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Every week, we'll be covering the NFL's most significant injuries and how they're affecting numbers in the betting market. Here's the outlook for Week 5:
Darnold tried to return from a two-game hiatus after being sidelined with mononucleosis. However, the Jets ruled the second-year quarterback out on Friday after lab tests revealed an enlarged spleen.
Oddsmakers were forced to speculate a bit this week prior to Darnold's status being confirmed. The Jets were +13.5 to the Eagles with a total of 44.5 but those moved to +14.5 and 43.5 following the news. It'll be New York's second consecutive game as a double-digit underdog with third-stringer Luke Falk running the show. The Jets covered in Week 3 as a 20.5-point underdog to the Patriots; however, they did so without scoring an offensive touchdown.
Head coach Adam Gase was brought in to revamp the offense. So far, we've seen a stale game plan full of intermediate routes and dump-offs behind the line. Whether it's Darnold or Falk under center, the Jets' offense hasn't earned anyone's trust.
The Bengals might take a step back offensively after placing Ross on injured reserve. The third-year receiver was superb over the first four weeks, tied for 10th in the league with 328 receiving yards. On the opposite sideline, Cardinals wide receiver Christian Kirk is unlikely to play after suffering an ankle injury against Seattle.
The total opened at 48 but has since been bet down to 47. Wide receivers typically don't affect spreads or totals all that much, but perhaps bettors are reading too much into the injuries. The Bengals still have wide receiver Tyler Boyd and Tyler Eifert, the latter of whom matches up against a Cardinals defense that can't guard tight ends. Also, Cincinnati wide receiver Auden Tate looks primed to take on a bigger role.
In the end, there will still be two defenses that are allergic to stopping opposing attacks.
Ramsey will miss his second straight game when the Jaguars travel to take on the Panthers. The star cornerback hasn't affected the spread - Carolina has remained pretty steady as a 3.5-point favorite - but the "under" was hit later this week, pushing the total from 41 to 40. The early returns without Ramsey weren't great: The Jaguars allowed Denver's Joe Flacco to throw for 303 yards and three touchdowns in last week's win. Now, the secondary faces a quarterback in Kyle Allen who's completing 71.7% of his passes and owns a QB rating of 118.3. I don't agree with the move toward the under in this spot.
Allen suffered a concussion during the fourth quarter against the Patriots last week. As of Friday, he was still in protocol. The Bills, 3.5-point underdogs with a total of 38.5 at the Titans, would turn to veteran quarterback Matt Barkley if Allen is unable to go.
Don't stress yourself out trying to adjust for a backup quarterback or waiting to pull the trigger on the spread; the only move here is to play the under. Both offenses are in the lower half of the league in yards per play while ranking in the top 10 in yards per play allowed. Whether or not Allen suits up, the only way this game goes over the total is if the defenses or special teams score touchdowns.
On Friday, the Giants closed the door on Barkley's potential return from a high ankle sprain suffered in Week 3. The running back will sit out this weekend against the Vikings. New York is a five-point underdog at home with the total dropping from 45 to 43.5.
Barkley or not, this isn't an ideal matchup for rookie quarterback Daniel Jones and the Giants' offense. After getting a break by playing the Buccaneers and Redskins, New York faces a Vikings defense that sits No. 6 in the NFL in yards per play allowed. You probably can't play the G-Men in this spot with Barkley in the fold; there's no sense in playing them without him.
Alex Kolodziej is a betting writer for theScore. He's a graduate of Eastern Illinois who has been involved in the sports betting industry for 12 years. He can quote every line from "Rounders" and appreciates franchises that regularly wear alternate jerseys. Find him on Twitter @AJKolodziej.