Aaron Rodgers turns 40 years old next season and just posted the worst production of his career while battling a series of nagging injuries. Despite the trajectory, Rodgers announced Wednesday his intent to go to a Jets team that went 7-10 last year and plays in what’s now described as the best division in football. Months after he couldn’t lead the Packers to the playoffs over luminaries like the Lions, Seahawks, and Giants, Rodgers is jumping over to an objectively deeper conference.
Apologies for piling on, but a lot is going on here, especially since Rodgers going to the Jets is supposed to make me want to bet on a historically flailing franchise to have success next season.
Throw in Nathaniel Hackett’s involvement and a slight tweak of the ages, and this sounds a lot like what happened with Russell Wilson and the Broncos a year ago. The similarities go down to the strength of the defense and the hype around the receiving corps. Even New York’s move up the oddsboard resembles last year’s situation.
Super Bowl LVIII odds
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Instinctually, you may have some FOMO with the Jets’ latest odds, but you didn’t actually miss much. New York was priced at 20-1 right after Super Bowl LVII because it was assumed the club was theoretically a quarterback away from high-level competition and would get someone good to helm the offense.
Think of the Jets’ move on the Super Bowl oddsboard as their slice of the probability pie getting bigger, which means someone else’s has to get smaller. Now, look at what happened with the odds for other AFC contenders. The Chiefs, Bengals, and Bills are all a slightly better price.
Look at the Packers’ odds now. It didn’t move. Even if they do get longer marginally, shouldn’t that tell you what oddsmakers think of Rodgers’ effect on the Packers’ chances of winning?
Is there a bet to make?
We’re a ways away from the opening of the season win-total markets. That leaves us with just Super Bowl, conference, and divisional markets to play from a team perspective.
The Jets have moved into the second choice to win the AFC East, and maybe that’s fair. However, the shift also treats the Dolphins the same way top teams are treated in the Super Bowl odds – their price is lengthened to a range where they’re worth a bet.
Bet: Dolphins to win AFC East (+375)
Let’s think of Green Bay’s salary cap as a pie now. With Rodgers’ large chunk of the pie vacated, the Packers’ management can take advantage of having a starting quarterback on a rookie deal and deploy those resources to improve the team around Jordan Love.
Speaking of Love, the people who are most likely to know what to expect from the third-year quarterback are probably Green Bay’s brass. If they seem comfortable with him – like they were with Rodgers 16 years ago – then why shouldn’t we? Love has flashed during the moments we’ve seen him in action.
Like everything in betting, it comes down to price, and that’s key here. The Packers are the fourth choice now in the NFC North. But Green Bay could have a 2023 roster better than last year’s when it was the prohibitive favorite. For all the appreciation the Lions earned in the previous campaign and the hope instilled in the Bears lately, +400 is an interesting price for the Packers to win the NFC North next season. And it may get better.
Bet: Packers to win NFC North (+400)
Matt Russell is a betting writer for theScore. If there’s a bad beat to be had, Matt will find it. Find him on Twitter @mrussauthentic.