Answer: This team saw its Super Bowl odds drop from 60/1 to 13/1 after reports of Aaron Rodgers wanting out of Green Bay.
Question: Who are the Denver Broncos?
It’s been a strange offseason for the Broncos and for Rodgers.
The reigning NFL MVP hosted Jeopardy! (and got roasted by a contestant), confirmed his engagement to actress Shailene Woodley, and on the day of the NFL draft, leaked information about his displeasure with the Packers organization and his desire for a trade.
The Broncos seemed to have a shot at acquiring unhappy Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, watched as Watson became embroiled in a sexual assault scandal that has made his football future of secondary importance, traded for modestly regarded QB Teddy Bridgewater the day before Rodgers started chirping, and then chose not to draft signal callers Justin Fields or Mac Jones once the Rodgers-to-Denver rumors started flying.
How real is this possibility? On April 30, former Bronco Mark Schlereth told radio host Pat McAfee that “a very reliable source” told him “this thing is heating up and it’s close to a done deal, in Denver, Aaron Rodgers.”
"I get a message from @AaronRodgers12
"who's your source? what are you hearing?"
I'm like this is what I heard.. Is it true? You want to come over & get dinner? 😂
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) April 30, 2021
At the very least, in the legal sports betting state of Colorado, the bookmakers have been taking the blowing of these trade winds very seriously, dropping the Broncos’ Super Bowl, conference, division, and win total numbers so they don’t get burned if the 37-year-old Rodgers does make the Mile High move.
60/1 Super Bowl long shot a week ago
At the outset of the offseason, coming off a disappointing, injury-riddled 5-11 campaign that saw them miss the playoffs for the fifth straight year behind underwhelming second-year QB Drew Lock, the Broncos’ Super Bowl odds were as high as 80/1. They came down a bit based on the Watson possibility, and even with that off the table, had normalized to an average price of 60/1 heading into the draft. Then the Rodgers news broke.
As ESPN reported, since Rodgers started talking trades, William Hill sportsbooks have taken more Super Bowl bets on the Broncos than any other team and dropped their odds to as low as 13/1 before landing at 20/1 as of Monday morning.
William Hill, BetMGM, and FOX Bet all have that +2000 number, while WynnBET is mitigating risk at +1500 and PointsBet offers +1800. The highest returns can be found at DraftKings and BetRivers at +2500, while FanDuel Sportsbook is close behind at +2400.
Bottom line: Anyone who hopped aboard at 60/1 or better before draft day is feeling pretty good right now.
AFC title odds have followed a similar trajectory, with the Broncos now ranked fifth at most sportsbooks, behind the Kansas City Chiefs, Buffalo Bills, Baltimore Ravens, and Cleveland Browns, all of whom reached the conference semifinals in January. Denver’s odds range from +700 (PointsBet) to +1200 (DraftKings, FanDuel, BetRivers).
And the AFC West division has suddenly become fascinating, with the Broncos and L.A. Chargers both having gained ground on Kansas City. The Chiefs are still the clear favorite, at odds ranging from -280 to -400, but the Broncos’ odds have shortened to a range of +450 to +600.
In terms of win totals, on the 17-game slate, the Broncos opened at 7.5 at most books and are now listed at either 8.5 or 9, depending on the sportsbook.
We might see slight continued fluctuation in the odds, but if a trade is going to happen, it would likely come after June 1. So unless Rodgers has a change of heart and announces he’s staying in Green Bay, the numbers figure to remain reasonably constant through the rest of the month.
Worth it for three first rounders?
An important consideration for any bettor before putting money on the Broncos: What would they have to give up to get Rodgers?
After all, if the team is depleting its supporting cast in order to acquire him, its 2021 contender status would be questionable.
Assorted reporting and rumors suggest it would take one current starter, three first-round picks, and another pick or two in the second or third rounds. If that current starter is Lock, then the Broncos are giving up no relevant present-day roster players. In any of the theoretical packages, a Rodgers trade is a “win now” move. You’re mortgaging the future under the belief that for the next couple of years, you have a real shot at a Lombardi Trophy with Rodgers under center.
The Broncos aren’t the only team in the mix, of course. Rumors have also swirled around the San Francisco 49ers and the Las Vegas Raiders.
Right now, a futures bet on the Broncos is a parlay bet, combining the team landing one of the greatest quarterbacks ever to play the game with that resulting in immediate success. Let’s face it: If either Bridgewater or Lock is the starter in September, this team is probably battling to stay out of the AFC West basement.
The “Final Jeopardy” music is playing. The football world awaits the reveal on the answer and the size of the wager.