Andrew Luck Is Throwing! But Oddsmakers Not High on 2018 Colts

Matthew Jordan

Wednesday, June 13, 2018 12:38 PM UTC

Wednesday, Jun. 13, 2018 12:38 PM UTC

It appears the Indianapolis Colts will have franchise quarterback Andrew Luck under center in 2018, but the various sportsbooks don’t expect a return to playoff contention.

[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "

Is Andrew Luck...throwing a football?!?! #Colts pic.twitter.com/FBPdimtQsq

— Tyler Brooke (@TylerDBrooke) June 12, 2018
\n\n"}[/]

Want to know how desperate Americans are for news on the NFL during the dead period until training camp opens? On Tuesday (June 12), one of the biggest stories on ESPN was that Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck threw a football during mandatory minicamp!

Why is a quarterback throwing the ball such big news? Of course, Luck missed last season following shoulder surgery in January 2017. The Colts made a mess of things regarding Luck in 2017, always insisting he would be ready for training camp and then still expecting him to return sometime during the season. Didn’t happen, and Indy slipped to 4-12 behind QB Jacoby Brissett, the third straight year that the Colts missed the playoffs. Not coincidentally, it was also the third straight year that Luck missed at least one game due to injury. He played all 16 regular-season matchups each of his first three seasons and the Colts made the playoffs in each.

Tuesday was Luck’s first time throwing a ball in front of the media since last October, after which he was shortly shut down for the year with pain in that shoulder. It should be noted that Luck didn’t throw an NFL ball but a smaller NCAA version on Tuesday. The former No. 1 overall pick did say after the session that he had been throwing a football for the last two weeks – but still not a regulation-size NFL ball.

[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "

Another step closer. pic.twitter.com/1INrKyrhJu

— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) June 12, 2018
\n\n"}[/]

The smaller football puts less stress on Luck’s shoulder, which he originally injured in Week 3 of the 2015 season, but he assured everyone who would listen that he will be ready for Week 1: “Absolutely. No knock on wood. I believe it in my bones.” Indianapolis hosts Cincinnati on Sept. 9 and is a 2.5-point favorite on the SBR NFL oddsboard.

The Colts fired coach Chuck Pagano following last season and were to replace him with Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, only to be spurned at the altar. Indy then pivoted to Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich.

Indianapolis wasn’t too busy in free agency, adding tight end Eric Ebron, receiver Ryan Grant and guard Matt Slauson among a few others. Running back Frank Gore and top cornerback Vontae Davis are among those who left. In the draft, GM Chris Ballard made it a point to find guys to protect Luck, taking Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson at No. 6 overall (he’ll start from Day 1) and fellow guard Braden Smith of Auburn with the No. 37 overall pick.

That’s nice, but the team looks weak at running back and receiver other than T.Y. Hilton. The defense figures to be terrible again. That unit was 30th overall in 2017 in allowing 367.1 yards per game and 30th in points allowed at 25.3 ppg.

BetOnline gives the Colts a win total of 6.5, with the ‘under’ a -125 favorite. They are +450 long shots in the AFC South, which suddenly is a pretty good division with the Jaguars and Titans both playoff teams in 2017 and the Texans likely to make a huge jump in 2018 with a healthy Deshaun Watson and JJ Watt.

The NFL is more interesting with Luck playing, but the Colts need a lot more around him to contend.

comment here