Does the Kyler Murray Hype Impact His Worth Towards the Spread?
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray during training camp practice at State Farm Stadium.
- Arizona Caridnals rookie QB Kyler Murray has received lofty praise in training camp.
- But just how much is Murray worth to the spread heading into his first season under center?
The Kyler Murray era is here.
The Arizona Cardinals hired long-time Texas Tech head coach (and Air Raid legend) Kliff Kingsbury to call the shots, and shipped out last year’s No. 10 overall pick Josh Rosen to the Dolphins making way for Murray.
The 2018 Heisman trophy winner was handed the keys to the franchise on Day 1, and we know Kingsbury loves to let his quarterbacks drive.
The Cardinals drafted Murray No. 1 overall with an eye on turning the franchise around quickly and so far the buzz around him is building early in training camp.
Larry Fitzgerald continues to be impressed by Kyler Murray.
— Sooner Gridiron (@soonergridiron) July 30, 2019
Being the gambler that I am, this all made me wonder: How much is Murray worth toward the actual point spread?
Every NFL player is given a value toward the actual weekly point spread, although few non-quarterbacks are valued enough to affect a line. Positional players generally affect only the juice or the vig (the charge taken on bets by bookmakers).
Murray is going to be valuable to the Cardinals offense, particularly because his rushing ability is special, but how do oddsmakers perceive his value when making their weekly lines?
To find out how much Murray impacts the point spread on a game-to-game and season long basis, I turned to Jeff Sherman, VP of Risk Management for the SuperBook USA, for answers.
“In the case of Murray, we would have him worth 2.5-3 points to a game spread,” Sherman told The Action Network. “Extrapolated over a full season, he is worth half a win to their season win total.”
For comparison’s sake, let’s look at who the most valuable players are when it comes to the actual lines. As mentioned above, quarterbacks are the only real game changers who can swing a spread.
According to the oddsmakers I spoke with before the start of last season, the three top players to affect lines were Aaron Rodgers (7-7.5 points), Ben Roethlisberger (7 points) and Tom Brady (7 points). To put that into perspective, even a wide receiver as good as Odell Beckham Jr. is only worth 1-1.5 points per game.
So while Murray is the perfect quarterback to succeed in Kingsbury’s Air Raid offense — and should have a great fantasy football season — his true value in oddsmakers’ eyes is not game-changing, yet. That makes sense, given that he is just a rookie, and has a long way to go before being compared to the likes of Rodgers, Roethlisberger, and Brady.
But, as gamblers, we know that every point counts. Murray’s growth during his rookie season will be fun to follow, and, so will his point spread value.