Jaguars vs Chargers Odds: Justin Herbert Injury Creates Significant Shift in Spread

Jaguars vs Chargers Odds: Justin Herbert Injury Creates Significant Shift in Spread article feature image

UPDATE: As of 2:30 PM ET Sunday afternoon, it looks like Justin Herbert will be active today against the Jacksonville Jaguars, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

After the announcement, the Chargers have now moved from just 3-point favorites back to 6.5-point favorites on the Action Network consensus lines.

#Chargers QB Justin Herbert is active vs the #Jaguars, despite the pain associated with a fractured rib cartilage.

— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 25, 2022

It's not every day betting markets see movement like this.

Let's quickly flashback to last Thursday night when the Chargers and Chiefs were batting in primetime and Justin Herbert was driven into the ground by Kansas City's Mike Danna.

Looks like a possible rib injury for Justin Herbert

— Dr. Evan Jeffries, DPT (@GameInjuryDoc) September 16, 2022

Herbert came out of the game for just one play and ultimately finished the contest.

Over a week ago, sportsbooks opened with the Chargers as 10-point favorites over the Jaguars on the lookahead line.

However, by the time we got to last Sunday night, with Herbert's status in question, the Chargers moved to 7-point favorites. That change had many bettors questioning the status of the Chargers' star quarterback.

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The Movement

In the offseason, Sean Koerner, our Director of Predictive Analytics, analyzed the value of every quarterback in the NFL, according to the point spread.

In terms of the move from Justin Herbert to Chase Daniel, Koerner projected it at about six total points, making Herbert the sixth most valuable QB to the spread.

Fast forward now to Friday afternoon.

The line had remained at seven, but then news started to leak that Herbert may not play Sunday. Thus, the line started plummeting.

As of Friday night, Herbert is questionable for Sunday's game vs. the Jaguars, but the line tells the story. Los Angeles is now just a 3-point favorite, a full seven point move — through multiple key numbers — from the lookahead line.

The question is, how often do we see a line move this drastically, through such widely known key numbers? Recently some, but in the long term, it's very rare.

Here are the past four examples of a team opening greater than a full touchdown favorite (over 7 points) and closing under a 4-point favorite.

The Games

Chiefs at Bengals (2021)

The Chiefs opened up as 7.5-point favorites in Cincinnati on the lookahead line. A day later, the Chiefs were down to 4-point favorites as Kansas City was fighting for the 1-seed, but the Bengals needed a win to get into the playoffs.

The Chiefs ended up closing as 3.5-point favorites, but lost 34-31 to Cincinnati about a month before meeting in the AFC Championship Game.

Cowboys at Chiefs (2021)

Six weeks before Kansas City's matchup with the Bengals above, the Chiefs had a similar situation against the Cowboys.

The Chiefs played on Sunday Night Football the week before their game against Dallas. Kansas City won and the next morning their lookahead line against the Cowboys moved from the Chiefs -7.5 to -5. Literally 15 minutes after moving to -5, our consensus odds moved another 2.5 points to Chiefs -2.5 — the spread the game closed at.

The Cowboys were coming off a 43-3 win against the Falcons and the possible return of Tyron Smith was looming. The Chiefs came out and beat Dallas, 19-9.

Bills at Patriots (2016)

Not all line movement is equal. When the Patriots were without Tom Brady, things were just different.

It was the first loss of the season for the Patriots, who were playing their final game before Brady returned from his four-game "Deflategate" suspension.

New England was as high as -7.5 and ended up closing at -3.5 with Jacoby Brissett at quarterback. The Bills ended up winning the game, 16-0.

Browns at Steelers (2016)

This may be the biggest line move to date. The Steelers opened as 12.5-point favorites on the lookahead line against the Browns and moved all the way to a 7-point favorite in the same day.

The line then steadily dropped day after day until kickoff, finally closing with the Steelers as just 3.5-point favorites.

The news? Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, wide receiver Antonio Brown and running back Le’Veon Bell wouldn’t play against the Browns.

The Steelers had to win in Week 17 and hope for a New England Patriots loss or tie to earn the No. 1 seed in the AFC.

Against the 1-14 Browns, Pittsburgh started Landry Jones and won, 27-24, in overtime.

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