When the New York Giants signed Odell Beckham Jr. to one of the most lucrative contract extensions ever for an NFL wide receiver on Monday, it made me wonder: How much is Beckham worth toward the point spread?
We all know how valuable OBJ is to the Giants offense, but you might be surprised by how oddsmakers perceive his value when making their weekly lines.
Every NFL player is given a value toward the actual weekly point spread, although not many non-quarterbacks are valued enough to affect a line. Positional players generally affect only the juice or the vig — a charge taken on bets by bookmakers.
To find out how much Beckham impacts the point spread, the Action Network turned to Bovada’s sportsbook manager Kevin Bradley for answers.
Vik Chokshi, contributor at The Action Network: How much is Odell worth on a game-to-game basis for the Giants?
Kevin Bradley: It is very difficult for [a] non-QB to have a great impact on the line. In the case of OBJ, we are looking at 1 to 1.5 points as long as the number does not move onto or off of 3 or 7.
In those cases, we would just increase the juice on the opponent. There are countless factors that would also have to go into a decision like this, but as a general rule, I would forecast the line moving 1 to 1.5 points [per game].
VC: What would the Week 1 spread have been if he was hypothetically out?
KB: This is an example of where the line would not move, but the juice would move as the Giants are 3-point underdogs in Week 1.
Currently the price is Giants +3 at -105. I would forecast that moving to Giants +3 at +115 or +120 if OBJ was out of the lineup.
VC: How many total games is Beckham worth to the Giants over the entire season?
KB: Extrapolated over a full season, he is worth 1 to 1.25 more wins with him in the lineup versus without.
So, who are the most valuable players when it comes to the actual lines then?
They are some of the best quarterbacks in the league.
Per Bradley, the top three players to affect lines the most this year would be Aaron Rodgers (7.5 points), Ben Roethlisberger (7 points) and Tom Brady (7 points). For example, when Rodgers fractured his right collarbone in Week 6 of 2017, it moved the next week’s line against New Orleans from Packers -6.5 to Saints -3.5.
So, while Beckham is electric on the field, his true value in oddsmakers’ eyes is not as high as fans might think. Just another example of public perception vs. the odds.