NFL Week 2 Odds: Injuries that Hurt
by Richard Gardner | Bodog Sportsbook Manager - 9/15/2010
There were plenty of big stories to emerge from Week 1 of the NFL season, but the biggest one might be injuries. Bob Sanders, Ryan Grant and Kris Jenkins all suffered serious injuries, with the latter two being lost for the season.
Injuries are always a tough factor for bettors to get their heads around, because how much do you value a specific player? How important is his role? How easily can he be replaced? These are tough questions to answer; there isn’t an exact formula to apply.
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For book makers, the challenge is the same as the one facing bettors, but we also have to predict how injuries will be perceived by the public so we can set lines that balance the action.
Take the Green Bay-Buffalo point spread for Week 2. By all accounts, this is a huge mismatch, so we’ve got the Packers by 14. But ever since Grant’s injury has been splashed all over the news we’ve booked a significant amount of action on the Bills. Obviously, at least a few bettors don’t appear to have much faith in back-up RB Brandon Jackson, who’s in his fourth year with the Packers but has yet to see consistent action. Then again, we’re talking about the Bills here. You don’t have to be Chris Johnson to run on Buffalo.
What might be a more interesting betting story surrounding the Packers’ loss of Grant is their Super Bowl odds. Currently they’re at 7/1, but I’m wondering if we might have to raise those odds to attract more action. We already booked a ton of bets on Green Bay to win it all during the preseason, so we won’t have to do anything drastic quite yet. In a related story, I’m wondering if any of those preseason bettors would like a refund now.
Of course, the toughest position for bettors to value is the most important position: quarterback. To illustrate that point, the playing status of both Detroit’s Matthew Stafford and Philadelphia’s Kevin Kolb is very much up in the air at the moment, which is doubly interesting because the Lions and Eagles meet Sunday. The consensus is that Stafford has a far better chance of playing than Kolb, especially considering the Eagles have a very capable back-up in Michael Vick, who many believe should be the starter anyway. But you never know for certain.
I suspect most bettors will take a wait-and-see approach on the Lions-Eagles game, but there will be a few who will make their assumptions early and get their bets in to beat any possible line move.
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