Hightower Out With Pec Tear
Right when the Patriots’ NFL-worst defense finally looked to be turning the corner with a strong showing against the foggy Falcons in Week 7, Pro Bowl linebacker Dont’a Hightower has been shut down for the season in order to rehab a torn pectoral muscle. This could spell trouble for the Patriots, and it promises to affect their NFL betting lines considerably (especially since Hightower’s earlier absence was among the main reasons for the team’s early defensive struggles).
But all is not lost in the Patriots’ quest to repeat as NFL champions. Even though Dont’a Hightower is out for the rest of the year, the show must – and will – go on. Fortunately, New England plays the lowly Los Angeles Chargers this week, and though the Chargers are a mere 3-4, the Patriots are only 7.5-point favorites. Regardless, the Pats are fully expected to win, and their Bovada moneyline is sitting at an appropriate -360. It’s a safe bet. Meanwhile, a straight bet on the Bolts is worth +280, which is, of course, also worth avoiding. The game’s 48.5-point over/under is a tough one, however. If Hightower wasn’t out, I’d probably pick the under.
With Dont’a Hightower out, the Patriots will have to double down on their defensive efforts. Otherwise, SportsBettingMassachusetts.com thinks it’ll be difficult for the Brady Bunch to maintain its current position atop the pundits’ power rankings and Bovada’s futures board as +325 favorites to win the Super Bowl. There’s no telling whether or not 33-year-old David Harris will be an effective replacement for Hightower, but next week’s trade deadline – and a Week 9 bye for the defending champs – gives New England the best possible chance to survive Hightower’s injury.
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