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Luck to Lead League in Passing Only Colts' Future With Value

Things are starting to get desperate for the Indianapolis Colts. They have just lost Vontae Davis for the first month of the season and were forced to sign former New York Jet Antonio Cromartie. They will finally welcome back Andrew Luck but the nine games he struggled through at the start of 2015 did not inspire a lot of confidence that he can lead his team back to a conference championship game in 2016.

Free agency took a big bite out of the Colts depth this year. They lost TE Coby Fleener from an already thin receiving corps and saw their best linebacker Jerrell Freeman take his talents to the Windy City. Indy did manage to make massive improvements to its offensive line, drafting C Ryan Kelly in the first round and moving some other players back to their natural positions.

Luck was put under perpetual pressure last season because of how weak his offensive line was and was forced to throw the ball into tight gaps. This resulted in Luck having one of the worst QB ratings in the league last year while throwing a 15:12 touchdown to interception ratio.

Here’s a look at some of their odds:

Super Bowl +1600

There’s nothing appealing about this line. The Colts are an incomplete team that could be the worst defensive club in the league this year. In 2015, they gave up the eighth-most points in the league and have done very little to improve their aging defense. Robert Mathis and Trent Cole did a decent job pressuring the QB last year but combined for just 10 total sacks.

This team’s Super Bowl chances rest firmly on the shoulders of Andrew Luck and how healthy he can stay as there is no viable option behind him. Matt Hasselbeck actually played pretty well in relief of the Stanford product last year going 4-3 in Luck’s stead – unfortunately, he has retired and the Colts will now roll with Scott Tolzien at backup.

AFC Championship +750

Indianapolis made their last appearance in the AFC championship game two seasons ago in the infamous “Deflategate” game that saw them get walloped by the Patriots 45-7. They haven’t won the AFC since they lost to the Saints in the 2009 Super Bowl and will have to have a lot of things go right for them this season in order to represent the AFC in the 51st Super Bowl.

AFC South +140

Until last season, the Colts had been the class of the AFC South for over a decade – excluding their 2-14 season the year that Peyton Manning sat out with a neck injury – and once again have the confidence of the public. I, however, do not possess this same confidence.

The Jaguars and Texans are two teams that improved significantly last season and could both compete for the division crown in 2015.

OVER/UNDER Win Total – 9.5

I have a really hard time extracting 10 wins out of this schedule. This team will be lucky to go .500. They do, however, have the 10th easiest schedule based on last year’s records. If they hope to breach the total that’s been set for them they will have to dispatch the bottom-feeding teams – something they were unable to do even with Luck in the lineup last year.

Andrew Luck to Lead the League in Passing Yards +1600

Call me crazy but I like Luck’s +1600 line to lead the league in passing yards a hell of a lot more than I like the Colts’ +1600 odds to win the Super Bowl. In 2014, Luck’s best year, he threw for 4761 yards, just behind the 4952 that Drew Brees and Ben Roethlisberger both had to lead the league.

The Colts are in a very similar spot as they were in 2014 and will most likely have to make up huge sums of points to make up for their leaky defense. With an improved offensive line, we could see Luck return to the form he showed that year and with the lack of a running game the Colts still have, Indy’s QB 1 may have to throw the ball over 40 times a game.

2016 Indianapolis Colts Futures Odds
Super Bowl+1600
AFC Championship+750
AFC South+140
Win Totals 9.5

Odds as of August 24 at Bovada