- Adam Schefter reported on Saturday afternoon that Rob Gronkowski did not travel with the Patriots to Chicago due to a back injury and is highly unlikely to play. On Sunday morning he was declared out by the team.
- Following the news, the Patriots, who have been as high as 3.5-point favorites this week, fell from -2.5 to -1.5 at several books across the market.
- At the time of the news, the Patriots were the most popular play of the week at 77% of bets.
Late Saturday afternoon, news came out that Patriots star tight end Rob Gronkowski did not travel with the team to Chicago due to a back injury.
On Sunday morning, the team officially confirmed he’s out. Luckily for Patriots fans, Adam Schefter reports that the expectation is that he’ back on the field next week vs. the Bills.
Gronkowski, who has a history of back ailments, has been dealing with ankle trouble this season that has landed him on injury reports and limited his practice participation, but his back injury was just added to the injury report yesterday.
Given Gronkowski’s importance to New England’s offense, bettors began to hop on the Bears shortly after the news broke.
Chicago, which was getting a slate-low 23% of spread bets at the time, moved from +2.5 to +1.5 at a large number of offshore books, including Pinnacle and BookMaker. (The Patriots were as high as 3.5-point favorites earlier in the week.)
This movement came following a reverse line move on Chicago that was tracked in Sports Insights’ bet signals.
As of Sunday morning, the Bears have moved to +1 and are up to 27% of bets.
Though Gronk is a superstar and one of the best tight ends of all time, the Patriots have fared well in his absence, going 23-8 straight up and 19-11-1 against the spread.
Furthermore, oddsmakers don’t believe that he is worth a point to the spread.
The best non-quarterbacks in the league are only worth a half-point to the spread, but many bettors tend to overreact and go heavy on the other side when they see star running backs, wide receivers and even tight ends like Gronkowski will be out.