Aaron Rodgers has made headlines and caused a stir in the sportsbook community over the past week. Reports surfaced that the star quarterback was experiencing issues with his throwing arm. On Saturday, it was announced that the Packers would hold Rodgers for an extra week of rest, which would prevent him from suiting up for Week 2.

While it may still be a ways away, the National Football League’s legal betting future is almost here. The Supreme Court is set to decide whether to hear a case that could pave the way for each of the 32 states where sports betting is currently illegal to give approval to the practice. But even if the court sides with the state of New Jersey, the NFL still has one final hurdle to clear. And that’s getting an NFL team to back it.


  • David Purdum.


ESPN Staff Writer

    • At ESPN since 2014
    • Journalist reporting on the gambling industry since 2008.
  • Doug Kezirian.



    • ESPN Sports Betting Analyst
    • Ahead in daily betting
    • Host of the Behind The Bets podcast

For the second time this season, bookmakers are tracking one of the NFL’s most important and influential quarterbacks. Last year, it was Tom Brady. This year it’s Aaron Rodgers.

Hours before Thursday’s NFL Draft, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Rodgers, the reigning NFL MVP, does not want to return to the Green Bay Packers. The sensational announcement prompted sports networks to stop betting on the Packers’ chances of winning the NFC North and adjust their number of wins for the season, as well as Super Bowl odds based on their potential sweet spot.

In this week’s edition of Betting Bullets, ESPN correspondents David Purdum and Doug Kezirian examine the impact of the new Rodgers on the betting market, as well as how sportsbooks handled the NFL Draft, and more.


2 Connected

– Here are the Packers’ odds in various markets before the news about Rodgers in William Hill’s Caesars Sportsbook:

Super Bowl: 11-1 (third favorite, behind the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers); NFC: 5-1; NFC North: -250; Total wins season: 11 (-125 under); To make the playoffs: Yes -750 / No +500

– William Hill and other bookmakers took the Packers off the table in several markets on Thursday. The Packers’ chances of winning the NFC North, their season win total and making the playoffs remained low Sunday afternoon at William Hill.

– Since Thursday, when the news about Rodgers became known, bookmaker William Hill has placed more bets on the Denver Broncos winning the Super Bowl than on any other team.

NFL: Most victories : Chiefs, Bucs
MLB: Best bets for the 2021 season
NCAA: Gonzaga is the favorite to win the NBA title
: Nets favored after LeBron
injury ESPN Chalkhouse

The odds of the Broncos winning the Super Bowl were 60-to-1 before Rodgers was announced, then 13-to-1 just before the game, and then 20-to-1 at William Hill.

– When news of Rodgers broke Thursday, John Murray, general manager of the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, said his store had accepted a bid for a 9-1 NFC victory over the San Francisco 49ers from a customer whose actions deserve respect.

We had people placing small bets on Denver [to win the Super Bowl] at 60-to-1, Murray said. We got Denver back to 20-1 and 10-1 in the conference, picked off a few other teams and waited.

Draft notes

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– Thomas Gable, director of sports betting at Borgata, said the volume of bets on the draft is greater than that of bets on the NFL’s regular season, but slightly lower than that of bets on the playoffs.

We were a slight winner in the draft, which is about the best you can hope for from him, Gable told ESPN. The main positive is that the number of participants in the draw continues to increase every year. In New Jersey you can only order drafts for three years, and last year all the bookstores in the state were closed because of COVID, so everything was done online. But the number of proposals has increased significantly from what we proposed in 2019.

– The Las Vegas Superbook reported a small loss in the project. Murray noted that Penn State middle linebacker Micah Parsons, Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley and Alabama running back Najee Harris were among those on whom bettors placed early bets.

– Bookmaker PointsBet reported that bettors had success in the first round, especially on the No. 3 pick.

Many of the bettors who picked Mack Jones at No. 3 earlier in the week abandoned their positions [Thursday] and bet on Jones’ position above 3.5 as the Niners’ [Trey] Lance began to strengthen the market, said Jay Croucher, director of sports betting at PointsBet. Bettors benefited from the Bears’ market pick at quarterback after Chicago traded Justin Fields, and bettors who thought Kyle Pitts was a must-start candidate at No. 4 were also rewarded.

– Most draft picks had an impact on the outcome of the bid. The more notable ones, however, were fun to watch. Heyman Trophy finalist Kyle Trask moved to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, which was 33/1 at Circa Sportsbook.

Texas quarterback Kellen Mond opened his Circa prediction with odds of 170.5 and closed with odds of 77.5. This is a big one, and the four-year starter still played on the road. With the 66. The Minnesota Vikings have chosen backup Kirk Cousins.

There are significant changes among the less visible players. University of Southern California wide receiver Amon-rah St. Clair Brown opened at 150.5 and finished at 89.5 before being selected 112th overall by the Detroit Lions.

Wisconsin-Whitewater forward Quinn Meinertz opened with 122.5 and closed with 59.5. He was picked 98th overall by the Denver Broncos. There were no Division III games in 2020, but the 320-pounder still managed to shine in the Senior Bowl and earn the nickname The Gut. His outdoor training videos include spin moves with one-gallon water jugs, leg exercises in the woods, and barbaric exercises with tree trunks. They remembered the training scenes from Rocky IV and the World’s Strongest Man competition.

– Sports companies often have a hard time booking NFL draft picks because the odds are not as well known as the bettors and each year is so unique and unknown. For example, a common bet was the total number of ACC players selected in the first round. In each book, 5.5 is given as an accessory. However, some books have included Notre Dame players since that school joined the conference for the shortened 2020 season. No information about this was given in other books, so this possible variable was probably overlooked. In the end, the Over won because the Fighting Irish players were not needed, but that is just one example of the confusion and sloppiness of the draft.


– The Borgata Athletic Club in Atlantic City, New Jersey, has placed a $250,000 bet that the Detroit Tigers will beat the New York Yankees on Friday at +280 odds. The offering is one of the most important this season. The Yankees won 10-0.

– According to figures released last week by the state’s Gaming Control Board, Nevada sports betting firms earned $39.3 million from $640.7 million in wagers in March. Total winnings and bets are records for the month of March.

– Rising Sun: The Phoenix Suns have the best record in the NBA with the Utah Jazz. They have the home advantage for the playoffs, but are only the seventh favorite to win the championship. Bookmakers have indicated that Phoenix has not generated much interest from bettors.

I’m not sure about all the teams listed between 8-1 and 14-1. Between the Jazz, Bucks, Sixers and Suns, I don’t know who is better. No one is really betting on any of these teams, Circa Sportsbook managing director Matt Metcalfe told ESPN, noting that the yes/no betting options are the most attractive. The Nets, Clippers and Lakers two-way options account for about 90% of what we write about futures.

Many fans don’t know that divisional matches exist, but Phoenix started the season as a 24-1 longshot to win Pacific at Caesars William Hill. In early February, the odds were still 25-to-1. But Chris Paul and the Suns redoubled their efforts, while the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers suffered injuries to their superstars. Phoenix currently holds a 3.5 game lead over the Clippers and is the favorite with a -900 quote at BetMGM. Clips – +500.

– Trouble in Tinseltown: It’s not often that a -10,000 bet loses, but the Lakers have a chance of not making the playoffs. That was the starting price to say yes to a playoff appearance at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook (the no was 20-1). James has missed 20 consecutive games and left last night’s game against the Toronto Raptors in the fourth quarter. The team officially called it an ankle injury, which would be related to a sprained right ankle ligament that cost him the longest injury of his 18-year career.

The Lakers have lost six of seven and are currently fifth, sixth and seventh with the Dallas Mavericks and Portland Trailblazers. Lake Shaw could be relegated to a play-in scenario and would have to win a game or two against teams like the Memphis Grizzlies, Golden State Warriors or San Antonio Spurs. Asked last night about the new format of the play-in, James said: The person who came up with this nonsense should be fired.

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