NFL line movement: Aaron Rodgers situation not the only one wreaking havoc

·6 min read

Most weeks, the NFL market doesn't see much significant movement. Oddsmakers are good at what they do and the lines are usually pretty spot on. However, heading into Week 9 of the NFL season, we've seen significant movement across multiple games this week. A lot of these line moves have been caused by major injuries. Let's take a look at which games have seen the most notable movement.

Aaron Rodgers headlines moves

It's been a hell of a week for the Packers-Chiefs market. On Sunday night, the Chiefs opened as 3-point favorites. The posted line was immediately questioned and it seemed like the Packers were going to be a significant public play this week.

Then, after an unimpressive win by the Chiefs on Monday night over the Giants, the line was pulled and reposted with the Packers as 1-point road favorites. This seemed like a more accurate line.

However, early on Wednesday it was reported that Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers would miss the game because he tested positive for COVID-19. The line immediately ballooned to its current number in which the Packers are 7.5-point underdogs without Rodgers. Jordan Love will get the start at quarterback for the Packers. 

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - OCTOBER 28: Quarterback Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers reacts during the NFL game at State Farm Stadium on October 28, 2021 in Glendale, Arizona. The Packers defeated the Cardinals 24-21.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
The Packers will be without Aaron Rodgers this weekend, and the betting market has shifted substantially. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Without Rodgers, the total has also come crashing down. The over/under for this game opened at 55 points, but it's been bet all the way down to 48.5.

Nobody knows what to expect from Love in his first career start. The former first-round pick was a controversial selection in 2020. Kansas City has been disappointing this season, but oddsmakers expect the Chiefs to have no issue against the first-time Green Bay starter. 

Kyler Murray is pretty important, too

Rodgers won the MVP last season, but Kyler Murray has spent the majority of this season as the favorite to win the award. Murray injured his ankle late in the Cardinals' Week 8 loss, and he'll be a game-time decision for coach Kliff Kingsbury this week.

The Cardinals opened as 2.5-point road favorites in San Francisco this week, but the 49ers are now a 1-point favorite. The total in the game has also come down with Murray's status uncertain. It's at 45 points after opening at 47.

If Murray doesn't play, expect this line to move even more. Colt McCoy is a decent backup quarterback, but he's a significant downgrade from Murray. The current line move acknowledges there's a chance that Murray doesn't play, but it's definitely not the line I'd expect if the Cardinals announce McCoy as their starter. 

Derrick Henry no slouch himself

Derrick Henry is not a quarterback, but he's definitely the most impactful skill position player in the sport. Unfortunately, the Tennessee Titans will be without Henry for the foreseeable future after he had foot surgery. 

Tennessee opened as a 6-point underdog against the Rams, but due to Henry's injury the line has shifted through a key number and currently sits at 7.5 points.

Tennessee's offense is based on the threat of Henry running. They call bootlegs and play-actions that produce splash plays because the defense needs to commit to stopping the run. It's highly unlikely teams will give that level of respect to a 2021 version of Adrian Peterson or Jeremy McNichols. 

It goes without saying that the Rams are very good, and Tennessee would have needed to play a great game to cover the original number. Without Henry, the task becomes even harder.

Dak back?

Last week, we saw that Dak Prescott was worth about 7 points to the spread. Cooper Rush performed well and helped the Cowboys pull off an outright victory as 4.5-point underdogs against the Minnesota Vikings, but he's no Dak.

The Cowboys opened as 8.5-point favorites over the Denver Broncos with Dak's status uncertain. However, as the practice week has proceeded, it seems like Prescott is on track to return to the lineup. With Prescott back in the fold, the Cowboys are now 10-point favorites.

Denver snapped a 4-game losing streak last week with a win over the lowly Washington Football Team, but the Broncos have been far from impressive after opening the season 3-0. On the other side, the Cowboys have covered the spread in every game they've played this season. 

Taysom Hill an upgrade to Trevor Siemian

The New Orleans Saints are coming off a monster win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but it cost them their quarterback. Jameis Winston will miss the rest of the season due to a torn ACL. 

Trevor Siemian entered the game and performed well, but Siemian has been a subpar quarterback in his previous NFL experience. Taysom Hill has been injured, but it appears the Saints will be getting Hill back this weekend.

Once it became apparent that Hill would be able to return, the Saints became 6-point favorites against the Falcons. The line opened with the Saints as 4.5-point favorites. 

New Orleans' defense is the story, but Hill gives them a slightly better chance of winning than Siemian. 

Are the Eagles a sharp play?

The Los Angeles Chargers opened as 2.5-point favorites on the road against the Philadelphia Eagles when betting lines were released. 

I know the Chargers have back-to-back losses, and the Eagles are coming off a dominant win against the Lions, but it doesn't seem like a stretch to say I feel like there's a significant disparity between these two teams.

My original inclination was to bet the Chargers before the line moved to 3 points, but the line has actually moved the opposite way. Currently, the Eagles are just 1.5-point underdogs.

When lines look like this, I feel like I'm missing something. Usually, it's a sign to stay away. 

Key number watch

We've seen a few games have minimal movement, but the moves have been around key numbers. 

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