COVID-19 Scare Means Monday Night NFL Doubleheader

Posted on: October 5, 2020, 11:28h. 

Last updated on: October 5, 2020, 12:54h.

With Cam Newton having tested positive for COVID-19, but the rest of the rosters returning three days of negative tests, Monday night’s rescheduled NFL game between the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs looks like a big mismatch.

Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, left, and Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan embrace after the Falcons blasted the Packers in the 2016 NFC Championship Game. They’ll meet again on Monday night. (Jason Getz/USA TODAY Sports)

Without Newton, Brian Hoyer is expected to start at quarterback for the Patriots (2-1). He’s lost his last 16 starts, dating to the 2016 season with the Chicago Bears. Meanwhile, in 34 career regular-season starts, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is 27-7. In his fourth NFL season, Mahomes has thrown 85 touchdown passes. In 38 career starts with seven teams over 11 seasons, Hoyer has thrown 52 touchdown passes.

With the disparity in quarterbacks – not to mention the Patriots’ challenge of a highly unusual day-of-game trip – it’s no surprise the line jumped from Chiefs (3-0) as seven-point favorites with Newton in the lineup to 11.5 with him on the sideline.

There’s no love in the community for (coach Bill) Belichick and the Patriots with Cam out of the lineup,” Andrew Mannino, the senior sports content analyst at PointsBet, told on Monday morning.

“We’re seeing about 76 percent of the bets so far on the Chiefs to cover, even with that expanded spread. We’ll see if he (Hoyer) can get it done. He’s in the right system. But it’s a tough spot to put him in, for sure,” Mannino continued.

The over/under is 48.5.

Falcons at Packers

In the originally scheduled Monday night game, the Atlanta Falcons (0-3) will play at the Green Bay Packers (3-0). Green Bay is a 6-point favorite.

Again, it’s lopsided action,” Mannino told “Nobody believes in the Falcons after the late-game collapses we’ve seen so far this season. The Packers are holding about 83 percent of the bets on the spread and 90 percent on the moneyline. Bettors expect the over to hit. The Falcons have been in a couple shootouts, and bettors are expecting that trend to continue tonight.”

Late injury news has impacted that game. On Monday morning, star Packers receiver Davante Adams announced the training staff wouldn’t clear him to play with an injured hamstring. Green Bay’s offense is incredibly short-handed at receiver without Adams and Allen Lazard, who was placed on injured reserve this week. Following Adams’ announcement, the line moved from 7 to 6 at BetMGM and from 6.5 to 6 at PointsBet.

“We’ll see if that changes the narrative. But I think people believe in Green Bay and what Rodgers will be able to do, so I don’t anticipate too many changes as a result of that,” Mannino said.

The over/under of 56 is the highest of the week. About 75 percent of the bets at PointsBet has been on the over.

Sunday at Sportsbooks

The books will be cheering for the Patriots, Falcons, and a lot of defense in Monday’s games to offset a rough Sunday.

Overall, it was not a great day for the book,” Mannino said. “Bettors took us pretty regularly. We lost on a number of games – the Eagles, the Vikings, the Ravens, the Saints. All in all, it was a tough week for us.”

According to Ben Fawkes of, bettors at DraftKings won two big bets. On one, a bettor cashed a $1.4 million bet on an adjusted total of 42 in the Jacksonville Jaguars-Cincinnati Bengals game. The Jags won 33-25, meaning the bettor comfortably won $532,000.

Another bettor in a moneyline parlay selected the Florida Gators to beat the South Carolina Gamecocks and the Tennessee Volunteers to beat the Missouri Tigers in college football on Saturday, and the Los Angeles Rams to beat the New York Giants on Sunday. The bettor’s payday was $1.1 million.

At BetMGM, a bettor placed a $650,000 wager on the Seattle Seahawks to cover a 6.5-point spread against the Miami Dolphins. Seattle won by eight.

Bettors continue to clean house by betting the over. According to Pro Football Reference, the over has hit on 36 of the 61 games this season.

“Bettors love it, and we’ve seen lopsided action on the over pretty regularly throughout the week,” Mannino said.