Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire
The importance and value Aaron Rodgers has to his team is no secret. He has made the Green Bay Packers contenders for years. When he said he wanted to get traded and the Denver Broncos emerged as the favorite to get him, their odds dropped significantly.
In early March, Denver’s odds to win Super Bowl LVI were north of +7000—which translates into a 1.4 percent shot. Once all the Aaron Rodgers talk started, their odds shot down below +2000 (or 4.76 percent).
They have since plateaued at around +2100. But with Rodgers now in camp with the Packers, they will probably go back up. Why? Because that is the kind of impact having and not having a guy like Aaron Rodgers can have.
Many sportsbooks stopped taking bets on the NFC North earlier in the summer because of the uncertainty surrounding Rodgers and his future. More recently, retirement rumors caused many to do so again. But now that he appears to have settled in Green Bay, it is time to ask one question.
How will his return to the Green Bay Packers impact how fans should bet?
Aaron Rodgers didn’t hold back in his first news conference since returning to the Packers. pic.twitter.com/5O4HIrE2OV
— ESPN (@espn) July 28, 2021
The Aaron Rodgers Impact On The Green Bay Packers
Prior to his trade demand during the offseason, the Green Bay Packers were one of the favorites to win the Super Bowl (+900-1100; only the Chiefs and Buccaneers had better odds). They were favored to win the NFC (+500) and a virtual lock to win the NFC North (-250) and make the playoffs (-750).
Once the rumors got rolling, Green Bay’s Super Bowl odds ballooned upwards of +2000 at many books (good enough for eighth-best). Their NFC odds jumped up to +1000 and got as high as +1800 at some books.
In the division, the fade was a lot slower and less drastic. They remained favored, but the division became much more competitive. But in late July, before rumors of an impending return to the Packers started, Green Bay’s odds dropped enough for th4 Vikings to become the new favorite.
Now that he is in camp and appears committed to the team for another season, Green Bay’s odds are getting back to normal:
|Odds For The Green Bay Packers: 2021/22||DraftKings||William Hill||PointsBet|
|To Win The Division (NFC North)||-160||-150||-140|
|To Win The Conference (NFC)||+600||+650||+575|
|To Win The Super Bowl||+1200||+1500||+1200|
|To Make/Miss The Playoffs||-280/+210||-230/+190||Not Listed|
So, his return to the Packers has made Green Bay a much better bet to win – well, everything. But his impact is not specific to the Packers alone. No, his return impacts how fans should consider betting within the NFC North, the NFC, and Super Bowl—among other things.
With Rodgers, the Packers are the obvious favorites and will more than likely win the NFC North. But that does not mean there is no value in betting on anyone else. After all, there had to be a reason why the Vikings temporarily became favored to win, right?
Well, not exactly.
The shift was more because the Packers appeared to be losing Rogers and not because the perception of the Vikings had improved. Now that Rodgers has returned, there is no reason to bet on anyone other than Green Bay to win the NFC North.
|NFC North Odds: 2021/22||DraftKings||William Hill||PointsBet|
|Green Bay Packers||-160||-150||-140|
Had Aaron Rodgers left the Packers, the NFC title picture would have opened up. Rodgers took the Packers to the last two NFC title games and three of the previous five. With him under center, Green Bay is firmly back in the race. But without, not much had changed.
Yes, there was a chance someone new would make the title game this year. Maybe the Cowboys (+1500) finally get it together, or perhaps Russell Wilson takes the Seahawks (+1000). San Francisco and the Rams (both +650) became better bets.
But the smart money still would have been on the Buccaneers (+250)—and still is. If anything, there is more value to betting on Green Bay with Rodgers in the fold. But there are too many uncertainties about the other ‘contenders’ to make them worth putting money in.
You are better off just putting it on Tampa Bay or Green Bay.
Without Rodgers playing for the Packers, the Super Bowl window opened a little wider for teams like the Rams, 49ers, Cowboys, and Seahawks. Now that Rodgers has committed to the Packers, the window is still there for all four—just a whole lot smaller.
The Chiefs, Bills, Ravens, and Browns will probably make the big game on the AFC side. Green Bay would likely be favored against anyone but the Chiefs.
So, his return will make it harder for anyone else from the NFC to win Super Bowl LVI, giving bets on some NFC teams a little more value. Other than that, his return to Green Bay does not impact the Super Bowl picture.
Aaron Rodgers is ????… pic.twitter.com/hh5hegPLSu
— Eli Berkovits (@BookOfEli_NFL) July 27, 2021
Had Aaron Rodgers left the Packers, it would have opened the door for someone new to win the NFC North. But otherwise, nothing changed. Without Rodgers, Green Bay would no longer be elite. But that does not mean someone else would become elite and take their place.
The pool of elite teams good enough to win their conference and possibly the Super Bowl reduced by one. But now that he is staying in Green Bay, you could say the NFL world as it pertains to betting is back where we expected it to be all along.
As for the Rodgers impact— Dan Campbell will not necessarily need to win the NF North to have a shot at Coach of the Year (although he would become a sure thing if he did—which he will not). If the Lions finish 8-8 or with a winning record, he would be a great candidate. Oh, and the Denver Broncos are no longer a good bet to win the Super Bowl.
But otherwise…eh. The drama gave us something to talk about during the offseason, but that’s about it.