With Rodgers down and out, Packers' odds plummet

Matt Youmans  
VSiN senior editor

October 15, 2017 09:24 PM
The Packers surely can win some games without quarterback Aaron Rodgers, but reaching the playoffs suddenly becomes a difficult task for a 4-2 team.
© USA Today Sports Images

If Las Vegas oddsmakers voted on the NFL’s most valuable player, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers would be the runaway winner.

“It’s not even close,” said Jimmy Vaccaro of the South Point sports book.

Now, with Rodgers likely lost for the season with a broken collarbone, is it doomsday for Green Bay? The Packers surely can win some games without Rodgers, but reaching the playoffs suddenly becomes a difficult task for a 4-2 team.

“I think they would be happy with 8-8,” Vaccaro said.

Westgate sports book director Jay Kornegay said he adjusted Green Bay’s odds to win the Super Bowl from 5-1 to 16-1. The Packers’ odds to win the NFC went from 9-4 to 7-1.

Rodgers has been considered the league’s most valuable player in relation to the point spread, and exactly what he’s worth is reflected in next week’s line. Before the Rodgers injury on Sunday, Green Bay was posted as a 6½-point home favorite over New Orleans in Week 7. The new number is Saints minus-3½.

Vaccaro said Rodgers is more valuable than Tom Brady for two reasons — New England could win the weak AFC East without Brady, and Jimmy Garoppolo is a better backup than the Packers’ inexperienced Brett Hundley.

“I would suggest it’s the biggest differential of any player in the league by a long shot,” said Vaccaro, who took Green Bay’s futures odds off the board with plans to repost the numbers on Monday. “You take him off the Packers and they can’t win without this kid.”

Rodgers suffered a broken right collarbone in the first quarter of a 23-10 loss at Minnesota. The Vikings (4-2) moved into a tie with the Packers atop the NFC North. Because the injury is to Rodgers’ throwing shoulder, he might be done for the season. In 2013, when Rodgers broke his left collarbone, Green Bay was 5-2 at the time and went 2-4-1 without him. After missing seven starts, Rodgers returned for the regular-season finale at Chicago and beat the Bears with a last-minute touchdown pass to claim the division title.

Instead of looking for a veteran replacement, coach Mike McCarthy said he’s going with Hundley as his starter. If Green Bay can get in position to reach the playoffs, maybe Rodgers could return late in the season, but that’s all up in the air as the Packers’ odds plummet.

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