WAGERING LINES WAVER AFTER KEY QB INJURIES
The early games have been costly for the NFL in general and for several key players in particular. Both Drew Brees of the Saints and Ben Roethlisberger of the Steelers sustained significant injuries which have taken them off of the playing field for the foreseeable future.
Both All Pro quarterbacks are central to their teams functioning on a high level and both teams are rated highly in the competition for supremacy in the NFL this season. However, both the Steelers and the Saints have had to reassess their respective strategies while sports writers and announcers everywhere are speculating on what head coaches Mike Tomlin and Sean Payton will do to compensate for the loss of their ever so dependable, long established star quarterbacks.
Replacement quarterbacks Mason Rudolph for the Steelers and Teddy Bridgewater for the Saints were thrown directly into NFL action on Sunday as the Steelers went out to San Francisco to face the 49ers with Jimmy Garoppolo finally getting underway as the 9ers QB.
Although Pittsburg ultimately lost the matchup 24-20, Rudolf did throw for 2 touchdowns with one pick and showed some real promise, giving a ray of hope to Steeler fans that all was not lost when Big Ben went down. San Francisco went into the game as 6.5 point favorites but did not cover the spread. Bettors who picked the under 44.5 won their wagers by .5 point!
The New Orleans Saints, on the other hand, went on a long road trip all the way up to Seattle and played outdoors in a chilling rain….and still beat the Seahawks outright on their soggy home turf by a final score of 33-27. Seattle was favored by 4.5 points and ended up losing to the Saints by 6 in one of the more exiting games of the day. Over bets won by 16 points!
Teddy Bridgewater, standing in for Drew Brees, passed for 177 yards, completing 19 of 27 and tossing two touchdown passes and zero interceptions. Bridgewater himself went through a horrendous knee injury three years ago after making a hot start with the Vikings.
The revitalized Saints defense accounted for a touchdown on a recovered fumble-runback by Vonn Bell and then Deonte Harris had a beautiful 53 yard punt return that electrified Saints fans everywhere.
But the battle royal of the day turned out to be between two of the top rising young quarterbacks in the National Football League, Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs and the highly touted Lamar Jackson, the guy that the Ravens released Joe Flacco for in Baltimore. And the game did not disappoint in the least.
Mahomes threw for three touchdowns and 374 total yards as the Chiefs held off the determined Ravens. Lamar Jackson himself racked up 267 yards, only to lose by a final score of 33-28, hitting the Vegas line of -5 for the Chiefs right on the nose and going over the projected 52 points.
The other youngblood quarterback getting a chance to shine on the big stage last Sunday was Daniel Jones of the New York Giants who was the controversial first quarterback to go in the 2019 NFL Draft at 6 overall as the eventual replacement for 38 year old Eli Manning.
Obviously the Giants have high hopes for the former Duke QB as they treated him to a four year $25.6 million contract with a nice fat $16.7 million signing bonus, not too bad right out of college. However, Giants fans could breathe a sigh of relief after young Mr. Jones led his team to a 32-31 come-from-behind victory over Jamis Winston and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after going in as 5 point dogs.
Then there is the story of the guy in Atlantic City at a William Hill book at the Ocean Casino Resort who placed a big bet on the Cleveland Browns to cover the 3.5 point spread against the Los Angeles Rams. A really big bet because, when the Browns failed to cover the spread due to some controversial actions both on the field and from the sidelines, the bettor ended up losing a cool $506,000, over a half a million bucks.
The Rams Browns matchup was the most highly wagered on game of the 2019 so far, but most of the action went to the Rams who won the game 20-13 and covered.