Take a deep breath, Philadelphia Eagles fans.
After the NFL betting market started going haywire Monday afternoon and rumors emerged that Jalen Hurts may have suffered a broken collarbone against the Chicago Bears, reports revealed the star quarterback actually suffered a sprained shoulder and could miss this Saturday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys. The Eagles don’t believe this to be a long-term injury, and he’s expected to return before the playoffs. Crisis averted.
Still, the surprising injury news caused drastic shifts in the NFL betting market for this week’s game and the MVP odds. Let’s break it down.
Jalen Hurts injury: Eagles QB likely to miss time with sprained shoulder
Eagles fans got a serious scare on Monday afternoon when rumors started surfacing online that Hurts broke his collarbone during Sunday’s win against the Bears. The third-year QB went down hard and was slow to get up after taking a hard hit late in the third quarter, but he stayed in the game and looked unbothered down the stretch.
It turns out Hurts did suffer an injury during that play, but it’s not as disastrous as the rumors indicated. At 4:20 p.m. ET, Adam Schefter of ESPN reported in a tweet that Hurts suffered a sprained right shoulder and is “uncertain” to play against the Cowboys this week. Schefter added that the Eagles don’t consider the sprain to be a long-term injury.
Shortly after, John Clark of NBC Sports Philadelphia reported in a tweet that the injury is not considered serious. X-rays were negative, nothing was broken, and Hurts will be ready for the playoffs, per Clark. Obviously, it’s not an ideal situation for the 13-1 Eagles, but it could have been much worse.
If Hurts does miss time, former Jacksonville Jaguars QB Gardner Minshew will take over as the starter. Anyone else having flashbacks of 2017?
Jalen Hurts injury shakes up the MVP odds and Eagles-Cowboys spread
Betting markets in the NFL don’t normally shift much throughout the week. Spreads and totals will move slightly based on injuries and weather reports, but futures such as Super Bowl odds and MVP odds largely remain static.
That wasn’t the case for about 30 wild minutes on Monday afternoon.
Once injury rumors started surfacing on Twitter, the spread and total for Eagles-Cowboys this Saturday went crazy. The Cowboys, who opened as 1.5-point favorites at most sportsbooks, jumped quickly to -4.5. Then -5. Then -6. Dallas has now settled as a six-point favorite at FanDuel, but the spread likely isn’t done moving. The total also dropped from an opener of 50.5 to 46.5.
The movement on the MVP odds board was even more fascinating. Hurts opened the day as a -150 favorite to win the award. Patrick Mahomes was right behind him at +150, while Josh Allen (+750) and Joe Burrow (+1100) seemed to be out of the race. Due to the Hurts injury news, the Eagles QB has plummeted to +700 odds to win the award. Mahomes is now a massive favorite at -350, and Allen and Burrow moved up to +550 each.
As for the Super Bowl odds, we didn’t see much movement on that front. The Buffalo Bills are still the favorites at +350, and the Eagles are still second on the odds board at +430. Considering Hurts is expected back before the playoffs, sportsbooks didn’t feel the need to shift their Super Bowl prices.
So, what does this all mean? Well, oddsmakers are pricing this Saturday’s game as if Minshew will start, and they’re giving Hurts little chance to win the MVP award now. However, they don’t feel Hurts’ injury affects Philadelphia’s chances to win the Super Bowl.
I don’t believe these price movements created any valuable bets right away. If the Eagles play the rest of their starters against the Cowboys, I do think the new spread of -6 is a tad inflated, but I wouldn’t make any bets in the MVP or Super Bowl betting markets.