Buffalo Bills fans have been anxiously holding their collective breath ever since Sunday’s 20-17 loss to the New York Jets. It’s not the loss that’s the problem, though. It’s Josh Allen‘s superhuman cannon that he calls his right arm.
On the final drive of Sunday’s game, Allen suffered a right elbow injury on a hit from Jets defensive lineman Bryce Huff. The severity of the injury is still unknown, but we’ll learn more at some point this week.
If Allen is forced to miss multiple weeks with his elbow injury, not only will it change the landscape of the AFC playoff picture, but it will also flip the NFL betting market on its head.
Josh Allen could miss time with an elbow injury
The Bills have been considered the best team in the NFL for most of the season, and Allen has been the main reason why. Allen has thrown for 2,403 yards and 19 touchdowns through eight games, and he’s added 392 yards and four touchdowns on the ground.
Even after Buffalo’s loss to the Jets in Week 9 to fall to 6-2, the Bills were still on pace to land the No. 1 seed in the AFC by the end of the regular season. That plan may have just hit a snag, though.
Allen suffered a right elbow injury to the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) and related nerves on Sunday, as reported by Chris Mortensen of ESPN on Twitter. The QB may not be able to suit up against the Minnesota Vikings this week, and it’s possible he misses even more time due to the injury.
In Allen’s rookie season, he suffered a similar injury to his right UCL and missed four games. So, what will happen to the NFL betting market if he misses four games this season?
How Allen’s injury could drastically change the Super Bowl and MVP betting odds
As of Tuesday, Nov. 8, the Bills are still the betting favorites to win the Super Bowl at +300 odds (FanDuel). Allen, after sitting on top of the MVP odds board for the first eight weeks of the season, has dropped to third behind Patrick Mahomes (+185) and Jalen Hurts (+250) at +310 odds.
Even if Allen misses only one or two games, both betting markets could change drastically over the next few weeks.
Let’s start with the Super Bowl odds. The Bills won’t move down much if Allen misses just a few games, but they could easily be overtaken as the favorite, especially if Case Keenum struggles and Buffalo loses a game or two. The Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs could both jump the Bills in that case. This could create a valuable betting opportunity if the Bills slip to +600 or so with Allen out of the lineup.
The MVP race is more complicated. If Allen misses four games, as he did a few years ago, he’ll almost have no chance of winning the award. It might be a valuable strategy to bet both Mahomes and Hurts to win MVP at some point this week, and if Allen’s injury is more severe than expected, those prices are going to plummet. With Allen out of the race, Mahomes and Hurts might be the only two players who can win the MVP, assuming they stay healthy for the rest of the year.
Betting Mahomes and Hurts right now would give you a +217 price on either player to win MVP. Those combined odds will be -110 or worse before Sunday if Allen is ruled out for multiple weeks.
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