How Dak Prescott’s Injury Affects NFL Spreads, Starting With Bengals vs Cowboys in Week 2

How Dak Prescott’s Injury Affects NFL Spreads, Starting With Bengals vs Cowboys in Week 2 article feature image

Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images. Pictured: Dak Prescott.

Dak Prescott announced on Sunday night that he will undergo surgery on his right thumb after suffering an injury in the Cowboys' opening-week loss to the Buccaneers. He's reportedly set to miss 6-8 weeks.

What should that mean for Dallas' odds in terms of point spreads? Action Network's predictive analytics team created a quarterback rating system to assist us with this analysis.

The system aims to project a quarterback's value to the spread, and it can help derive valuable betting positions when a market overcorrects or undercorrects for the absence of a quarterback.

In this situation, Prescott is worth approximately 4.5 points to the spread, according to the projections.

It's important to note that Cooper Rush, the Cowboys' projected replacement for Prescott, is worth -1 points against the spread, so overall this QB switch is estimated to account for a 5.5-point flip.

But did sportsbooks make a similar move on the Cowboys vs. Bengals point spread for Week 2?

When the line for this game first came out, the Cowboys were 2.5-point favorites, but that number has now shifted to Bengals -6.5, a nine-point shift.

In the eyes of these projections, that's 5.5 too many points, meaning you are projected to get early value on the Cowboys, who are now getting a touchdown minus the hook at home.

The Bengals are coming off of a wild loss to the Steelers in which they scored a last-second touchdown in the fourth quarter only to miss the game-winning extra point and a subsequent chip-shot field goal in overtime.

We'll see if there is any buyback on this line prior to game time with a full week to go.

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