How Have Blockbuster Trades and Signings Changed the NFL Odds?

NFL Mar 16, 2022

It's a whole new ballgame.

There have been several bombshell trades, moves, and signings in the NFL over the past week. That's significantly altered the outlook heading into next season. It's also changed the odds on futures betting. In other words, it's a whole new ballgame.

No position has a greater impact on betting odds than the starting quarterbacks. With a major shakeup on several teams, that's completely changed expectations.  While some teams boosted their odds significantly (Tampa Bay, Green Bay, and Denver), other teams have seen their prospective fortunes tank (Washington, Miami, and Pittsburgh).

Here's a brief synopsis of the biggest moves on NFL Futures this week (to win next season's Super Bowl) over what the odds were during the previous week:

Tom Brady un-retires and signs with Tampa Bay -- Seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady ended his two-month "retirement" last Sunday, which sent shock waves across the NFL. The Buccaneers were about 25-1 odds to win the 2023 Super Bowl prior to Brady's absence. But with the G.O.A.T. back in a Tampa Bay uniform, betting markets think the 45-year-old ageless wonder might have one more championship run left in the tank. Futures odds on the Bucs plunged down to 8-1.

Aaron Rodgers resigns with Green Bay -- The reigning NFL MVP was the hottest free agent on the open market, but then opted to stay in Green Bay for a huge financial deal. Prior to the announcement, betting markets weren't entirely convinced Rodgers was really leaving the Packers. The odds were 14-1 a week ago, and are now down to 8-1. This was a similar occurrence to what happened last season when the Packers went from 20-1 down to the favourites to win it all once Rodgers was secured as the starter.

Russell Wilson jumps ship to Denver -- Many NFL fans and bettors thought the Broncos were just one piece away from being a serious contender. They've been trying to fill the quarterback void since Peyton Manning retired seven years ago. No doubt, former Seahawk Russell Wilson is a game changer for Denver. They not only get a proven passer, but the Super Bowl winning QB who beat them in the 2014 championship. The futures odds on Denver went from 22-1 down to 12-1 with the Wilson signing. By contrast, the Seahwaks saw their prospects go from 35-1 up to 70-1.

Carson Wentz signs with Washington -- Apparently, the Commanders (new team name) didn't improve their chances by signing oft-injured Carson Wentz, now with this third NFL team in six seasons. The former Eagles (then Colts) starter created a ripple in Washington's futures' odds from 50-1 to 60-1. It should be noted that this reaction wasn't so much a bias against Wentz, as a market response to the some expectations that the Commanders were the most likely destination to sign controversial superstar QB Deshaun Watson, who still remains on the open market.

Teddy Bridgewater headed to Miami -- The Dolphins will be Teddy Bridgewater's fifth team since he entered the NFL in 2014. Oddly enough, he's 36-26 over the course of his career as a starter, but doesn't get much respect from bettors. Bridgewater moved the needle on Miami from 45-1 to 50-1. Like the Washington situation, this isn't a reflection of Bridgewater being a bad QB, but rather a mass reaction to Watson not going to the Dolphins.

Mitch Trubisky destined for Pittsburgh -- Former Bears starter Trubisky has been beat up, sacked, tossed around, and cursed at for most of his pro career. He desperately needed out of Chicago and landed in Pittsburgh where's he expected to start for the Steelers in 2022. Trubisky is toxic, as Pittsburgh odds dropped from 50-1 to 66-1. Actually, this is probably a good move by the Steelers. There's a huge upside if Trubisky, a former first round draft pick with lots of NFL experience, can somehow turn things around and find a home in Pittsburgh.

Note:  The odds for teams impacted by Deshaun Watson and Baker Mayfield, who could also sign with new teams, will also change in the days/weeks to come.

Here's an overview of NFL FUTURES then versus now: