And Bears bettors will need more than Luck to cash their tickets, because Indy starts with a 10-point head start at Vegas sportsbooks.
Chicago is a 10-point home favorite at most shops tracked by SB Nation's lines partner Odds Shark and the irony here is interesting. The Bears were double-digit underdogs at Indy a few years back and emerged with a huge 29-13 victory, according to the matchup report. Can Indy return the favor here?
One shop has seen considerably more handle on the Bears, but also a good amount of longshot money on the Colts to win outright.
"The number of bets is split pretty evenly on the game, but much more handle on the bears on the point spread," explained Scott Winstone of Top Bet. "We have had more than a few risk takers put large moneyline bets on the colts at +400 so people see some value on the Colts."
Gone is Peyton Manning, and in is the new face of the franchise, Andrew Luck. Manning isn't the only familiar face gone as wide receivers Pierre Garcon and Anthony Gonzalez, tight ends Dallas Clark and Jacob Tamme and center Jeff Saturday are among the many players also gone.
The rebuilding process won't happen overnight, but with the exciting Luck at the helm, it shouldn't take long to see positive strides. The Colts finished last season 2-14 straight up and 6-10 ATS.
The Chicago Bears looked to be well on their way to a playoff spot after starting off the 2011 season 7-3 SU and 6-4 ATS, but they sputtered to a 1-5 SU (1-4-1 ATS) finish. This year, they get defensive leader Brian Urlacher back at linebacker, and they went out and added some big pieces to the offense in running back Michael Bush and wide receiver Brandon Marshall.
Marshall and Jay Cutler have proven success together, and that reunion should pay huge dividends.
Andrew Luck will in all likelihood go on to have an illustrious career, but this is a very tough spot for him to make his NFL debut. Chicago is perennially one of the top defenses in the league, and Soldier Field on opening Sunday is sure to be a hostile environment.
Furthermore, there is more to a team than just the quarterback, and this is the same Indianapolis team that went 2-14 last year minus a few key veterans on offense. They have also struggled in season openers, going 0-4 ATS recently.
Sure, it is possible that Luck steals headlines with a big rookie debut. But it seems more likely that Brian Urlacher's return leads the Bears' defense to a big day and a big payday. Expect this work-in-progress Colts defense to give up some big points to the revamped Bears' offense as Chicago covers the spread.
PICK: Chicago -10