Las Vegas has set the Colts’ win total at about 6.5 wins for the 2018 season.
According to Vegas’ season win total number, Andrew Luck’s return, Frank Reich replacing Chuck Pagano, and the rest of Indianapolis’ offseason moves are only worth about a 2.5 game improvement over last year’s 4-12 record.
Pro Football Focus thinks that season win total number is too low, and I agree.
Most of Eric Eager’s handicap centers around the return of Andrew Luck.
Eager acknowledges that Luck’s health is still a question mark, but his progress has looked much more positive over the past couple of months leading up to training camp.
The PFF guys cite that Andrew Luck graded among the top five among quarterbacks in 2016, and they project the Colts to win about 7.5 games with Luck back on the field. Eager thinks the over is a good bet because Pro Football Focus’ analytics have Indianapolis winning over 6.5 games in 70% of their simulations.
While PFF’s handicap is all about Luck and their weak schedule (seventh-easiest in the NFL according to ESPN’s Football Power Index), there are other reasons to believe the Colts will beat Vegas’ projection.
Frank Reich is still a relatively unknown as a head coach, but he certainly has the potential to be an upgrade over Chuck Pagano.
The return of Malik Hooker and Quincy Wilson gives Indianapolis two promising young defensive backs to improve one of the league’s worst pass defenses, and their 11 draft picks provide this roster with an infusion of young talent.
If Luck is indeed healthy, the Colts’ outlook looks bright in 2018 and I agree that betting over 6.5 wins is a good way to allocate some capital this season.