Bettors Gold? Injured Linemen!

12 09 2008

by Michael DeLuca

Ask most coaches and coordinators in the NFL and they’ll tell you that the foundation of a good team begins with solid play in the trenches, the offensive and defensive linemen.  Of the recent dynasties, the New England Patriots, Denver Broncos, and Dallas Cowboys are wonderful examples of how a solid offensive line can bring teams to the promise land.  In fact, I challange you to find a Super Bowl winner that had a subpar front five.  Oddly enough, injuries at these positions seem to be ignored week in and week out when it comes to setting the spreads.

Sure, everybody knows that Tom Brady was injured in week 1. His injury caused at least an 11 point swing in the spread for this week’s matchup with the New York Jets. Perhaps rightfully so, but can somebody please explain to me how the Jacksonville Jaguars are 6 point favorites over the Buffalo Bills after losing both Maurice Williams and Vince Manuwai. The Jags will also be without center Brad Meester, who is still suffering from a biceps injury. These three men were largely responsible for Jacksonville having the NFL’s second-best rushing offense just a season ago. By the end of their season opener in Tennessee, the Jags were without 60% of their starting offensive linemen and had allowed a whopping seven sacks.  Their strar studded backfield combo, Maurice Jones Drew and Fred Taylor, combined for just 31 yards on the ground.

If all three men were healthy, is there any reason to believe the spread would be any higher?  I can’t imagine that being the case.  The Bills had a solid week 1 performance against the Seattle Seahawks and this week will get back All-Pro tackle Jason Peters.  Again, no effect on the spread. 

Needless to say, I love the Bills this week.  I know the Jags were a trendy Super Bowl sleeper pick this year, but injuries of this magnitude simply cannot be ignored.  I’d love to hear some other opinions on this, just please don’t wait until Monday to blast me!




2 responses

13 09 2008

You make a good point, but I still think Jacksonville wins this one. Their defense is healthy and will stop Buffalo’s offense. Should be a close low scoring game. I wouldn’t bet it either way.

15 09 2008
Chicken Dinner

Nice article, good insight. You convinced me. Now I just wish I bet the money line and not just taken the points. Keep up the good work.

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