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Ben Roethlisberger worth four points against the spread, more than Jay Cutler

Several big-name NFL quarterbacks got injured last weekend, creating difficult spots for their teams, and changes in the point spreads. Unsurprisingly, the injury to Ben Roethlisberger has the most significant effect on the spread.

Per Pregame.com, here’s how much each starting quarterback’s injury is worth to his team’s point spread:

Big Ben: 4 points
Jay Cutler: 2 points
Alex Smith: 1.5 points
Michael Vick: 1 point

The difference in the spread is as much to do with the quarterback’s ability as it does the dropoff in talent level compared to the backup.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are going from Roethlisberger to Byron Leftwich. Roethlisberger and Bears quarterback Jay Cutler are on a close level, but the difference in backups is huge. Chicago’s backup quarterback is Jason Campbell, who led the Raiders to an 11-7 record as their starter the past two seasons. Leftwich started five games from 2007-2011, and his teams went 0-5.

The 49ers have been winning mostly thanks to their defense and run game, not their passing game. The slight change in spread indicates they would be expected to do almost as well under Colin Kaepernick as Alex Smith. Right now, it looks like Smith will be cleared to start for San Francisco, so the spread would not be changed.

Michael Vick has been ruled out this week for the Eagles, and his concussion is significant enough to potentially keep him out for the rest of the season. The team hasn’t been playing too well with him, so a change to rookie Nick Foles, who seems pretty capable, presents little dropoff.

Other quarterbacks to compare:

Peyton Manning: 6.5 points
Tom Brady: 6 points
Aaron Rodgers: 6 points
Matt Ryan: 4 points
Eli Manning: 4 points
Matthew Stafford: 2 points

It’s debatable that Peyton would be worth more points than Brady and Rodgers. That could have to do with Peyton’s role as a coach/offensive coordinator on the field, as well as the difference in backups. Behind Peyton is rookie Brock Osweiler, while Brady (Ryan Mallett) and Rodgers (Graham Harrell) have backups with slightly more experience.

Photo credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE



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  • http://twitter.com/ChadMarg Chad Margulius

    Good article, however one key element to handciapping the value of points in there backup. If a team has a decent back up it will not affect the number as much with none what so ever.