Derek Carr’s Back Injury Hurts Raiders NFL Odds
A promising start to the 2017 NFL season has soured over the past two weeks for the Oakland Raiders.
Oakland has gone from 2-0 to 2-2 and with a recent injury to star quarterback Derek Carr, their prospects appear set to go from bad to worse.
Carr Goes Down
Initially said to have “back spasms” per head coach Jack Del Rio, Carr reportedly suffered a much worse injury. Per Las Vegas Review’s Michael Gehlken, Carr is dealing with a transverse process fracture:
Jack Del Rio said Derek Carr has transverse process fracture. “There’s a real good chance he’ll miss this week. Typically takes 2-6 weeks.
— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) October 2, 2017
Carr is fully expected to sit out Oakland’s week 5 battle with the Baltimore Ravens and could miss more time. Per reports, this specific injury can take as little as two weeks and can last longer. The initial prognosis is a 2-6 week timeline.
Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is known for a similar injury – one that derailed his 2016 campaign and gave way to current Dallas starter, Dak Prescott.
Carr isn’t in any danger of losing his starting job, but the injury does figure to impact the Raiders for as long as he’s on the shelf.
Next Man Up
Derek Carr’s injury gives way to backup quarterback, E.J. Manuel. The former Buffalo Bills passer took over in relief last week, completing 11 of 17 passes for 106 yards and an interception in a 16-10 loss to the rival Broncos.
Manuel wasn’t sharp in relief, while he also had the Raiders within striking distance of a win late. He wasn’t able to get it done, but on the road in Denver was never going to provide an easy platform.
Unfortunately, Manuel didn’t look great in spot duty and things don’t get easier in week five, when the Raiders are slated to take on a hungry Baltimore Ravens squad.
Baltimore has dropped two straight games after also starting the year at 2-0. With both teams sitting at 2-2, something has to break and with Carr on the sidelines, it’s worth wondering if the odds might not be in Oakland’s favor.
Oakland’s Betting Prospects
That’s certainly open for debate right away in week five. The Raiders vs. Ravens matchup presently is without updated odds as Vegas waits to see if there is a chance for Carr to play.
With that not appearing likely, we can probably bank on Oakland being the underdog at home against a tough Ravens defense. That could put the onus on Marshawn Lynch and the running game getting going.
Beast Mode hasn’t been able to find his footing over the past two weeks, however, so against a nasty Baltimore defensive line, betting on the Raiders this week feels like a lost cause.
Perhaps that will be the case in general moving forward. As long as Carr is out, the Raiders look to be in a tough spot.
Even if his back injury only keeps him out for the quoted six weeks (on the long end), he’d be missing the following games:
- VS. Ravens
- VS. Chargers
- VS. Chiefs
- @ Bills
- @ Dolphins
On paper, this is actually a stretch the Raiders could survive. Trusting in E.J. Manuel isn’t easy, but the Chargers are winless and the Dolphins are 1-2 and haven’t looked good.
Getting past the undefeated Chiefs and what looks to be a surprisingly good (3-1) Bills team could be tall orders, however.
Obviously betting on the Raiders on a weekly basis might be an off limits idea as long as Carr is out. Oakland’s long-term NFL odds could be negatively impacted as well, however.
The Raiders have already slid to third place in the competitive AFC West, as the Broncos (3-1) hold the tie-breaker over them and Kansas City has yet to lose. Slipping further could greatly hurt their chances of winning the division (+400 odds at Bovada) and that could end up bleeding into them missing the playoffs, as well.
Originally a preseason Super Bowl darling, the Raiders are in danger of quite the epic free fall. Oakland currently still has playable Super Bowl 52 odds (+2000), but the Derek Carr injury could easily derail them before they really ever got going.
Betting on the Raiders
The best way to proceed as an NFL bettor is to avoid the Raiders on a weekly basis and gauge the value of their AFC West and Super Bowl odds as the weeks go on.
While monitoring Carr’s status, we can actually potentially nab some serious value with division and title bets. That could be the case right now, too, especially if we are to believe Carr will only miss a week or two.
That being said, losing your star quarterback has proven to be the quickest way to kill a promising season.
Realistically, the Raiders can’t survive a long-term absence from Carr. If he’s back in less than three weeks Oakland could be totally fine and they might end up being one of the better value bets on the board. If Carr is out for the full window being provided, Oakland will increasingly become a shakier long-term bet.
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