Adam Schefter dropped the NFL offseason bomb at 3:19 p.m. ET on Thursday, April 29, tweeting Aaron Rodgers “is so disgruntled” with the Packers and “has told some within the organization that he does not want to return to the team.”
Within minutes, BetMGM removed the Packers’ win total (11) from NFL odds, along with the win totals for the other NFC North teams and the Denver Broncos. NFC North champion odds were also removed, and several other NFL futures odds were immediately adjusted – and repeatedly adjusted in the coming days amidst non-stop reports and rumors of the strained relationship. And when BetMGM released Week 1 NFL lines on May 12, the Packers’ visit to New Orleans wasn’t included, though it was later added – the Saints are -2.5.
Three weeks later, the storm has settled for BetMGM’s traders, who restored all NFL futures odds with the exception of the Packers’ win total, though a cloud of unease remains as the reigning MVP, presumably, weighs his options.
“What we learned last year is Aaron Rodgers doesn’t have to be happy to have a stellar season,” Jason Scott, BetMGM VP of Trading, said on High Motor by BetMGM. “If he comes back, I think the win total will come in the 12.5-13 range . . . If it’s Bortles and Love, your number’s probably going to go down five or six wins.”
If it’s Blake Bortles and Jordan Love and the win total comes down to six, seven or eight, it’d be the Packers’ lowest preseason win total of the Rodgers era. And the Packers’ Super Bowl odds, currently +1600 after opening at +900 in late January, could plummet as low as +8000, Scott predicted.
“It’s a very fluid thing, and we’ll know from our customers,” Scott added. “The draft is a really, really good example at pick three. It became very apparent to us and everybody Mac Jones was going to the 49ers. About 11 o’clock on draft day, we just kept writing a whole lot of bets for Trey Lance at three.
“It leaks out first. Rodgers tells somebody completely innocently. He might mention it to his nex- door neighbor who’s got a brother somewhere who bets and all of a sudden the rumor’s out and the money comes flying. The money is smarter than any media organization. Adam Schefter and that crew have got great contacts but the money beats them to the market.”
Listen below to Scott’s full comments on how BetMGM traders are handling NFL odds amidst the Aaron Rodgers uncertainty, the hardest NFL teams to handicap this season, and how the 17th game has affected their handicapping. You can also listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and everywhere else podcasts are available.