One NFL team received a scare, the other a shock.

That’s the summation for New Jersey online sports bettors regarding recent injury news for the Philadelphia Eagles and Indianapolis Colts, off-season trading partners.

Fortunately for the Eagles, theirs was a tweak. Heisman Trophy-winning top draft pick DeVonta Smith suffered a knee injury in practice that can be dealt with week to week.

He will miss most of the preseason. However, he will likely be ready when the Birds open the season against the host Atlanta Falcons on Sept. 12.

For them, it’s “Whew”.

The news is far worse for the Colts, who traded with the Eagles to obtain quarterback Carson Wentz in March.  He is scheduled to miss 5-12 weeks with a broken foot that he suffered last week. It required surgery.

For them, it’s “Ouch”

Wentz injury impacts NFL betting odds

Besides scuttling the debate of whom would perform better this year,  Wentz or his successor Jalen Hurts,  the Wentz injury downgraded the Colts’ odds on the betting boards.

Here is a look at how things shifted around at DraftKings Sportsbook following the injury news:

  • Super Bowl odds went from +2800 to +4500
  • AFC odds went from +1400 to +2000
    AFC South odds went from +115 to +180

Rethinking Carson Wentz props

And the season prop bet on Wentz’ passing yardage, 3850.5, vanished.  It had practically screamed “over” and was 200 yards more than Hurts, who also has modest expectations with less than a full season under his belt.

There are a couple of ways to perceive preseason props made on Wentz.

This is the luck of the draw. Futures bets on player performance are risky because of injury. If Wentz is out long enough, perhaps some adjustments can be made by some NJ onliine sportsbooks.

“It looks like Carson Wentz won’t play that much and perhaps not at all, so there’s a good chance we’re going to do the right thing (most likely voiding the bet),” Johnny Avello, the director of race and sportsbook operations for DraftKings, told NJGamblingSites.com. “We won’t do anything at least until the season starts, I think, but this is a tough break.

“It’s a shame for Carson Wentz, the kid has had bad fortune. You go all the way back to how good he looked when he came into the league, he gets hurt and Nick Foles wins the Super Bowl for the Eagles and now it is this.”

Wentz has, unfortunately, become the embodiment of a blues song: if he had no back luck, he’d have no luck at all.

Since missing the Eagles’ Super Bowl ride, he has suffered a stress fracture in his back, a concussion that knocked him out of the only playoff game he has played in, and now the broken foot.

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NFL odds movement at other NJ sportsbooks

At Caesars Sportsbook, (formerly William Hill), the Colts went from +2500 to +3500 to capture the Super Bowl.

They also stand at +170 to capture the AFC South division, plummeting to second behind the Tennessee Titans at -135. They have not taken as big a hit at Caesars, but they have nonetheless been affected by the Wentz news.

SugarHouse sportsbook has dropped the Colts from +2500 to +4000 to win the Super Bowl.

They jumped from -106 to +180 regarding the AFC South crown. The Tennessee Titans become the favorite at -114.

Indy’s Week 1 game against the Seattle Seahawks came off the board. The Colts were-2.5, but will likely be +2.5 when the game reappears, according to the book.

While the Wentz news gets absorbed, the Colts embrace the NFL’s Next Man Up philosophy. Jacob Eason is 6-foot-6, an old-school pocket passer and he has a good deep arm. Silver linings?

Eagles have many reasons to root for Wentz

Well, let’s forget about the history angle. He was their quarterback for five years. However, the Birds also have a vested interest in Wentz getting back on his feet.

The Wentz trade included the Eagles obtaining a third-round 2021 draft pick and a second-rounder in 2022 that could become a first under the following stipulations:

  • Wentz plays at least 75 percent of Indianapolis’ offensive snaps.
  • Wentz plays at least 70 percent of Indy’s snaps, and the Colts make the playoffs.

Those are unlikely scenarios now. He can’t hit those numbers on the sideline.

Smith status check: Fortunately, it’s still early

Time heals most NFL preseason concerns.

And that’s what the Eagles count on regarding Smith, who injured his knee during Saturday’s practice while making a catch on a low throw.

The Eagles aren’t concerned with the injury now, saying Smith is “week to week,” or maybe it’s “tweak to tweak” because they have the luxury of resting him throughout the entire preseason.

However, there is still some concern over the presumed fragility of Smith who has been listed as anywhere from 168-175 pounds.

Smith has been the No. 1 wide receiver through the first few practices. From a route-running standpoint, he shows good football sense.

And now the Eagles will use common sense. There is no need to rush him onto the field, and they won’t.

Around the NFC East: Cowboys cut Dak some slack

Dallas Cowboys franchise quarterback Dak Prescott will be out at least another week with a strained shoulder muscle. He will not play in the preseason-opening Hall of Fame game this weekend, giving Garrett Gilbert and Ben DiNucci playing time.

Prescott was off to a fantastic start in 2020, throwing for 1,856 yards and nine touchdowns in five games before suffering a gruesome ankle injury that sidelined him for the season. He was on pace to shatter Peyton Manning’s one-season, 5,477 yardage mark set in 2013.

But it was the Cowboys who shattered. He went down and they missed the playoffs. Dallas needs Prescott to maximize an awesome wide-receiver group including CeeDee Lamb, Amari Cooper, and Michael Gallup.

Broadway Joe started this mindset

Times change and teams protect investments more.

Nobody knows this philosophy better than New York Jets fans. Injuries to Joe Namath ushered in this era of protectionism.

Namath missed the final games of the 1970 season with a wrist injury.

During the first preseason game of 1971, he tried to make a tackle after a fumble. He injured his knee and missed most of the season. The Jets went 4-10 and 6-8 in those seasons.

AP Photo/Julio Cortez

 

 

About

Dave Bontempo, a multiple national award-winning boxing commentator and writer, authors NFL betting columns for the Press of Atlantic City and IGaming Player, among others.