What Do Injury Reports Have To Do With NFL Betting? Here’s What You Should Know

Written By Grant Lucas on September 8, 2022
NY Sports Betting Thursday Night Football Buffalo Bills LA Rams NFL Injury Report

When it comes to NFL betting, we often think of the obvious factors that affect how we wager.

What is the matchup? Where is the game? How’s the weather? How does this quarterback fare against this defense? How does this defense measure up against this passing game?

We consider the “who’s playing” and sometimes overlook its counter: Who isn’t?

In some cases, that is the all-important question. Not only does it affect, say, how online sportsbooks in New York set the odds. It also could impact the way in which you bet.

While no major injuries exist for either team, we will take a look at the Buffalo Bills and their season-opening game against the Los Angeles Rams on Thursday Night Football. Check out the Buffalo Bills injury report for more information on their Week 1 matchup at SoFi Stadium.

Examining Buffalo Bills Week 1 injury report vs. Los Angeles Rams

Heading into Thursday, the Bills listed six players on their Week 1 injury report, including three starters. However, at this point, not one should create much — if any — concern.

All six participated in practice on Wednesday in at least a limited capacity, including first-stringers Isaiah McKenzie (wide receiver) and Jordan Poyer (safety). While WR Stefon Diggs did not have a participation listing Wednesday, the team designated his “injury” as “vet rest.” Consider this more of a deserved time off than to rehabilitate an actual injury.

For the Los Angeles Rams, WR Van Jefferson, considered the No. 3 option behind Cooper Kupp and Allen Robinson II, was ruled out for Thursday’s game, just a few weeks after undergoing minor knee surgery. That opens up a spot for second-year wideouts Ben Skowronek (who had 11 catches in 2021 for 133 yards) and Tutu Atwell (who served only on special teams a year ago), and potentially fifth-year man Brandon Powell.

Even with Jefferson out, the NFL betting odds won’t change much. If at all.

How injuries can affect NFL betting

As noted, neither the Bills nor the Rams feature any significant players on their respective injury reports. But what if they did? How would that affect NY sports betting odds?

In football, in reality, only one position really carries the most weight: quarterback.

If a team’s star QB goes down with an injury, oddsmakers will be quick to adjust the lines. Depending on the talent level and impact of the quarterback, point spreads can swing by as much as a touchdown, and even as little as field goal.

Consider what Bills fans fear, that QB Josh Allen gets sidelined with an injury. Without that franchise player, the man behind Buffalo’s resurgence into a championship contender, the Bills’ offense goes from high-scoring and overpowering to, potentially, meager. Perhaps average at best.

Even if Stefon Diggs does miss a game to injury, it’s not likely to affect the point spread by much. The moneyline, more likely. Oddsmakers will only shift the line at non-QB positions if a cluster of injuries at a single spot exists. If Buffalo sees multiple wide receivers suffer injury, or on the offensive line, then NY betting apps may adjust the point spread as necessary.

Photo by AP / Kevork Djansezian; PlayNY
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Grant Lucas

Grant Lucas is the managing editor for PlayNY. A longtime, award-winning sports writer, Grant has covered gambling and legal sports betting since 2018, when he got his start reporting on the New Jersey and Pennsylvania industries. He now oversees PlayNY as New York expands legalized gambling to sports betting and online casino gaming.

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