The Denver Broncos “like” their quarterback room, general manager George Paton insisted after passing on a quarterback in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Oddsmakers and Super Bowl bettors disagreed; they don’t like a room led by Teddy Bridgewater and Drew Lock. They do, however, love the potential of a room led by Aaron Rodgers.
In late January, one week before Super Bowl LV, BetMGM released odds for Super Bowl LVI. Only five teams had worse odds than the Broncos (+6600):
- Bengals (+8000)
- Lions (+8000)
- Texans (+8000)
- Jets (+8000)
- Jaguars (+10000)
The Broncos remained at +6600 after Super Bowl LV and throughout the opening days of free agency as they re-signed Justin Simmons but were otherwise quiet. And after the acquisition of Bridgewater on April 28, one day before the draft, they skyrocketed to +6500.
And while the Broncos’ ticket and handle shares increased over that time – most notably from 1.7 percent of tickets and 0.9 percent of the handle on Feb. 8, one day after Super Bowl LV, to 3.1 and 2.3 percent, respectively, on March 12, three days before the free-agency negotiating window opened – bettors weren’t flocking to a team with 23 wins since 2017, tied for the fifth-fewest in the NFL over that time.
Then Adam Schefter tweeted Rodgers “is so disgruntled with the Green Bay Packers that he has told some within the organization that he does not want to return to the team,” and several subsequent reports named the Broncos as a potential trade partner.
And bettors flooded the book, taking their chance on the Broncos as Mark Schlereth reported a trade was as “close to a done deal as it can be,” Peter King said Denver is “an option,” and Ian Rapoport said the Broncos are one of Rodgers’ “preferred destinations.”
From Thursday through Sunday, more than 40 percent of all Super Bowl bets were placed on the Broncos, which sent the Broncos’ odds from +6600 to +2000. Only eight teams, including the Packers – who dropped from +900 at open in January to +1200 by last Thursday and +1600 after the Schefter report – have better Super Bowl odds than the Broncos.
The Broncos are now earning 7.8 percent of the ticket and 9 percent of the handle, ranking third behind the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kansas City Chiefs. Here’s a ticket and handle breakdown for Super Bowl betting for the 10 most popular teams (sorted by tickets):