The Cleveland Browns destroyed the hapless NY Jets 23-3 on Monday Night Football to end the NFL’s Week 2 schedule.
The Jets were forced to play their third-string quarterback for most of the game, joining the Pittsburgh Steelers and New Orleans Saints as teams with quarterbacks suffering major injuries in Week 2. Although, the Jets were already down a QB with starter Sam Darnold out with mononucleosis.
For the most part, sportsbooks in states across the country with legal sports betting put together and refined the lines for Week 3 by the time the Monday night game was done. It was obvious for the first time this season that injuries impact odds.
See for yourself on the chart below, which shows NFL Week 3 point spread and totals lines posted by three of the top sportsbook apps in the country late Monday night. This includes PA sports betting apps that also operate separately in NJ: SugarHouse Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook. (FanDuel also operates in West Virginia.) Last but not least the William Hill NJ sports betting app.
Week 3 NFL betting lines
Injuries impact odds in NFL Week 3 lines
The first thing you might see on the chart is that FanDuel and William Hill do not have odds posted for the Steelers at the San Fransisco 49ers.
For a short time Monday, FanDuel did have the Steelers at +5.5 but pulled it down to refine it. There is a legitimate reason for all this and it’s that injuries impact odds in the NFL.
The Steelers fell to 0-2 Sunday dropping a close game to the Seattle Seahawks 28-26. Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger injured his right elbow in the first half and didn’t play in the second half. After undergoing an MRI Monday, the Steelers ruled Roethlisberger will be out for the entire season.
The Steelers are obviously not the same team without their star QB. That means oddsmakers will ultimately make the 49ers big home favorites this week, as SugarHouse already has. It also means the odds on the Steelers are going way up in the NFL futures market.
Steelers futures change
In fact, DraftKings Sportsbook noted some dramatic changes to its Steelers futures odds Monday:
|Steelers Futures||Before Injury||After Injury|
The futures odds on the Saints may go up as well. New Orleans dropped to 1-1 and star quarterback Drew Brees injured his hand in a 27-9 loss to the LA Rams on Sunday. He will likely miss at least the next six weeks.
Perhaps the Saints were going to be even money or a slight underdog going on the road to face a 2-0 Seattle team this week. However, most oddsmakers are making Seattle a 4.5-point home favorite as a direct result of Brees’ injury. Some, like William Hill, have yet to set a line on this game.
That’s a lot of points
Two games that also stand out in the Week 3 chart are the Miami Dolphins at the Dallas Cowboys and the Jets at the New England Patriots. That’s because both teams are up to almost 21-point favorites.
While these look more like college football spreads than the NFL, oddsmakers have legitimate reasons for posting such big numbers.
The Patriots 43-0 win over the Dolphins on Sunday proved two things that have impacted the Week 3 lines. The first is that New England is capable of covering a big spread. The second is that Miami is the worst team in football this season.
Miami will face a Cowboys team that is at the other end of the NFL spectrum. The Cowboys are at 2-0 after beating division rival Washington Redskins by 10 and look capable of beating a bad team by at least three touchdowns.
In the meantime, the Patriots have the Jets this week. It’s a division rival, but one they’ve won six straight against, including a 35-point win this past December. It looks like the Jets are going to be putting a first-time starter behind center as well. So, don’t be surprised to see this line rise to three touchdowns by the time kickoff rolls around as well.