Sportsbooks are now in wait-and-see mode when it comes to the Detroit Lions.
On Wednesday, the team announced starting quarterback Matthew Stafford missed practice and had been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. According to ESPN, Stafford is considered a “high-risk, close contact” from someone outside the team who tested positive for COVID-19.
Since his last contact with the individual was on Monday, Stafford would be eligible to come off the reserve/COVID-19 list by Sunday and be activated to play against the Minnesota Vikings if he’s able to produce negative tests for five consecutive days.
Sportsbooks are waiting to see his status before adjusting the line. The game was taken off the board once the Stafford news was announced.
“We had Minnesota -3, and we’ll have to look at it now,” DraftsKings Director of Operations Johnny Avello said. “We’ll see what kind of adjustment we’ll make. Let’s make sure he’s the only guy on the team with it, so we’ll hold off a little bit.”
Linebacker Jarrad Davis is Detroit’s only other player currently on the reserve/COVID-19 list. He was placed on it Tuesday, and his and Stafford’s case are not expected to be related.
It’s the second time Stafford went on the reserve/COVID-19 list. He had a false positive test in August.
Lions fans did get good news from Stafford’s wife, Kelly, who said on her personal Instagram page that her entire family tested negative and was thankful for the support and concern people expressed for them.
Through seven games, it’s been a mixture of results for fans in Michigan. The Lions’ 3-4 record is the same mark for the team against the spread this year. The highlights included winning outright as 5-point underdogs against the Arizona Cardinals for a 26-23 victory on Sept. 27. On Oct. 25, the Lions recorded one of the most-dramatic wins of the season when Stafford found T.J. Hockenson in the end zone as time expired for a 23-22 victory.
But for the most part, Detroit’s season has been marred by inconsistency and blown leads. The Lions led the Chicago Bears 23-6 heading into the fourth quarter before losing the season-opener 27-23. Detroit jumped out to a quick 14-3 lead over rival Green Bay Packers before getting blown out 42-21. Then, against the Saints, Detroit led 14-0 before falling 35-29. And any momentum from the Atlanta win was squashed the following week with a 41-21 defeat to the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.
“They blew some leads already this year and could easily be 5-2,” Avello said. “The defense has certainly let them down. What they’ve done in the past is they start the season off in a slower fashion and rally towards the end to win seven to eight games. That’s been their pattern.
“What I’d like to see is them get off to a good start and make the playoffs. Their fans have had a tough go at it.”
There are three land-based casinos in Detroit and a number of tribal casinos in the state to place bets.