Online sportsbook BetOnline.AG has set several of its 2018 NFL season prop bets and projected win totals. One of those props includes the odds for 2018 NFL MVP, and Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck made the list.
Luck, of course has missed 26 games in the last three years including the entirety of the 2017 season. He had shoulder to repair a torn labrum in January 2017, and a setback in his recovery last fall pushed his timeline back and forced the Colts to place him on Injured Reserve.
Although we have to approach with cautious optimism until further notice to protect our hearts, Luck is expected to be on the field and throwing when training camp opens in mid-to-late July. For what it’s worth, he’s been doing everything but throwing during the Colts’ offseason workouts. He has said throwing by training camp is his goal, general manager Chris Ballard has confirmed it, and the two of them and head coach Frank Reich have all spoken with nothing but positive reviews in regards to where Luck is at in his process.
Sure, he’s not throwing a normal football right now, but he doesn’t have to. It’s more important that he finishes his rehab at this point. The only thing having Luck throw footballs right now would accomplish is to settle rumors, and they’re not interested in that. Luck has been in a regimen that calls for throwing different-weighted balls — which includes some heavier than NFL regulation footballs — so that his shoulder can withstand the workload that an NFL quarterback is supposed to be able to handle throughout the season. Luck’s arm is supposed to be stronger than ever by the end of this, not just what it was before. By all accounts, if there was going to be some big setback or something to keep Luck off the field, it would have happened by now.
Moving forward and assuming Luck hits the field in 2018, being an MVP candidate makes perfect sense. We’ve seen him play at an MVP level before, leading really bad Colts rosters into the playoffs his first three years in the league and advancing a round each year. He also led the entire NFL in touchdowns in 2014 (43) and posted an elite grade from Pro Football Focus in 2016 (with the shoulder injury, mind you).
BetOnline.AG puts Luck’s chances at 25/1, which is among the top 10 odds in the league. A Luck return means that his arm should be strong enough to make all the necessary throws, whether that’s immediate or by midseason. He has what should be the most talented offensive line he’s had since coming into the NFL in front of him, plus a deep group of pass-catchers in T.Y. Hilton, Ryan Grant, Chester Rogers, Jack Doyle, Eric Ebron and rookies Deon Cain and Daurice Fountain. Running backs Marlon Mack, Nyheim Hines, Robert Turbin and Jordan Wilkins can all catch as well. Mack and Hines are known as home-run hitters.
Luck also has a new, forward-thinking coaching staff led by an offensive-minded head coach in Reich and offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni. The two have had success in the past coaching quarterbacks like Philip Rivers and Carson Wentz.
The ingredients are there for Luck to come back, prove doubters wrong and surprise a whole lot of people. If he does well and the Colts outperform expectations — which shouldn’t be hard considering many think they’ll be a doormat — then Luck, being the face of the franchise, could be thrust into the MVP conversation.
To no surprise, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (6/1) and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (7/1) lead the pack. Seven players are pulling up the rear with 100/1 odds — Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton and wide receiver A.J. Green, Cleveland Browns quarterback Tyrod Taylor, Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins and defensive end J.J. Watt, and New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski.
Here is the full list:
- Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers 6/1
- New England Patriots QB Tom Brady — 7/1
- Philadelphia Eagles QB Carson Wentz — 11/1
- New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees — 11/1
- Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson — 12/1
- Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger — 16/1
- Los Angeles Rams QB Jared Goff — 16/1
- Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan — 18/1
- Los Angeles Chargers QB Philip Rivers — 18/1
- Minnesota Vikings QB Kirk Cousins — 18/1
- Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton — 18/1
- Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott — 18/1
- San Francisco 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo — 20/1
- Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr — 20/1
- Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck — 25/1
- Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford — 25/1
- Houston Texans QB Deshaun Watson — 28/1
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston — 33/1
- New York Giants QB Eli Manning — 33/1
- Washington Redskins QB Alex Smith — 33/1
- Denver Broncos QB Case Keenum — 40/1
- Tennessee Titans QB Marcus Mariota — 40/1
- Arizona Cardinals RB David Johnson — 40/1
- Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles — 50/1
- Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco — 50/1
- Los Angeles Rams RB Todd Gurley — 50/1
- Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott — 50/1
- Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell — 50/1
- Kansas City Chiefs RB Kareem Hunt — 50/1
- Jacksonville Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette — 50/1
- New York Giants RB Saquon Barkley — 50/1
- Buffalo Bills RB LeSean McCoy — 50/1
- Pittsburgh Steelers WR Antonio Brown — 50/1
- Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes II — 66/1
- Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones — 66/1
- Chicago Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky — 100/1
- Cincinnati Bengals QB Andy Dalton — 100/1
- Houston Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins — 100/1
- Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green — 100/1
- New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski — 100/1
- Houston Texans DE J.J. Watt — 100/1
- Cleveland Browns QB Tyrod Taylor — 100/1