The San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals wrapped up their respective Week 4 losses late Sunday afternoon, and both finished with major injuries. The 49ers lost linebacker NaVorro Bowman to what would later be diagnosed as a season-ending Achilles injury. Meanwhile, the Cardinals lost Carson Palmer to what was later diagnosed as a concussion.
The injuries resulted in a delay in getting odds set for Thursday Night Football. Lines are usually set immediately after both teams have finished playing. In this case, the line did not arrive until Monday afternoon.
The Cardinals opened as a 2.5-point favorite, and since then, the line has settled at a field goal. Most sportsbooks are not offering moneyline odds, but a few have the 49ers at +145 or +150, and the Cardinals at -170.
The Cardinals are likely to start quarterback Drew Stanton in place of Palmer. Although the loss of Bowman is big for the 49ers, I imagine this line was delayed more because of Palmer’s injury. Losing Bowman hurts, but odds are significantly more impacted by a quarterback injury than most any defensive player injury.
Had the 49ers beaten the Cowboys, it would have been intriguing to see what this line would look like. Instead, the 49ers are 1-3, scuffling along, and now dealing with the loss of arguably their biggest leader. The Cardinals are dealing with their own issues, so it could make this matchup a little more interesting.
Home teams usually have an edge in Thursday Night Football, but can the 49ers avoiding coming out flat in this one? The loss of Bowman and what it means to the run defense is important, but how this team comes out of the gates might give us a hint as to where things stand with the coaching staff. A poor game does not mean the 49ers have a bad coaching staff, but given what has gone down the past few days, the coaching staff needs to step up in a big way. A short week could help keep the team distracted from the bad news and looking ahead to a new game, but it’s going to be an interesting one to see how they rebound in the face of adversity.