Back in April the Indianapolis Colts were installed as 3-point home favorites against the Arizona Cardinals for their Week 2 contest when CG Technology put out spreads for all the NFL games in 2017.
The updated line now has the Colts getting 7.5 points. That’s a 10.5-point swing on the line.
What changed? Well, Andrew Luck’s health.
The former Pro Bowl quarterback was on the inactive list throughout training camp, sat out Week 1 against the Los Angeles Rams and will not play against the Cardinals this weekend.
Oddsmakers told us in July that Luck was worth about 6.5 points to his team’s spread on a weekly basis. That number appears to have grown after the Colts crapped the bed against the Rams in Los Angeles on Sunday and bettors got a good look at what life with Scott Tolzien as a starting quarterback looks like.
Most NFL injuries aren't going to impact a team's week-to-week game odds like Luck has for Indy. That doesn't mean sharp bettors can't take advantage of situations where next man up means a street free agent who's last pancake tackle happened at an IHOP.
Here’s a look at the most notable NFL injuries as we enter the second week of the season.
Odell Beckham Jr. WR, New York Giants
Beckham sprained his ankle in Week 2 of the preseason and hasn’t been able to play again since. The Giants lost and failed to cover as 6-point underdogs without ODB against the Dallas Cowboys last weekend.
The G-Men didn’t practice on Monday or Tuesday and Beckham continues to receive treatment on the ankle. New York doesn’t play until Monday night against the Detroit Lions. The extra day could help but Giants reporters say the club doesn’t want to put Beckham back on the field until he is completely healed from the injury.
The Giants opened as 5-point favorites against Detroit but are now giving just 3.5.
Westgate SuperBook assistant manager Ed Salmons said on the Sharp 600 Podcast that Beckham is worth about 2 points to the Giants’ game day odds.
David Johnson RB, Arizona Cardinals
The Pro Bowl running back suffered a dislocated wrist during the Cards SU/ATS loss at Detroit last weekend and won’t return for two-to-three months.
Johnson was the Cards do-everything option on offense a year ago racking up 1239 rushing yards and 879 receiving yards. His 20 total touchdowns accounted for 27 percent of Arizona’s touchdowns a season ago.
“He is worth about a point against most teams,” Westgate SuperBook manager Jeff Sherman told Covers. “This week versus the Colts his effect is minimal since the Colts are so poor.”
Eric Berry S, Kansas City Chiefs
Cousin Sal made a great point during the latest Bill Simmons podcast. He said Chiefs supporters would trade the win against the New England Patriots in Week 1 if it meant Berry wasn’t out for the year with that Achilles injury.
Berry was all over the field making plays for the Chiefs in Week 1 including shutting down Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski.
He was a First-Team All-Pro in 2016 and 2015 and the Chiefs went 23-9 straight up and 17-15 against the spread during those two regular seasons.
Zach Strief RT, New Orleans Saints
Strief sprained his MCL during the Saints 29-19 loss to the Minnesota Vikings on Monday night. Losing a starting tackle is never good but his injury is especially damaging to the Saints. New Orleans is already without starting left tackle Terron Armstead, who is still recovering from a torn labrum, leaving the team without its two best offensive tackles.
Oddsmakers have the Saints getting 6.5 points at home against the Patriots this weekend.
Ronald Darby CB, Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles’ top cornerback is expected to miss four-to-six weeks after suffering a dislocated ankle in the Week 1 win and cover against the Washington Redskins.
Philly is expected to start Rasul Douglas, a rookie third round pick from West Virginia, in Darby’s place. The Eagles are 5-point underdogs at Kansas City this weekend. The Chiefs passed for 368 yards and four touchdowns against a talented New England secondary in Week 1.