One of the marquee matchups on the Week 10 NFL slate features the Buffalo Bills hosting the Minnesota Vikings. The Bills are coming off a loss to the New York Jets, but they're still the betting favorites to win the Super Bowl at BetMGM. The Vikings are off to a 7-1 start, and while that record might be a bit inflated, there's no denying they're one of the better teams in this league.
When the betting market for Week 10 opened on Sunday night, the Bills were installed as an 8-point home favorite. That number is long gone as the betting market reacts to reports and speculation about the status of Josh Allen's elbow ahead of kickoff.
Allen has an elbow injury
Late in Sunday's loss to the Jets, Allen was hit in the arm. Immediately, you noticed him shaking his arm and attempting to stretch out his elbow. He stayed in the game and even threw a pass that traveled 69 yards in the air to Gabe Davis. It looked like he was fine and perhaps it was just a quick stinger.
It was unveiled by Ian Rapoport of NFL Network that Allen was dealing with a strained right elbow. Rapoport mentioned a UCL injury, an injury most common with baseball pitchers. However, Rapoport speculated that the injury could be managed and there was a chance he could play this weekend.
Allen did not talk to the media on Wednesday. Bills head coach Sean McDermott said that Allen wouldn't practice on Wednesday and he's day-to-day. When asked if Allen would play on Sunday, McDermott said "we'll see."
Market quickly reacts
After the news of Allen missing his media availability and practice dropped, the betting market reacted swiftly. Currently at BetMGM, the Bills are down to just 4.5-point favorites against the Vikings. Almost everywhere else, that line is even lower. It's a significant move through some key numbers in a short amount of time.
In most cases, quarterback injuries are the only position that will significantly impact a betting line. There's also levels to it. The Saints going from Jameis Winston to Andy Dalton doesn't change things much. However, Josh Allen is one of the most valuable quarterbacks in the league. The downgrade from Allen to Case Keenum is massive.
It's worth noting that this speculative line movement isn't confirmation of anything. Earlier this season, Justin Herbert's status was in question in Week 3 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Jacksonville got steamed from +7.5 to +3 during the week. Herbert ended up playing, though he was awful and the Jaguars won the game in blowout fashion.
Keenum is probably one of the more capable backup quarterbacks in the league. Last season, as a member of the Cleveland Browns, he stepped in for Baker Mayfield on a short week and beat the Denver Broncos as an injury fill-in. If Keenum does play, him and Stefon Diggs will be reunited. Coincidentally, they'll be going against the Vikings. Of course, these two played together for the Vikings and combined for one of the more miraculous plays in recent football history.
The line movement is certainly interesting and reflects the fact that Allen is questionable to play this weekend. However, it doesn't guarantee that Allen will miss the game, and even if Allen doesn't play, it doesn't guarantee that the Vikings are the right side. If you think Allen plays, you can get the Bills at a depleted number right now. If you think Allen misses the game, getting 4.5-points with the 7-1 Vikings is certainly an appealing proposition.
We'll know more about Allen's status as the week goes on. At this point, all we can say is the betting market seems to think there's a real chance Allen doesn't play this weekend.