the season, he quickly had to learn the offense, and what he learned, was they were largely devoid of talent. Despite this, he built a name for himself with impressive deep ball efficiency that season.
Owns the third-best passer rating on throws of 20+ air yards. pic.twitter.com/jKYWOPVK9k
— Matt Harmon (@MattHarmon_BYB) November 22, 2017
On offense, only four starters remain from that 2017 team Brissett led (Anthony Costonzo, Ryan Kelly, TY Hilton and Jack Doyle) and the area the Colts have most improved in is along their offensive line. After getting sacked a league high 52 times in 2017, Brissett will have far more time to push the ball downfield this season.
Jacoby Brissett 45-yard TD to TY Hilton! pic.twitter.com/Q2GZa9CrG8
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) November 5, 2017
Also worth noting, there’s a different guy calling plays for Brissett this year in Frank Reich. Let’s just say he has some experience propping up a backup QB on a Super Bowl-contending team.
Not Your Dad’s Colts
Most of the Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck eras in Indy were defined by great offense and so-so defense. That doesn’t appear to be the case anymore. The Colts climbed from 27th in defensive DVOA in 2017 to 10th in 2018 and absolutely looked capable of winning games on their own for stretches.
The #Colts’ defense only allowed 15 points per game during their 10-1 streak last season. Lost no starters and added Justin Houston.
Top five defense this year. Bet on it. pic.twitter.com/z4u7y3Jhbo
— Locked On Colts Podcast (@LockedOnColts) August 15, 2019
The “Mental” Case
If you’re down on the Colts, you’ll inevitably point to what Luck’s retirement will do to the team’s psyche. But that’s not worth severely undervaluing a team over. Indy was already prepping to play Week 1, perhaps longer, without Luck, And when you’re a team with Super Bowl aspirations, you have to buy into the “next man up” philosophy. That’s part of the reason the Colts didn’t trade Brissett last year after Luck returned.
#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
Considering the Colts are +450 to win the AFC South, their +400 odds for a playoff appearance is great value. One of the favorites to grab a wild card in the AFC is the Los Angeles Chargers – who just lost the quarterback of their defense for most of the season, but you don’t see bettors overreact to that – and after that, it’s unprovens like the Browns and Jaguars getting attention.
I said before the Colts could challenge for the division without Luck. Now, you could still win this bet if they don’t.
Let's have fun and keep it civil.