What a difference a week makes.
On October 10 – two days after Aaron Rodgers tossed yet another last-minute touchdown to secure a comeback win over the Cowboys – the Green Bay Packers were 4-1 and online sportsbook Bovada had them as (+500) second-favorites to represent the NFC in Super Bowl 52.
In fact, Green Bay was rated just below the defending champion New England Patriots (4-2), who offered odds of (+450), to hoist the Lombardi Trophy in February.
Today, however, the Packers woke up to an entirely new reality.
After being driven hard into the turf by Anthony Barr of the Minnesota Vikings (4-2), Rodgers broke his right collarbone, dealing a disastrous blow to the Packers’ offense in an eventual 23-10 defeat. And while the result dropped the Packers into a tie with their old rival in the NFC North race, Rodgers’ likely season-ending injury was obviously the most important loss suffered on Sunday.
The gunslinger’s importance to the Packers’ postseason chances – or their shot of making the playoffs at all – was underscored today when the latest Bovada futures odds went public.
Formerly set at 5 to 1, Green Bay’s title odds have ballooned to (+1600).
Three NFC teams are now ahead of the Pack in that regard – the Philadelphia Eagles (5-1) at (+850), the Seattle Seahawks (3-2) at (+1100), and the Atlanta Falcons (3-2) at (+1400).
Thrust into what had been one of the most secure starting roles in NFL history, backup Brett Hundley – the Packers’ fifth-round draft pick in 2015 – went 18 for 33 passing, with one touchdown to three interceptions. Hundley will obviously benefit from a full week of first-team practice reps, but given the caliber of Green Bay’s upcoming competition, his team may be under .500 within a months’ time.
The Packers host the New Orleans Saints (3-2) on Sunday, a team averaging 29.0 points per game after putting up 52 in last week’s win.
They’ll take a much-needed bye week after that, before hosting the Detroit Lions (3-3) in a crucial NFC North contest played under the Monday Night Football spotlight.
Next up is a trip to Soldier Field to face the surprisingly frisky Chicago Bears (2-4), and while the Packers have already dispatched their nemesis once this season, playing on the road without Rodgers is a different story altogether.
Green Bay fans looking for a shred of hope can at least look back to the 2013 season. That year, after a hot 5-2 start, Rodgers broke his left collarbone and the Packers limped to a 7-7-1 record entering Week 17.
Rodgers returned to play in the pivotal, NFC North deciding game against the Bears, marching his team down the field before throwing a 48-yard game-winning touchdown to send Green Bay to the playoffs.
Accordingly, the bookmakers at Bovada are taking a conservative approach to tabulating Green Bay’s title chances. They’re still ranked higher than the Cowboys (+2200), for example, but struggling teams like the Falcons and Seahawks have now surpassed them in the Super Bowl hunt.
Oddly enough, however, both Atlanta and Seattle saw their respective odds drop as well. Those downward slides are attributable to the Falcons blowing a 17-0 halftime lead against the Miami Dolphins (3-2), and Seattle sitting idle on its bye.
The biggest benefactor of Rodgers going down is, as expected, Minnesota – which currently leads the NFC North over Green Bay by virtue of its head-to-head tiebreaker.
Last week the Vikings held (+3300) odds of winning the Super Bowl, with no less than seven NFC teams – Green Bay, Seattle, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Dallas, Carolina, and Detroit – touted more highly.
Today, those odds have been cut to (+2000), and both Dallas and Carolina have fallen behind Minnesota.
In the ultimate team sport, the absence of a single player isn’t supposed to create such drastic swings – but then again, there’s only one Aaron Rodgers.
The table below compares every NFL team’s odds of winning Super Bowl 52 from last Tuesday to today:
|Team||SB Odds on 10/10||Team||SB Odds on 10/16|
|New England Patriots||+450||New England Patriots||+450|
|Green Bay Packers||+500||Pittsburgh Steelers||+800|
|Kansas City Chiefs||+650||Kansas City Chiefs||+850|
|Seattle Seahawks||+1000||Philadelphia Eagles||+850|
|Philadelphia Eagles||+1000||Seattle Seahawks||+1100|
|Atlanta Falcons||+1200||Atlanta Falcons||+1400|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||+1200||Green Bay Packers||+1600|
|Dallas Cowboys||+2000||Minnesota Vikings||+2000|
|Denver Broncos||+2000||Dallas Cowboys||+2200|
|Carolina Panthers||+2200||Denver Broncos||+2500|
|Detroit Lions||+3300||Carolina Panthers||+2500|
|Minnesota Vikings||+3300||L.A. Rams||+2500|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||+4000||Houston Texans||+2800|
|Houston Texans||+4000||Detroit Lions||+3300|
|Tennessee Titans||+5000||Washington Redskins||+3300|
|Oakland Raiders||+5000||New Orleans Saints||+3300|
|L.A. Rams||+5000||Tennessee Titans||+4000|
|Buffalo Bills||+6600||Oakland Raiders||+4000|
|Washington Redskins||+6600||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||+5000|
|New Orleans Saints||+6600||Cincinnati Bengals||+5000|
|Baltimore Ravens||+6600||Arizona Cardinals||+5000|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||+7500||Buffalo Bills||+6600|
|Cincinnati Bengals||+7500||Baltimore Ravens||+6600|
|Indianapolis Colts||+10000||Jacksonville Jaguars||+6600|
|New York Jets||+15000||Miami Dolphins||+7500|
|Arizona Cardinals||+15000||New York Giants||+7500|
|Miami Dolphins||+15000||Indianapolis Colts||+10000|
|L.A. Chargers||+20000||L.A. Chargers||+10000|
|New York Giants||+30000||New York Jets||+20000|
|Chicago Bears||+100000||Chicago Bears||+20000|
|San Francisco 49ers||+300000||San Francisco 49ers||+500000|
|Cleveland Browns||+300000||Cleveland Browns||+500000|