Sportsbooks were thrown for a loop on Wednesday morning when it was announced that Aaron Rodgers had tested positive for COVID-19 and would miss Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs. The loss of a starting quarterback, especially one as notable as Rodgers, is a huge development and one that requires swift action.
How did they handle it?
“Big drop-off to Jordan Love,” said Thomas Gable, Sportsbook Director at the Borgata in New Jersey. “The game was a pick, but is probably going to Chiefs laying seven.”
Jeffrey Benson, Sportsbook Operations Manager for Circa Sports, echoed similar sentiments. “We were at PK when the news broke and our models felt 6.5 was the right number. The market told us otherwise and we went to 8.5 before settling in at 7.5. It’s similar to what we saw with Dallas and Minnesota last week. The drop-off from the starter to the backup is huge.”
Bettors have often talked about how certain players are quantified from a point spread standpoint. Quarterbacks are obviously worth the most, but is Rodgers worth the most among quarterbacks?
“In my numbers, it’s pretty close. Losing Russell Wilson in Seattle and Patrick Mahomes in KC are worth seven points to me,” Gable noted.
It is also worth noting that the total dropped from 54.5 or 55 all the way to 48, as the expectation of a high-scoring game was tempered by the Rodgers news.
Love threw seven passes and completed five in Green Bay’s Week 1 blowout against the Saints for his first NFL action. He took 15 snaps in that game and three the following week as he knelt down on the final three plays of the Packers’ win over the Lions on Monday Night Football. Those are his only two NFL appearances.