Brady's Hand Injury Impacting Spread
Is Tom Brady's recent hand injury impacting the point spread in Sunday's AFC Championship Game between the Jaguars and Patriots?
New England's routine was shaken up this week when Tom Brady injured his hand during practice. He was unavailable to speak to the media and that led to a great deal of speculation and in concern. In the end, most media reports determined that the injury was minor and ESPN.com reporter Mike Reiss was told that Brady's hand "should be okay."
Oddsmakers did not adjust the point spread so clearly they weren't concerned about Brady either. The Patriots opened as an 8.5-point home favorite, the line was bet up a full point to 9.5 and then it seemingly settled at 9.
But according to oddsmakers from online sports book Bovada.lv, the Patriots are now only 7.5-point favorites to beat the Jaguars on Sunday. That's a significant drop considering the early action on New England. In fact, some books even list New England as only a touchdown favorite.
As of this writing, 62% of the betting tickets are on the Patriots so the line movement indicates sharp action. Either that, or oddsmakers are anticipating that Brady's hand injury will be a bigger problem than the media lets on and they're preparing for a flood of Jacksonville money. Either way, the injury is impacting the line.
Brady remained sidelined at Thursday's practice and was again held back from the media Thursday after being scheduled to talk. Backup Brian Hoyer was also cagey about the starter's status. It's highly unlikely that Brady will miss Sunday's AFC Championship Game but even if he's limited, the Jaguars would be a massive value play as a road dog.