When Peyton Manning chose the Denver Broncos, it was a colossal shift for the NFL.
But not right away.
Remember, PFM was coming off a season in which he didn’t play for the Indianapolis Colts. Thanks to a neck injury, Manning couldn’t even throw a football. So while there was excitement when he was introduced as the newest member of the Broncos, there was concern and doubt as to whether he could return to the PFM level.
Fast-forward four years and we got our answer.
Yet as magical and memorable as those four years were, Johnny Avello thinks a Denver move for Aaron Rogers would shake up the NFL even more.
The DraftKings Sportsbook director of operations said it’s all about current play. Manning, while incredible with the Broncos, was less than good the last half of his final season and not very good in Super Bowl.
Rodgers is the reigning NFL MVP.
As Avello said:
“Aaron Rogers probably has a good five years left in him. To have a quarterback like that come to Denver … he makes them a contender. You get Aaron Rogers, the betting is also going to really pick up in that area.”
DraftKings says it’s Broncos or bust for Aaron Rodgers
For the last two weeks, the fans betting on the Broncos and Broncos Country have all been on Rodgers watch. Fans have been dissecting every speck of information and rumor to glean whether the Green Bay Packers will trade Rodgers to Denver.
As of Friday morning, the odds at the sportsbook for the first team Rodgers plays one snap for in the 2021-22 season: The Packers are the favorite at -167, followed by the Broncos are +140.
“We believe that if Rodgers is going to move, that he is going to go to Denver,” Avello said. “But there’s also a good chance he’s just staying put.”
When the rumors ignited pure pandemonium that a Broncos deal for Rodgers was imminent about an hour before the NFL Draft, the same pandemonium broke out of the sportsbooks.
Prior to the Rodgers rumors, Denver was as high as +6,000 for for the Super Bowl.
As Avello said:
“Exactly what’s going on in the players’ minds, the bettors’ minds, the fans’ minds, that’s exactly what’s going on with bookmakers’ minds because we have to make adjustments if the move happens. And the difference in Aaron Rodgers being in Denver and between a Drew Lock or Teddy Bridgewater starting is significant. So, yes, that’s something we need to stay on top of.
“That one day, (the odds) were moving way down. And people were betting them and getting really good value. I don’t blame them.”
Rodgers would make the Broncos immediate contenders
While the Super Bowl betting odds, in particular, have bumped slightly from the initial rumors, they’re still a lot better than they were. Most of the sportsbooks in Colorado have the Broncos in the top 10, as high as +2,000.
“When the rumors were coming out, we were shifting the odds,” Avello said. “They were down as low as +5,500. People were betting them thinking that maybe that’s going to happen. They’re back up to +2,500 again. So they’re lower than they were initially, but they’ve gone up some from when they were at the lowest point.”
As for the AFC, Avello said a Rodgers trade wouldn’t move the Broncos ahead of the Kansas City Chiefs, Buffalo Bills or Baltimore Ravens. He did say it would move Denver ahead of the Cleveland Browns.
Back to the Super Bowl, if a move does happen, Avello expects Denver’s Super Bowl odds to jump to +1,500 or +1,600. As he said, they’re currently +2,500 at the Colorado DraftKings Sportsbook. In terms of the teams, take the same ones for the AFC odds and add the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Los Angeles Rams.
“One other thing to mention is if he does go to the Broncos, the Packers are currently 17/1, they would go way up,” Avello said. “They would also no longer be the favorites to win their division. Minnesota would probably be the favorite. And the Bears. And they’ll probably be ahead of the Lions, but that’s probably about it.”
Avello added that Green Bay’s Super Bowl odds would jump from +1,700 to +7,500.
“Well, think about it. Do you see Love leading the Packers to the Super Bowl? Probably not.”
Staying in Green Bay is the current favorite
If Rodgers doesn’t happen, expect the Broncos Super Bowls odds to drop to where they were pre-Rodgers rumors. More than likely in the +6,000 range.
“I think it’s either the Broncos or staying put,” Avello said. “If you had asked me that two weeks ago, I thought he would have more of a chance of going. But as this continues to drag on, maybe the problems are getting resolved there. But no one even knew there were problems there. I would say him staying is the favorite right now.”
Avello then talked about the colossal shift the NFL went through when Manning signed in Denver and how he thinks a possible Rodgers trade is even more significant.
He reeled off all of the offensive weapons Rodgers would have with the Broncos and the defense led by the return of Von Miller and head coach Vic Fangio.
And, of course, how fun those two games a season with the Chiefs would become.
“He makes them a sure-fire contender if it happens. I’d like to see it happen. I have no allegiance to Green Bay, so I’d like to see it happen.”