Cam Newton’s positive COVID test shocked the football world, and, despite concerns voiced by some in the NFL, the Commissioner’s Office, rescheduled the game for Monday night, pending no new positive tests. None have come so far, and the game is still on schedule, although under very different circumstances.
The BetUS Online Sportsbook made massive line adjustments on the injury news, and we break down the changes in our Patriots vs Chiefs Injury Analysis to help give you an edge in this modified rematch of the 2019 AFC Championship.
|Game: New England Patriots (2-1) vs Kansas City Chiefs (3-0)
Location: Arrowhead Stadium
Time: 7:05p.m. ET
Heading into the weekend, football fans circled this game as the late-game marquee matchup. The book posted the Chiefs as six-point favorites, and bettors argued and wagered over whether Cam Newton could go toe to toe in scoring against Patrick Mahomes.
On Saturday afternoon, the story broke that an unnamed New England Patriots’ player tested positive for Covid-19. The game came off the board, and only a short time passed before the additional news that player in question was Cam Newton. When the rescheduled game came back up at the sportsbook, the Patriots found themselves as 11½-point dogs under their backup QB Brian Hoyer.
Patriots vs Chiefs Injury Analysis
|Team||Point Spread||Moneyline||Over/Under||Team Total|
Whether or not Cam Newton is worth five points more than Brian Hoyer in this situation is debatable, but bettors did take enough of the Patriots to drop the line to 10½ when the game reopened. (So, four points?). In traditional injury/roster news, before the COVID outbreak, the Pats were looking forward to welcoming RB James White back after a personal tragedy kept him off the field for the past two weeks. His return will help, especially with fellow back Sony Michel ruled out with a quad injury. Four other players are worth checking at game time.
WR Julian Edleman’s status will surely be well-publicized, but maybe just as important is whether or not starting LT Isiah Wynn and RG Shaq Mason are playing. On the defensive side of the ball DT Adam Butler (shoulder) is also listed questionable. (Safety Cody Davis has already been ruled out).
Kansas City’s practice week went well with regard to injury rehab. By the end of week, nearly everyone returned to full practice with their injury designations removed — except one. Sadly, if one defensive player on the Chiefs hungered for revenge against these Patriots for that 2019 AFC Championship game, it was DT Chris Jones. His status as questionable was said to be generous and he wasn’t expected to play, but with the postponement, it’s possible his day-to-day groin injury will heal enough.
Patriots vs Chiefs Injury Analysis: Leans
It’s tempting when considering point spreads to use a simple abstraction to replace key players. Like trying to estimate the number of points Cam Newton is worth over Brian Hoyer. But, we’d argue that’s a fool’s errand in this case. The line move would suggest the difference is four points. However, this is not a normal roster change due to injury. News reports suggest this was all new information to the Patriots early Saturday, which is an atrocious time to be forced into a quarterback change.
With this emergency substitution, a large chunk of coach Bill Belichick’s playbook is now closed. Whatever game plan was installed throughout the week is now highly restricted. If you believe Belichick can coach his way out of anything, then this is time to take more points than you’re likely to see handed to the Pats for a long time to come. Not us, though — we’d be happy to lay ten with Chiefs if the line were to come down. If the injuries break poorly for the Pats, we’d also play Kansas City up to -12½. The total of 49½ seems a little high with what’s likely to be a vanilla game plan executed by New England. But it’s just low enough to be in danger if and when there’s garbage time.