NFC North Odds Shaken Up After Aaron Rodgers Rumors, Bears’ Move For Justin Fields

Written By Drew Ellis on May 3, 2021 - Last Updated on July 22, 2021

The NFL Draft is in the rear-view mirror. With a particularly wild, the three-day event completed, 2021 NFL futures odds have already shifted quite a bit.

A lot of wheeling and dealing took place. Plenty of rumors were (and are still) flying.

Detroit Lions emphasize lines of scrimmage

The Detroit Lions had a productive NFL Draft, and new general manager Brad Holmes had a clear focus on developing the offensive and defensive lines.

Here’s a look at their seven selections:

  • First round No. 7: OT Penei Sewell, Oregon
  • Second round No. 9 (41st overall): DT Levi Onwuzurike, Washington
  • Third round No. 8 (72nd overall): DT Alim McNeil, N.C. State
  • Third round No. 38 (101st overall): CB Ifeatu Melifonwu, Syracuse
  • Fourth round No. 7 (112th overall): WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, USC
  • Fourth round No. 8 (113th overall): LB Derrick Barnes, Purdue
  • Seventh round No. 30 (257th overall): RB Jermar Jefferson, Oregon State

The Lions didn’t have a splashy draft, but they still were considered to have a successful draft by many media outlets.

When it comes to how the draft affected their perceived odds of success next season, however, not much changed.

Entering the draft, both DraftKings Sportsbook and BetMGM Sportsbook had the Lions listed at +15000 to win Super Bowl LVI. The odds didn’t change at all throughout the weekend for Detroit.

In the NFC Championship race, DraftKings listed Detroit at +6600 throughout, while BetMGM had Detroit at +8000 throughout.

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NFC North outlooks shaken up

One area where the Lions did improve their NFL futures odds was in the NFC North division race. However, it wasn’t really about what they did.

Coming into Thursday’s opening round, reports surfaced that star quarterback Aaron Rodgers told the Green Bay Packers that he wanted out from his contract.

Moving the story along even further Thursday was a report from ESPN Radio’s Mark Schlereth that a deal was virtually done to send Rodgers to the Denver Broncos in the AFC West.

Those rumors didn’t become reality this weekend, but they still had a big impact on the futures odds for the Packers and the Broncos.

Prior to Thursday, DraftKings listed Green Bay as a top Super Bowl contender at +1100. By the end of the draft, the Packers were now at +2000 odds. Denver opened Thursday at +6000 and climbed all the way to +1600. BetMGM moved Green Bay from +1200 to +1600, while Denver went from +6600 to +2000.

The trade rumors really shook up the NFC North odds for next season. BetMGM took down the division odds entirely, but DraftKings updated theirs following the draft.

  • Green Bay Packers: Started -250; Ended -121
  • Minnesota Vikings: Started +350; Ended +250
  • Chicago Bears: Started +650; Ended +325
  • Detroit Lions: Started +2800; Ended +2000

William Hill Sportsbook was another operator that took down NFC North and Packers odds following the rumors. When they did reopen Monday, Green Bay had moved from a -250 favorite to just -125.

DraftKings went even further with its Aaron Rodgers sweepstakes, offering odds on which team he’ll take his first snap with next season. The Packers still led that race at -125 odds, but Denver had moved into the discussion at +200.The Las Vegas Raiders (+500) and New Orleans Saints (+900) were the only other teams with odds of less than +1000.

Chicago Bears roll the dice, get aggressive

Chicago was one of the league’s most-talked about teams this past weekend.

The Bears moved up from No. 20 to No. 11 in the first round to select Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields. Chicago gave the New York Giants a 2022 first-round pick as part of the deal.

Chicago followed that up by trading up from No. 52 to No. 39 to select tackle Teven Jenkins from Oklahoma State. The two trades left the Bears without any more picks until the fifth round.

Despite their limited draft stock, the Bears’ odds to win the Super Bowl this season went from +6000 to +5000, according to DraftKings. BetMGM kept the Bears’ odds at +5000 throughout.

Whose NFL stock is rising and falling?

Aside from the Broncos making big jumps in their NFL futures odds, there weren’t many teams league-wide that drastically improved their odds this past weekend.

Here’s a look at five teams with notable odds improvements from DraftKings over the weekend.

  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Started +750, ended +650
  • San Francisco 49ers: Started +1600, ended +1400
  • Dallas Cowboys: Started +2800, ended +2500
  • Seattle Seahawks: Started +2800, ended +2500
  • Atlanta Falcons: Started +6000, ended +5000

Some teams seemed to hurt their chances for success next season, too, based either on their drafts or that other movement. Aside from the Packers being hurt by trade rumors, here are five teams that have notably longer odds from DraftKings over the weekend.

  • Baltimore Ravens: Started +1300, ended +1500
  • Indianapolis Colts: Started +2500, ended +2800
  • Arizona Cardinals: Started +3300, ended +4000
  • Pittsburgh Steelers: Started +3300, ended +4000
  • Las Vegas Raiders: Started +6000, ended +7500
Photo by Associated Press file images
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Drew Ellis

Drew Ellis has lived in Michigan his whole life, and has been writing professionally for the last 21 years. Ellis has covered anything from youth baseball in mid-Michigan, a top-25 college football program, and pro sports in the Detroit area. Always keeping busy, Ellis also has over 10 years of experience in covering sports betting, handling all major sports.

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