The New York Jets have dropped from +2000 to +1200 to win the AFC East at most New York sportsbooks, and the elbow injury to Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen makes them an enticing wager during their bye week.
And they are not +1200 everywhere. DraftKings has best odds at +1800, PointsBet and ResortsWorld are at +1600, while FanDuel, BetMGM, WynnBet, Caesars and BetRivers are at +1200. BallyBet, which was slow to come to market in New York, does not offer any NFL futures.
That is a fairly wide swing from lowest to highest, and the price at DraftKings will likely fall into line with the others if the news from Buffalo gets worse in terms of Allen’s availability for Sundays’ 1 p.m. tilt against the Minnesota Vikings. That’s easily the most appealing of Sunday’s slate of seven 1 p.m. EST starts. The game will be televised by FOX as the opener of a doubleheader featuring Green Bay at Dallas in the second game. So rake all of those leaves Saturday, folks. OK?
What is wrong with Josh Allen?
Allen has not been practicing this week because of an ulnar collateral ligament injury and related nerve damage from last Sunday against the Jets. It happened on a strip sack by Bryce Huff that resulted in a fumble.
#Bills QB Josh Allen, who has a history of UCL sprain in 2018, appeared to suffer another UCL sprain on this play very late in the game. Threw a nice deep ball right after, but was shaking out the elbow/may have been dealing w some nerve stretch symptoms. Injury to watch this wk. pic.twitter.com/61nLQO1cw1
— DocFlynn (@DocFlynnNFL) November 6, 2022
Allen dealt with an injury to the UCL in his right elbow during his rookie season and missed four games. He has not missed a game since. Coach Sean McDermott responded, “We’ll see,” when asked if Allen would play. “We use common sense and obviously, we factor a lot of things in, a medical report being one of them and our doctor’s wisdom and knowledge.”
Jeff Sherman of SuperBook Sports said in a phone interview that his book is expecting Allen to sit for 2-4 weeks, and sharp action is coming on on the Jets to win the division.
“We has them at +1956 earlier this week, and then we started to see those exact wagers come across from respected players, and we responded by bumping them down to +1285,” Sherman said Thursday.
The matchup with the 7-1 Vikings is the toughest game remaining on the schedule for the Bills, who still must face the Jets and Dolphins one more time each and the 5-4 New England Patriots twice.
The AFC East is the NFL’s only division in which every team has a winning record, and a loss Sunday to the Vikings would drop the Bills into a tie with the 6-3 Jets. Miami enters this weekend 6-3 and is favored by 3 1/2 at home against Cleveland. A Dolphins win and a Bills loss would move Miami into first place, and the Dolphins have road games remaining against San Francisco, the Los Angeles Chargers, the Bills and Patriots. They face the Jets on Jan. 8 in a season finale that could conceivably determine the division winner.
Gang Green has been as high as +5000, meaning the books are exposed.
Where is the Money Being Wagered?
The Buffalo-Minnesota line has moved from Bills -9 1/2 or – 8 1/2 to Bills – 3 1/2, a clear indication that the sportsbooks feel it is unlikely Allen will play.
But the bettors at DraftKings sure like the under:
The handle percentages were similar at BetMGM, and most of th spread money was coming in on Minnesota:
“Since Sunday, the Jets have the most tickets to win the NFC East, twice as many as the next closest team,” BetMGM spokesman Drew O’Dell said. And it should be noted, as we have reported here before, that Jets bettors have been killing BetMGM.
Allen did not practice Thursday, but did briefly walk out of the team’s field house wearing a sleeve on his right arm. He was not in practice attire. Allen did not participate at all in Wednesday’s practice, but was out on the field with the team during the portion closed to the media, according to ESPN.com.
There could be a revenge factor in play if Allen sits.
“Josh Allen is questionable for this weekend for a tough matchup, the Dolphins have no cakewalk, and the Jets have a bye. The Jet faithful are still betting them hoping they’ll be on top in the AFC East after Sunday,” said Johnny Avello, head trader at Draft Kings.
What’s Up with the Backup?
Former Vikings quarterback Case Keenum would start in Allen’s place if he is unable to play. Keenum won two games with the Cleveland Browns last year.
“I’m doing the same thing I do every week, I prepare to play every week, every day, every period, every practice, every meeting,” Keenum said. “So it’s the same just got a few more reps today. I feel great, feel great with the communication, the mindset of the team with (offensive coordinator Ken) Dorsey and the communication from Sean, everybody, and taking it a day at a time.”
There are no passing props or receiving props for Vikings-Bills, but there most certainly will be. The matchup includes two of the NFL’s best wide receivers, Minnesota’s Justin Jefferson, who is second in the NFL in total receiving yards with 867, and Buffalo’s Stefon Diggs, who is third with just 10 fewer yards.
DraftKings has a prop up under “player specials” for both Diggs and Jefferson to have at least one receiving touchdown, priced at +330. After going six games without one, Jefferson had a TD reception last weekend against the Washington Commanders. Diggs has had at least one TD reception in five of eight games.
Keenum has thrown for a grand total of 8 yards in mop-up duty this season in blowout wins over the Steelers and Titans. Last season, when he was with Minnesota, Keenum had a quarterback rating of 102.1 and was 17-of-24 for 176 yards in the final game of the regular season, a 21-16 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals.
— Dave Myers (@DaveMyersBIB) November 10, 2022
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