If the Week 11 showdown between the Kansas City Chiefs and Denver Broncos wasn’t juicy enough, football bettors were thrown a curveball with Peyton Manning’s ankle injury Sunday afternoon.
The future Hall of Fame QB was hurt in Sunday’s win over the San Diego Chargers, and underwent an MRI Monday morning. However, early word spreading in Las Vegas is that Manning will be good to go and oddsmakers are installing Denver as a 7-point home favorite versus Kansas City Sunday night.
“They showed well yesterday,” Peter Korner, founder of Nevada-based odds service The Sports Club, says of the Broncos. “I don’t think Manning would miss this game, no matter what.”
Korner says his stable of oddsmakers had this game as high as Broncos -8 but sent out the TD spread, knowing the public will be sizing up the underdog Chiefs coming off the bye week rested and prepared for Denver.
“I think when it comes to Sunday, people are going to be betting Kansas City,” he says. “This looks like a strong underdog play for the public. There will be enough money on Denver as well, so it bodes well for us as oddsmakers.”
Green Bay Packers at New York Giants (-5.5)
The Packers are down to third-string quarterback Scott Tolzien when they take on the Giants in Week 11.
However, Korner says there’s no difference in the spread between Tolzien and No. 2 Seneca Wallace, who injured his groin in Sunday’s loss to Philadelphia. He sent out a suggested spread of New York -5.5, with some sportsbooks dealing this line as high as -6.
“We’re throwing them all together in terms of quality,” Korner says of Tolzien and Wallace. “It doesn’t matter who's under center for Green Bay. New York has a lot of momentum and I’d be surprised if Green Bay can keep this close.”
San Francisco 49ers at New Orleans Saints (-3)
Korner’s oddsmakers initially sent out New Orleans as a 2.5-point home favorite but tagged an extra half point on that spread after the Saints’ destroyed the Cowboys on Sunday Night Football.
San Francisco’s offense was stymied by the Panthers defense Sunday, limited to just nine points and only 91 yards passing from Colin Kaepernick.
“We shouldn’t be surprised by what Carolina did to San Francisco Sunday,” says Korner. “It’s pretty easy to make New Orleans the favorite but I think 3.5 might be too high, especially up north. San Francisco is going to get its plays.”
New England Patriots at Carolina Panthers (-1)
Carolina proved doubters wrong with a dominant defensive showing in a win over San Francisco Sunday, extending its winning streak to five games. That’s enough to install the Panthers as favorites against the Patriots on Monday Night Football.
Korner’s group sent out a suggested line of Carolina -2.5, however, many books are dealing this primetime matchup as low as Panthers -1, with New England coming off a bye in Week 11.
“We were all unanimous about Carolina being the favorite,” says Korner. “I think Carolina wins here. They bring a lot of momentum into it. New England is rested but just doesn’t have the same quality of receivers, outside of (Rob) Gronkowski. This could easily go to -3."