The biggest storyline of the NFL offseason has been whether or not reigning NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers will return to the Green Bay Packers. Could he go to the Broncos? Or demand a trade somewhere else? Or what if he holds out and hosts Jeopardy instead?
No one really knows how this story will play out. But yesterday we saw sportsbooks brace for another possible outcome: Retirement.
Rumors are swirling that Rodgers could walk away from the game and announce his retirement sometime early next week before training camp begins. Right on cue, several sportsbooks pulled all of their Packers-related futures off the board, including win totals, playoff odds and divisional odds.
While most shops took the Packers' win total down, Circa kept their numbers up, although they did adjust the Green Bay win total down from 11 to 8.5. Circa also has an updated alternate win total of Packers 9.5 with the under juiced heavily to -195.
"It's all speculation on Rodgers," Derek Stevens of Circa told VSiN. "We want the guys with the great information to hit us first and then we'll try to get a read on it."
The biggest beneficiary of the Rodgers news is the Vikings. Circa moved the Vikings to a + 125 favorite to win the NFC North, followed by the Packers + 195, Bears + 335 and Lions + 1515.
If Rodgers does retire, second-year QB and former first round pick Jordan Love is set to take over.
The plot thickens...
For extensive Saturday betting analysis be sure to join Jonathan Von Tobel, Michael Lombardi and myself LIVE on The Lombardi Line from 10 a.m.-noon ET. We'll be dissecting all the big matchups and updating the top lines moves across all the major sports. We'll also check in with our friend Thomas Gable at the Borgata in Atlantic City.
In the meantime, let's discuss where the money is flowing for three MLB games today...
2:20 p.m. ET: Arizona Diamondbacks (30-69) at Chicago Cubs (48-50)
The Cubs took care of business in Friday's series opener, beating the Diamondbacks 8-3 as -130 home favorites. In this afternoon's rematch, Arizona starts righty Merrill Kelly (6-7, 4.46 ERA) and Chicago taps fellow righty Alec Mills (4-3, 4.64 ERA). This line opened with the Cubs listed as a -137 home favorite and the Diamondbacks a + 126 road dog. Sharps are riding the Cubbies at home, as we've seen Chicago get steamed up from -137 to -150. Non-division home favorites off a win are 191-112 (63%) this season. Non-division favorites with at least 10-cents of steam in their direction are 194-116 (62.6%). The Cubs are 31-17 as a favorite. The Snakes are just 20-61 as a dog. Chicago is 29-17 at home. Arizona is one of the worst road teams in MLB at 11-39. The Cubs are 3-1 against the Snakes this season.
4:05 p.m. ET: New York Yankees (50-46) at Boston Red Sox (60-38)
The Red Sox have taken the first two games of this four-game set, winning the opener 5-4 as -150 home favorites and winning against last night as -115 home favorites. In today's mid-afternoon rematch, New York hands the ball to righty Jameson Taillon (5-4, 4.60 ERA) and Boston trots out righty Nathan Eovaldi (9-6. 3.49 ERA). This line opened with the Red Sox listed as a -150 home favorite and the Yankees a + 140 road dog. Pros and Joes are united behind the red-hot Red Sox, steaming Boston up from -150 to -165. Home favorites off a win have gone 336-211 (61.4%) this season. Boston is 30-19 at home this season. New York is 23-23 on the road. The Red Sox will lean on their bats in this one. Boston is hitting .257, which ranks 5th-best in MLB. New York is hitting .235, which ranks 19th. The Red Sox have had the Yankees' number this season, going 9-2 overall.
7:10 p.m. ET: Chicago White Sox (58-39) at Milwaukee Brewers (57-41)
The Brewers dominated the White Sox 7-1 in Friday night's series opener, cashing as -127 home favorites. Tonight's rematch features a stellar pitching matchup, with Chicago handing the ball to lefty Carlos Rodon (8-3, 2.14 ERA) and Milwaukee countering with righty Corbin Burnes (5-4, 2.16 ERA). This line opened with the Brewers listed as a short -115 home favorite and the White Sox a + 105 road dog. The public sees two good teams and two stellar pitchers and doesn't know who to back. However, pros are leaning on the Brewers at home as we've seen this line rise from Milwaukee -115 to -125. Milwaukee has value as a non-division home favorite off a win (191-112, 63% this season). Also, Interleague home favorites with a line move in their favor have gone 60-43 (58.3%). Milwaukee is 40-30 as a favorite. Chicago is just 5-15 as a dog. Pros are also leaning on a lower-scoring game. After opening at 7.5, smart under money has pounced on the hook and dropped the total down to 7.
Remember to check the VSiN Betting Splits every day for money and ticket counts so you can tell who the public is betting on