The National Football League will stage a Monday Night Football doubleheader tonight … and it is not the opening week of the season. It has been a recent tradition in the NFL to serve up a pair of games on Monday night in the first week of action, but this one tonight was forced because of another change caused by the Coronavirus.
The Kansas City Chiefs hosting of the New England Patriots game was originally scheduled for yesterday, but when Patriots Quarterback Cam Newton tested positive for Covid-19, the game was delayed and finally decided on being played tonight at 4:05 p.m. Pacific Time. Just to keep things equal, the Chiefs also had a quarterback test positive for the virus this week. Well, maybe not that equal, it wasn’t Patrick Mahomes sidelined but practice squad QB Jordan Ta’amu.
We move on.
Without Newton running the Patriots, and long after Tom Brady took his act to Florida, the job of running the Patriots offense tonight falls to long time back-up veteran Brian Hoyer. The downgrade in public perception from Newton to Hoyer is four points on the spread. When Newton was expected to start Mahomes and the Chiefs were seven point favorites. With Hoyer now behind center for New England, the line has ballooned to 11 points.
I’m tempted to take the points and hide behind my desk during the game. But, alas, the Patriots have another injury to contend with tonight, and that is the loss of runningback Sony Michel. In other words, we have the backup quarterback without a full complement of his offensive weapons.
That is too much to bet into, and yet, this is way too easy for the Chiefs to have confidence while laying double-digits on the spread.
The second game of the night is the originally scheduled Monday Night Football contest between the Atlanta Falcons and Green Bay Packers. The Falcons had one of the first in-season positive test results for the virus when cornerback A.J. Terrell was diagnosed on September 26th. But, there wasn’t too much of a chance that he could pass the virus on because the Atlanta defensive backfield hasn’t been close to an opponent all year.
The Falcons have allowed the second most passing yards in the league entering fourth week action, 1,051. Only the Seattle Seahawks have allowed more, but Pete Carroll’s team somewhat compensates by allowing the fewest yards on the ground. Seattle is also undefeated this year, while the Falcons are still looking for their initial win.
Tonight, the sieve posing as the Falcons defense, comes up against one of the most prolific passers in the game both this year and career wise, Aaron Rodgers. In winning all three of their initial games this season, the Packers have simply outscored their opponents behind his passing skills despite him playing without a full complement of his receiving corps.
Tonight will be no different for Rodgers, as the Packers will be without their top two pass catchers, Davante Adams and Allen Lazard.
The undefeated Packers against the winless Falcons, shouldn’t that basic fact point to a win for the home standing team at Lambeau Field?
The public thinks so, the favored Packers have been getting nearly 70% of the individual wagers all week, but the books have dropped Green Bay’s favorite role from seven points to six. What does this mean?
It means, while the individual wagers are backing the home team the money is on the visitors, and the money is more often right. So, take the Falcons plus the six points?
Money is not always right, and I am much more inclined to back money when my numbers match up with its indicators. Tonight, it doesn’t.
What we end up with tonight is two Monday Night Football primetime telecasts and no wager.