When it comes to handicapping the NFL, no other single factor influences the lines as much as injuries. Like no other year before it — no OTAs, virtual training caps, and a canceled preseason — widespread roster changes centerpiece the 2020 season. Before making your bets at the sportsbook, always check the latest player updates for injury news. Knowing who’s on the field and who’s on the bench makes the difference between winning and losing.
|Game: Denver Broncos (0-3) vs New York Jets (0-3)
Location: MetLife Stadium
Time: 8:20 p.m. ET
If the world were fair, this game would end in a tie. But it probably won’t, and tomorrow one of these winless wonders will be declared the get-off-the-schneid champion. It’s the New York Jets playing host to the Denver Broncos in a prime-time Thursday night matchup. Why, look who’s favored!
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The biggest roster news for the Broncos was Monday’s announcement Drew Lock’s rotator-cuff injury would keep him sidelined for weeks, and that Brett Rypien would start under center. Not bad considering he was a practice-squad afterthought last month. The line on this game shifted on the announcement. The Broncos had been favored by close to a field goal, and the number crashed to a pick.
Denver suffers from more issues than a new starting quarterback. Starting right tackle Elijah Wilkinson (shin) and DE Jurrell Casey (biceps) were both lost to IR. (The defense is still missing and unlikely to return CB Davonte Harris or SLB Jeremiah Attaochu either.)
Now as game time approaches, word comes that RB Phillip Lindsay will not get the start, being held back on an early week as a precaution. All this adds up to negative for Denver.
#Broncos RB Phillip Lindsay (turf toe) is considered unlikely to play tonight against the #Jets, per source. Lindsay has practiced the past week, is on the trip and feeling better. But it may make sense to hold him out another week. They’ll talk before making a final decision.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) October 1, 2020
New York Jets
Meanwhile, the New York Football Jets have moved to be the favorite. Where were you earlier this week? We were pushing advice on the Jets when they were still underdogs. But now they’re installed as the one-point faves.
After their last game versus the Colts, the Jets posted injury reports on about a dozen players. After the dust settled, the damage was not as widespread as originally believed. Their left tackle Mehki Becton is the worst of their current question marks but could dress. So too should WR Chris Hogan and OLB Jordan Jenkins, despite being listed questionable and limited in practice.
Most importantly, the Jets should well be returning a number of players who were unable to play last week and prior: WR Jamison Crowder, CB Quincy Wilson, OT George Fant — the list goes on.
Check in at about an hour before kickoff to see the active report. Our expectation is both Hogan and Crowder (and Wilson and Jenkins and Fant) will all be active, in which case the line move in favor of the Jets was warranted and should still be the play.
Obviously our play here would be the New York Jets, but the line is still moving in their direction, and we’d prefer having to not lay 1½. So get while the getting is still good.
As for the total, we leaned earlier to the under 40 but understand the market move to 41. Leaning now towards the over with the possibility of the Jets having two additional receiving options. We’d expect that number to only go up, so get it over the 41 before it notches up.