Indianapolis Colts Odds Drop On Heels of Carson Wentz Foot Injury

Carson Wentz #2 of the Indianapolis Colts throws a pass. Photo by Justin Casterline / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

Carson Wentz #2 of the Indianapolis Colts throws a pass. Photo by Justin Casterline / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

 

Did the Indianapolis Colts mortgage their 2021-22 campaign by going all-in on Carson Wentz? Certainly, it seems to be the case now with news of Wentz needing to take an indefinite leave of absence to have foot surgery – an unexpected development but one that’s intensified dramatically by the Colts’ lack of a viable contingency plan.

NFL training camp only started a week ago but things have already gone south for the AFC South hopefuls. Wentz injured his left foot at the end of Thursday’s practice and soon after it was revealed that he would need surgery to mend a broken bone. Wentz has already had surgery and early indications suggest he’s likely to be out anywhere between 5-12 weeks.

A 5-12 week absence is rather wide. And this indeterminate timetable is already having an impact on the Colts value in NFL betting markets. To say that this is terrible news for Frank Reich and the Colts is the understatement to end all understatements.

On the heels of the week’s unfortunate turn of events, sportsbooks across the board adjusted NFL futures with the Indianapolis Colts getting demoted. In Super Bowl 56 futures with DraftKings, the Colts have seen their odds drift as far as +4000, putting them on a level with the Denver Broncos, Arizona Cardinals and Pittsburgh Steelers – all teams that are deemed to be outside bets. Outside the Top 10 and on the periphery of legitimate contention, which some might refer to as the group of so-called pretenders in NFL betting markets.

Wentz’ reunion with Frank Reich, which came about in the offseason after the former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback announced he wanted out of the City of Brotherly Love, was one of the guiding offseason storylines. It was a hyped up reunion that yielded high expectations, largely because of the pair’s successful partnership in 2017. When Wentz enjoyed the best season of his NFL career; that is, until he suffered a season-ending injury in the latter stages of Philadelphia’s campaign that year and then was forced to sit on the side lines while Nick Foles took over his starting job and led the Eagles to their first-ever Super Bowl title.

With Wentz out indefinitely, the Colts are left without experience and depth in the quarterback position. They have Jason Eason, Sam Ehlinger, Jason Morton and the recently signed Brett Hundley to lean on – none of which practically leaps off the page as a backup that can live up to expectations. Hence, the devaluation of the Colts odds.

As things currently stand, Jason Eason appears to be the heir apparent, He’s been taking first-team reps in the absence of Wentz. Eason is a fourth round pick in 2020 but he’s an untried and untested quarterback and it remains to be seen what he’s made of.

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Green Bay Packers Odds Shorten Following News Aaron Rodgers Is Near A Deal

Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers warms up. Dylan Buell/Getty Images/AFP

Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers warms up. Dylan Buell/Getty Images/AFP

 

The Green Bay Packers and Aaron Rodgers are reportedly near to a deal that will see the return of the future Hall of Fame quarterback for the 2021 season. Thus, as a consequence, Green Bay’s NFL futures have dropped dramatically while simultaneously Denver’s NFL futures have skyrocketed as any notion of a trade to the Broncos is now out of the question.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported on this vital development on social media on Monday, and various other NFL media insiders have confirmed the news since.

Rappaport tweeted:

“ #Packers QB Aaron Rodgers has indicated to people close to him that he does plan to play for GB this season, sources say. That is the expectation. Many factors at play, but with GM Brian Gutekunst saying he is “hopeful” for a positive outcome, there is a glimmer of optimism.”

Packers nation has been on tenterhooks ever since reports of Rodgers’ frustrations sent seismic shockwaves through social media and in turn NFL betting markets. So, it goes without saying, the timing of this announcement couldn’t be more critical with the start of Green Bay’s training camp literally scheduled for the following day on Tuesday.

The Aaron Rodgers saga has been dragging on for months, ever since ESPN’s Adam Schefter broke the news early in the offseason of an alleged worrisome rift between the veteran signal caller and the Packers front office. The long and the short of it: Rodgers at that time wanted out of Wisconsin badly.

As the sage unfolded, Aaron Rodgers kept conspicuously shtum, avoiding any comment on the matter whatsoever. This deliberate silence emboldened many to trot out more assumptions about his future. From early retirement or sitting out the season in protest to possible trades were just some of the many suggestions floated, stoking the embers of speculation without any real evidence to back it up.

Only on one occasion did Rodgers comment, and that was during a golf tournament that he participated in with Tom Brady. In response to whether or not he would play for Green Bay next season, he simply said “I don’t know.” Let’s face it, on a scale of 1 to 10, that response doesn’t even register on the barometer of helpfulness, vague as it was.

Well, now though, everyone is “in-the-know”, so to speak. Rodgers too. His return is practically a done deal according to multiple media sources and it appears that Rodgers will be either reporting to training camp on Tuesday or starting the first day of training on Wednesday.

All the ins and outs of Rodgers’ deal are yet unknown, but several key components have been revealed and they are as follows: the 2023 season is to be voided from Rodgers’ current contract, the franchise tag may not be used in future years and Rodgers gets a say in his potential destination in 2023.

On the heels of Rodgers’ return, multiple top-rated sportsbooks adjusted their NFL futures for Super Bowl 56 promptly. As per DraftKings Sportsbook, the Packers returned to favour with a price of +1400. In the wider spectrum of Super Bowl 56 betting, the Packers were hovering at or above +3000 only a day ago – the odds vary depending on the choice sportsbook. As well, Rodgers’ MVP odds were re-evaluated too, from a high of +2000 they dropped down to +1000.

Both these NFL markets had suffered considerably during the height of the alleged “rift” or “standoff” as reported by the media between Rodgers and the Packers organisation. But as things currently stand, the Packers are back inside the Top 5 best bets to win Super Bowl 56, sitting pretty alongside the Baltimore Ravens, San Francisco 49ers and LA Rams – all of which are priced at +1400 with DraftKings Sportsbook. In addition, Rodgers updated MVP odds render the veteran signal caller as the second best bet to reclaim the prestigious award in 2021 after top fave Patrick Mahomes at +500.

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New Orleans Saints Overrated for 2022 NFL Season?

the New Orleans Saints celebrate their  second field goal against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Chris Graythen/Getty Images/AFP

the New Orleans Saints celebrate their second field goal against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Chris Graythen/Getty Images/AFP

 

Are the New Orleans Saints overrated for the 2022 NFL Season?

The New Orleans Saints enter the upcoming season tipped as modest contenders in NFL Futures, but their quarterback position is up in the air with Drew Brees’ retirement in the offseason and the reins falling into the untried and untested hands of jack-of-all trades backup Taysom Hill and last year’s third-string quarterback Jameis Winston.

Sean Payton is a well-respected head coach; his wealth of experience and track record of success in the league has earned him respect from his peers and those vested stakeholders within the Saints organization to trust that he knows what he’s doing. Hence, perhaps, the market’s rather favorable outlook.

And yet, New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick – arguably the GOAT of coaches in today’s game – was in a similar situation last season, down an elite quarterback when he was left scrambling to find a replacement for Tom Brady after his sudden departure to the greener pastures of Tampa Bay. Tale told, Belichick struggled to get Brady’s big shoes filled and consequently the Patriots sunk to a subpar 6-10 SU finish, their worst record on the season during his two decade reign in New England.

Given the New England Patriots experience of the last season, it raises the question of whether the Saints might be headed in a similar direction. In other words: are the Saints overrated in the betting as things stand right now?

New Orleans Saints Betting Outlook 2022

In the broad spectrum of the league, the Saints are tipped anywhere between +2500 and +3000 to win Super Bowl 56, while in the NFC South they’re pegged as the second best bet after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

As per DraftKings, the Saints are tipped at +300 to win the NFC South and at +2800 to win SBLVI. The latter of which puts the Saints on a level with the Dallas Cowboys, Tennessee Titans and Denver Broncos, and behind the Kansas City Chiefs (+500), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+650), Buffalo Bills (+1200), LA Rams (+1300), Baltimore Ravens (+1400), San Francisco 49ers (+1400), Green Bay Packers (+1500), Cleveland Browns (+1600), Indianapolis Colts (+2500) and Seattle Seahawks (+2500).

 

NFL Division Futures: NFC SOUTH

  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers -200
  • New Orleans Saints +300
  • Atlanta Falcons +800
  • Carolina Panthers +1100

Saints Post-Brees

Sean Payton is embarking on a new era in New Orleans without his stalwart quarterback Drew Brees by his side. The 40-something veteran signal caller decided to hang up his cleats at the conclusion of the 2020-21 NFL season, after his last lap around the league culminated with an early exit in the playoffs – they lost to the eventual champions Tampa Bay Buccaneers 30-20 in the divisional round.

Payton knew this day was coming as Brees has been flirting with retirement from the NFL for some time. It’s been the subject of much media speculation with many pegging the Future Hall of Fame quarterback to take up a career as an NFL broadcaster next. But now that Brees is actually gone, Payton’s approach to the quarterback position leaves room for doubt to seep in and take up residence.

Long-time Brees backup Taysom Hill is a superb athlete but whether he’s a bona fide starting quarterback is up in the air. He’s a dual-threat quarterback in the mould of Lamar Jackson, which appears to be all the rage in the league right now. However, Hill’s skill-set and talents aren’t guaranteed to translate automatically into success at the quarterback position.

Hill stepped up over Winston for Drew Brees last season when the veteran was side-lined for several weeks with a rib injury. He threw for over 70 percent of his passes while averaging 209 passing yards. He ended his brief stint with a 3-1 record, but that record is exactly that. Brief, if positive.

On the flipside, Jameis Winston is a mercurial quarterback that spent the first five years of his career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before head coach Bruce Arians decided to cast him off last season. Although Arians worked with Winston for only a year, he’d seen enough apparently to warrant the cut. And that’s a serious knock on the quarterback when the so-called “quarterback whisperer” coach gives up on you.

Neither Hill nor Winston’s resume in the league is encouraging enough to warrant the Saints’ rather overrated NFL odds. Hill is an unproven and untried starting quarterback that may or may not succeed at the helm while Winston’s catalogue of frustrating, error-prone quarterbacking is record setting in the worst ways possible. No doubt Payton is a solid head coach and the Saints are a good team on the whole, but the bar is way too high for 2021-22 and NFL bettors might be better off lowering expectations significantly. In fact, it wouldn’t be surprising if this experiment imploded in Payton’s face – not unlike the manner in which it did in Belichick’s last season. The moral of the story: there’s only so much a coach can do from the side-lines. It’s the quality on the field that ultimately makes the difference between winning and losing.

NFL Coach of the Year Odds: Top Three Bets

Head Coach Brian Flores of the Miami Dolphins looks on. Mark Brown/Getty Images/AFP

Head Coach Brian Flores of the Miami Dolphins looks on. Mark Brown/Getty Images/AFP

 

Across multiple top sportsbooks, NFL Coach of the Year (COY) Odds are in full swing and several names practically leap off the page as attractive early bets to spot for NFL picks. In this column, we highlight those that we think are the best bets right now, some of which might come as a surprise as not all are amongst the bookies’ top faves at all.

Last season the NFL COY winner was Kevin Stefanski, who surpassed all expectations by genuinely emerging as the league’s best coach. He left no doubt about it his credentials when he steered the Cleveland Browns to an 11-5 SU record and a wildcard spot in the playoffs, thus ending the franchise’s decades long playoff drought. His Browns very nearly made it all the way to the AFC Championship game only to lose narrowly to the Kansas City Chiefs.

To look back at the NFL odds board for 2020, Stefanski was nowhere near the top of the list to win the coveted honour. That principality belonged jointly to new Dallas Cowboys’ new head coach Mike McCarthy and New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick when markets opened. Tale told, neither of those came even close to competing for the award. Instead, each saw his team implode for one reason or another in spectacular fashion and ultimately finish third in their respective divisions. The Cowboys finished with a 6-10 SU mark and the Patriots finished with a 7-9 SU mark.

It’s worth noting that McCarthy’s odds for 2021 have taken a significant step back as an opinion regarding his coaching merit has fallen considerably. McCarthy is the quintessential longshot bet as per DraftKings sportsbook tipped at +2500 (see odds below).

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2021 Comeback Player of the Year Odds: Dak Prescott Leads the Field

Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys looks to pass against the New York Giants. Tom Pennington/Getty Images/AFP

Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys looks to pass against the New York Giants. Tom Pennington/Getty Images/AFP

 

Dak Prescott is heavily favored for the Comeback Player of the Year (CPOY) award, but is he really the best bet as the markets would have it?

On the heels of signing a mega contract with the Dallas Cowboys in the offseason and ending in one stroke of the pen years of haggling with the franchise including any speculation the starlet’s future might lie outside of Jerry World, Dak Prescott’s odds surged in various NFL futures betting markets. And nowhere more so than in the betting on the ‘AP Comeback Player of the Year’ market.

The list of players earmarked for the 2021 CPOY Award is extensive and includes several standout names beyond Prescott. As per top sportsbooks, Saquon Barkley (+600), Joe Burrow and Nick Bosa (both at +750) are amongst the top bets in this market after Dak Prescott (+250). And yet, clearly, as the NFL odds illustrate, there’s a big gap between the aforementioned triplet and Prescott in the eyes of bookmakers.

Rounding out the top faves are Carson Wentz (+800) and Christian McCaffrey (+850), the last two players in triple-digit favor (odds under +1000) at this point in time. The rest of the field, which includes standouts such as Jimmy Garoppolo (+1600) and Odell Beckham Jr. (+2000), features contenders priced in quadruple digits.

Most players on the list fit the criteria to win this award one way or another. However, not all are exactly a shoe-in for the honor. The criteria loosely interpreted requires a player to have shown perseverance in overcoming adversity, in the form of not being in the NFL the previous year, a severe injury, or simply poor performance.

Last season, Cam Newton, Ben Roethlisberger and Rob Gronkowski emerged as the top three bets to win the CPOY Award. Tale told, Alex Smith, who was priced as a longshot at +2000 (or thereabouts depending on the choice top sports betting site), emerged triumphant. Quite deservedly, so.

Smith returned to football two years after suffering a horrific leg injury that very nearly ended his career. He wasn’t Washington’s automatic starter upon his return, but he won the job midway through the season and navigated the Washington Football Team to the NFC East crown and into the playoffs,

Obviously, Prescott’s story isn’t dissimilar to Smith’s. Prescott suffered a gruesome ankle injury early last season and the image as he was carted off the field in floods of tears left an indelible impression on Dallas Cowboys fans and neutrals alike. It was gut-wrenching awful.

It was impossible not to feel for the guy, the agony that he must have been in, the initial fear he must have felt wondering if it would be a career-ending injury. Afterwards, even when it was reported he’d had successful surgery, one still feels somewhat apprehensive for the guy as his future is still uncertain. There are no guarantees, after all. Contract or no contract, everything depends on his performance next season. It’s a long road back to top NFL form and while his recovery and rehab is purportedly on track, it remains to be seen whether he can reclaim the form of his heyday.

 

Is Prescott the Best Bet?

The widespread assumption – as the NFL odds underline – is that Prescott is set up perfectly in Dallas for a comeback season in 2021. This market outlook must presume McCarthy’s second-year in Dallas will be a screaming success. But what if it isn’t? Let’s face it, 2020 was a shambles that ended on a woeful 6-10 SU record. No team struggled more than Dallas to win games last season. The defense was horrendous, special teams were ineffective, offense was erratic and coaching was all over the place. That was the case even while they had Prescott as the starter. The Cowboys went 1-3 SU in the first four games of the season before Prescott was injured in week 5 against the Giants.

In order to actually win the award many things would have to align in Dallas for Prescott, not least of all his relationship with Mike McCarthy. Not surprisingly McCarthy’s first year on the job earned mixed reviews. Those charitable analysts who gave him some leeway when he lost Prescott for the better part of the season aren’t writing him off. Others aren’t holding out much hope for McCarthy after what was a down year of historic proportions, pointing at poor coaching behind Dallas’ forgettable season as the reason behind Dallas’ titanic demise – and under the circumstances one kind of gets their point.

So, if 2020 was purely a reflection of what a McCarthy-inspired Dallas team amounts to, betting on Prescott in this market would be ill-advised because it’s impossible to see how Prescott would win a game at all never mind the CPOY Award.

Thus, other contenders in this market are more attractive for NFL picks, especially those that are coming off an injury and are returning to an established squad and coaching regime that is largely intact. Players such as Nick Bosa or Jimmy Garoppolo for example fir the bill, a couple of Niners that are set to return in 2021 after an injury absence and return to a squad that not so long ago competed in Super Bowl 54.

Garoppolo is of particular interest here as the Niners drafting Tray Lance at No.3 in the 2021 NFL draft could provide the requisite impetus for a standout 2021 campaign. Not unlike Aaron Rodgers, who enjoyed an MVP season last year after the Packers surprisingly drafted his heir apparent Jordan Love in 2020.

 

2021-22 Comeback Player of the Year Odds

  • Dak Prescott +250
  • Saquon Barkley +600
  • Joe Burrow +750
  • Nick Bosa +750
  • Carson Wentz +800
  • Christian McCaffrey +850
  • Jameis Winston +1200
  • Sam Darnold +1200
  • Laurent Duvernay-Tardif +1400
  • Jimmy Garoppolo +1600
  • Derwin James +1800
  • Von Miller +1800
  • Odell Beckham Jr. +2000
  • Tim Tebow +2000
  • Tyrod Taylor +2500
  • Joe Mixon +2800
  • Danielle Hunter +3300
  • Dont’a Hightower +5000
  • Kyle Long +5000