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Injuries Impact NFL Week 2 Betting
So Week 1 of the new NFL regular season is in the bag and closed with a pair
of exciting Monday Nighters.
The New England Patriots eked out a 25-24 win over the Buffalo Bills but fell well short of covering as 10.5-point home faves and a very late Darren Sproles TD run allowed the San Diego Chargers to defeat the Oakland Raiders 24-20 but wasn’t enough to allow the Chargers to cover as -9 road faves.
In the battle between the books and the sports betting public in Week 1, both sides got their shots in. The players won the day on Sunday after the smoke cleared late Sunday night. With Green Bay coming back to beat Chicago finishing the day off nicely for sports bettors (pointspread covers by Dallas, Minnesota, Philadelphia and Baltimore were also solid wins for the players). But the books rallied back on Monday night with two big underdog covers.
The Patriots and the Chargers both saw a ton of betting action leading up to their games, but many players watched in agony as almost from the opening whistle it was clear neither big favorite was going to blowout their opponent.
So sports bettors gave some money back to finish the week.
Let’s look at a few notable events that took place in Week 1 that could have a bearing on Week 2 NFL betting action.
- Listed as a Pick’em prior to their season opener against the Carolina Panthers, the Philadelphia Eagles had no trouble enabling their bettors to cash in, hammering the hometown Panthers 38-10.
The impressive victory however came at a cost as Eagles starting QB Donovan McNabb suffered a fractured a lower left rib.
As the team begins practicing for its home opener against the New Orleans Saints this weekend—the game is currently off the board—it seems as if they are preparing for the possibility that McNabb could be gone for at least two weeks.
Although head coach Andy Reid is quoted in the USAToday as saying McNabb is “going to do everything he possibly can to play this week” the team is making moves that say otherwise.
Firstly, the Eagles activated suspended QB Michael Vick from the exempt list, setting the stage for the former Falcon pivot to practice with the team—Vick won’t be able to see action until Game 3.
Philadelphia also acquired former backup QB Jeff Garcia who went 6-2 as a starter when McNabb was injured in 2006.
According to ESPN, current No. 2 Kevin Kolb will take snaps with the first-team at Wednesday’s practice and Vick and Garcia will also be “in the rotation” but McNabb will not.
Is there a QB controversy brewing in the City of Brotherly Love?
Despite the McNabb injury, the Eagles’ odds to win the NFC East have actually improved, moving from +240 in the preseason to its current +180, as bettors liked what they’ve seen, even if McNabb is on the shelf for a couple of weeks.
- Week 1 began with the defending champion Pittsburgh Steelers hosting the Tennessee Titans in the Thursday Night opener and while the Steelers defeated the Titans 13-10, they failed to cover at -5.
They also lost the services of hard-hitting safety Troy Polamalu who tore his left MCL during the game.
However, the Steelers learned on Monday that Polamalu would not have to go under the knife and will only require rest—he will be out between three and six weeks.
Their future odds remained stable as bettors mulled over what this injury will mean. It will have an impact, so it will be interesting to see of bettors adjust when betting single games with the Steelers.
Pittsburgh travels to play the Bears this week.
Speaking of the Bears, they received some tough news of their own. This team began the regular season with great expectations, welcoming new QB Jay Cutler.
Unfortunately, their defensive leader, Brian Urlacher suffered a season-ending wrist injury in the first quarter of the Sunday nighter vs. Green Bay.
The Steelers are listed as 2.5-point road faves for Sunday’s game and the Total is set at 38. This game was at -2 before the season kicked off (SPORTSBETTING.com has the lines up for every game of the 2009 NFL season with their Prospective Bets) and the line has moved to -2.5, with heavy juice (-125) on the Steelers as Pittsburgh money comes in.
Before training camp started, the Pittsburgh was listed at +450 to represent the conference in the Super Bowl and they are currently at +400.
The Bears are currently listed at +1000 to take the NFC North.
Week 1 is in the books and now the battle turns to the Week 2 card.
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