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Texans Now Favorites to Win AFC South After Luck Retires

Robert Duff

by Robert Duff in NFL Football

Updated Mar 26, 2020 · 3:22 PM UTC

Andrew Luck's sudden shock decision to retire from the NFL has vaulted the Houston Texans to AFC South favorites, while dropping the Colts to the division longshot. Photo from @247KevinBoilard (Twitter).
  •  The shock decision by Andrew Luck to retire from the NFL on Saturday has dramatically altered the betting landscape in the AFC South
  • The Houston Texans are listed as +175 favorites to win the division
  • Luck’s Indianapolis Colts dropped from the +100 chalk to +450 longshots

The moment Andrew Luck opted to walk away from football, luck ran out for the Indianapolis Colts and smiled on the Houston Texans.

When Colts quarterback Luck stunned the NFL by announcing his retirement Saturday, the Texans moved into favored status to win the AFC South in the 2019 NFL Divisional Odds.

The Texans are now pegged as the +175 chalk to earn the division title.

2019 AFC South Odds

Team Odds post-Luck announcement) Odds (pre-Luck announcement)
Houston Texans +175 +275
Jacksonville Jaguars +225 +400
Tennessee Titans +300 +650
Indianapolis Colts +450 -105

*Odds taken on 08/25/19.

The Colts plummeted from +100 favorites to the +450 longshots in the four-team division.

Luck’s Unlucky Fate

Luck, 29, the 2018 NFL Comeback Player of the Year and a four-time Pro Bowl selection, cited the continuous cycle of injury-pain-rehab for sapping his desire to play the game.

Colts Pre-Luck Retirement
Colts Post-Luck Retirement
9.5 Wins 6.5
+100 AFC South Title Odds +450
+800 AFC Championship Odds +2500
+1600 Super Bowl Odds +5000
-170 To Make The Playoffs (Yes) +400


He missed the entire 2017 season with a shoulder injury and was out with a calf strain.

Selected first overall by the Colts in the 2012 NFL Draft, Luck has endured a sprained shoulder, lacerated kidney, partially torn abdominal muscle, torn rib cartilage,  and the shoulder surgery that cost him the entire 2017 campaign.

Jacoby Brissett, 5-12 in his career as an NFL starter, takes over under center for the Colts.

Everything’s Bigger for Texans

Houston are defending AFC South champions. The Texans went 11-5 but lost an AFC Wild Card playoff game to the 10-6 Colts.

All is not glorious for the Texans. They lost running back Lamar Miller to a suspected torn ACL in Saturday’s preseason loss to the Dallas Cowboys. That likely leaves Duke Johnson, recently acquired from Cleveland, as Houston’s go-to running back.

While the Luck retirement may be a instant boon for Houston’s division title chances, it should also be a cautionary tale for the Texans. They’ve allowed their QB DeShaun Watson to take a horrible beating over his first two NFL seasons.

Watson was sacked an NFL-high 62 times last season. He was lost after seven games during his rookie season due to a knee injury suffered during practice.

Titans Struggle with Luck

No AFC South team is happier to see Indy’s Luck run out than the Tennessee Titans. Luck was 11-0 against them in his career.

Tennessee is 2-15 in its last 17 against Indy. Both wins came in 2017 when Luck was out for the season and Brissett was at the helm of the Colts. Luck is the only QB to go 11-0 against a team to start his career since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger.

The Titans haven’t won the AFC South title since 2008. They’ve gone 9-7 in each of the past three seasons.

Tennessee has its own issues. Three-time Pro Bowl left tackle Taylor Lewan is suspended for the first four games of the season after testing positive for a banned substance.

Don’t Sleep on the Jags

In the rush to anoint the Texans, it’s easy to forget that the Jacksonville Jaguars carried a fourth-quarter lead into the 2017 AFC Championship Game before falling to the New England Patriots. And that Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles, who slayed the Pats in the big game two years ago, is now the Jags’ QB.

Yes, Jacksonville was 5-11 last season. The Jaguars also had the fifth-ranked defense in the NFL.

With Foles taking snaps and a healthy Leonard Fournette in the backfield, Jacksonville is dangerous.

Pick: Jacksonville Jaguars (+225)

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