Tom Brady hurt his hand during practice Wednesday, and while coach Bill Belichick is being—typically, hilariously—coy about the extent of his star quarterback's injury, oddsmakers aren't being shy about what a less-than-fully-operational Brady means for the New England Patriots when they face the Jacksonville Jaguars' league-best pass defense in Sunday's AFC Championship Game. Covers reports oddsmakers had the Patriots as 10-point favorites when betting opened last Sunday. The spread was down to 9 points most places Wednesday morning, according to CBS Sports. Then word got out that Brady hurt his throwing hand when he collided with a running back during practice Wednesday. Cue the chaos.
Brady didn't practice Thursday and didn't make any throws during Friday's practice—at least not while media was present, Yahoo Sports reports. He was, however, seen wearing a glove on this throwing hand—something he stopped doing for performance reasons years ago, according to the Boston Herald. By Thursday evening, most sportsbooks had dropped the Patriots to 7.5-point favorites. One bookmaker even took the Patriots off the board for a time to allow "due diligence" around Brady's injury. If new backup quarterback Brian Hoyer is forced to replace Brady as the starter Sunday, oddsmakers say the Patriots would still be favored—but not by much. Patriots running back Dion Lewis, at least, says that won't happen. He tells Phil Perry of NBC Sports Boston that "nobody's really worried."