Despite media reports that Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott could face some type of suspension by the NFL to open the season, oddsmakers at BookMaker.eu believe it is more likely that he will not miss any time on the field.
Will Ezekiel Elliott be suspended from any regular season games for the 2017-18 NFL regular season?
If he is suspended for the regular season opener against the Giants, the spread would move from a current -5 to -4.5.
Elliott is worth about half a point to the odds. While the public perception is that the Dallas offense would be impacted greatly by the loss of Elliott, the dropoff in efficiency wouldn't be too great according to the oddsmakers.
Oddsmakers at the time took a much dimmer of the Cowboys odds when Tony Romo was injured in 2016 and 2015. In 2016, the Cowboys were 4-point favorites for the season opener against the Giants, but that line shifted to -1.5 in favor of the Giants after Romo's injury in the Seahawks preseason game. A year earlier, the oddsmakers had the Cowboys as -4.5 favorites over the Falcons in week 3, but Romo's injury in week two and Brandon Weeden's subsequent promotion to the starting spot saw many sportsbooks offer the game against the Falcons as a pick 'em.
Ezekiel Elliott has played every game since arriving in Dallas as a rookie, so it remains to be seen how the team reacts without him for any period of time. But the Cowboys have two veteran running backs in Darren McFadden and Alfred Morris who should be able step in ably for Elliott.
It remains to be seen what type of arbitrary decision the NFL hands down for Elliott. The oddsmakers don't think that decision is going to impact the Cowboys' odds too much.