Want to know why we don’t see blockbuster trades in the middle of the NFL season? Easy. Nobody’s built for this kind of excitement.
Well, that’s part of it. The other part of it is every single day means so much in the NFL season. Moving a superstar from one team to another puts the whole league out of whack and the impact stretches from the teams involved to the film rooms, to the huddles on the field. And before all of that, the impact hits the sportsbook – almost instantaneously.
Before the Cleveland Browns traded Trent Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for a first-round pick, the Browns were set as 5.5-point underdogs at Minnesota. After the deal they’re 7-point dogs this week and their Super Bowl odds moved from +17500 to +26100. The Colts moved from +10.5 to +10.5 this week at San Francisco while their Super Bowl futures dropped from +5000 to +4500.
That’s the type of impact the trade of a former No. 3 draft pick can have when it comes midweek in the NFL season. But what about when a longtime coach trades his colors and then comes back to visit his former team?
That’s the situation we’re getting ready for when Andy Reid’s Kansas City Chiefs visit his former team, the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday Night Football. One hand, Reid knows the Eagles’ personnel very well, but on the other, everything is very different now that Chip Kelly is the man in Philadelphia.
Until somebody completely shuts down this Eagles offence, you have to give it the respect it deserves. Now, Andy Reid likely has the best shot as anyone to keep the Eagles contained, but you’d like to see it happen before betting on it.
Don’t discount this Chiefs attack either. Kansas City will do a lot of dinking and dunking while piling up some serious yardage against this Eagles defence.
Pick: Over 50 points
For what it’s worth, I think this Trent Richardson is a good move for both teams and that he will have a significant role this week even though he won’t be up to speed on Indy’s total offence. Andrew Luck knows this attack well enough to simply tell Richardson what to do on each play and Colts coach Chuck Pagano put it best when he said the Colts didn’t trade for Richardson “to be the waterboy (on Sunday).”
I don’t feel comfortable betting San Francisco on many double-digit lines, let alone this week against a very tough Colts team.
Pick: Indianapolis Colts +10
Look, the Jaguars are terrible. You know that, I know that, my grandmother knows that. But a 19-point spread in the third week of the season is crazy, especially when the Jags’ head coach Gus Bradley built this Seahawks defence from the groung up. He was there for four years, so you think he’d have an idea of what he’s up against Sunday. Could the Seahawks blow out Jacksonville? Absolutely. This is also a major letdown spot for Seattle after hammering San Francisco last week and games at Houston and Indianapolis looming.
Pick: Jacksonville Jaguars +19
Last week’s record: 1-2
Season record to date: 2-4