Indiana sportsbooks opened the 2019 NFL season reservedly optimistic about the in-state team. Colts futures entering Week 13 of this season show sportsbooks are more confident about what Indianapolis is and isn’t.
The Colts aren’t favored by any of the three Indiana legal online sportsbooks to win anything significant. BetRivers, DraftKings and FanDuel do show some respect for Indy’s football team in some ways, however.
Colts futures at Indiana sportsbooks then and now
After the retirement of Andrew Luck, sportsbooks downgraded Indianapolis for several futures bets. For example, the Colts went from the favorites to win the AFC South to +400 on the same bet.
The inability of the Houston Texans to distance themselves from the pack has resulted in shorter odds on Indianapolis winning the division now, however. Legal sportsbooks in Indiana now have the following lines on the Colts claiming their divisional crown this season:
- BetRivers: +300
- DraftKings: +300
- FanDuel +320
That may be the only case in which the lines involving the Colts have gone that direction, however. The odds on Indianapolis winning the AFC Championship Game are longer now than they were before Week 1.
- BetRivers: +3300
- DraftKings: +3300
- FanDuel: +4200
The same goes for the odds on the Colts winning the Super Bowl for the first time in over a decade. All three books have Indianapolis +8000 to win Super Bowl LIV.
Futures bets on statistical leaders for the current season and individual awards have mostly changed for the worse as far as Colts players go. For example, Indianapolis quarterback Jacoby Brissett is the only Colts player on a shortened list of MVP wagering candidates, currently sitting at +12500 on both BetRivers and DraftKings.
Appropriately, the prospects of those bets paying off look better in accordance with the odds. A number of factors influence those prospects.
Examining which Colts futures bets look best right now
Although the Houston Texans currently enjoy a game lead over Indianapolis in the AFC South division standings, the Colts are very much alive. That makes the +320 or +300 line on Indianapolis winning its division attractive.
Houston has a tougher remaining schedule than does Indy, as three of the Texans’ five remaining opponents currently have winning records. By contrast, three of the Colts’ remaining opponents are under the .500 mark.
The potential of Indianapolis reaching the playoffs if they don’t win the AFC South is murkier. The Oakland Raiders and Pittsburgh Steelers both have records identical to the Colts but also have head-to-head wins over Indianapolis. That means the Colts would have to finish the season with a better overall record than both teams to swipe a wild card spot away from them.
In order to make the AFC championship bet pay off, making the postseason is obviously crucial. Getting through teams like the Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots will be a tall task.
Assuming Indianapolis does advance to Super Bowl LIV, it would face a similar challenge from the likes of the New Orleans Saints or San Francisco 49ers. Because of that, the odds on the Colts claiming the Lombardi Trophy are long.
Right now, taking the action on Indianapolis winning the AFC South looks like the best option for Colts fans. Sportsbooks may continue to shorten those odds if the Colts defeat the Titans on Sunday, so the time to place bets could be now.