In an off-season that has more twists and turns than my grandmother’s favorite telenovela, our friends in the desert seem to be bracing themselves for another.
Bill Huber hears several sports books believe Aaron Rodgers will announce his retirement before the start of the 2021 NFL season. It could come before the first training camp on Wednesday, reports Huber. This follows after Huber contacted several sports betting providers who reportedly have taken betting odds off the market. For example, Huber reports that the Westgate Superbook has taken NFC North’s futures markets off the board. The bets reportedly being made include forecast wins, playoff odds, division odds and weekly lines for division teams. The Westgate Superbook is one of the most popular books in Vegas. And they’re not the only ones moving. We have also seen bets being taken off the boards at DraftKings and PointsBet. So it’s not that we’re talking about small potatoes.
Mind you, all of this coverage comes from Huber, who has been reporting on the Packers since 2008. So maybe this enthusiasm carries some weight. Huber should have a good location in the country. And at least he did the leg work of stretching out. Essential props for doing so much.
Over at Pro Football Talk, Mike Florio quotes a source “with first-hand knowledge of the Rodgers situation” who said, “Vegas odds makers are usually pretty keen” in response to what’s going on in the sports betting market. Florio adds the source who also hooks up to point out that there are many scenarios in play and “many, many factors” will be relevant to the outcome. Um, okay? That seems a bit of a hedge, but you still have my full attention.
At least it drives me a little crazy when sports books take such drastic steps as this one. Mainly because these steps look like a sign that they think retirement is a real possibility. To be clear, these are remarkable, considerable, and significant movements. Not only are the Packers a popular team for Vegas bettors, but the closure of other NFC North markets means Chicago soccer fans can’t step in and throw money at their team. We know how Bears backers are betting enough to tweak the Vegas formula. And it’s not like Vegas to turn down someone’s money, especially if they think they’ll keep the money.
In any case, we will continue to keep our eyes peeled for this situation. Rodgers’ resignation seems like a hasty decision. Because aside from being unexpected, resigning now seems to be the exact opposite of the kind of cerebral decision-making we know Rodgers for when splitting up our favorite team. A large part of me would like to embrace the “I believe it when I see it approaching”. But that we’re talking about it at all is wild enough.