- The New Orleans Saints beat the Green Bay Packers by 35 points on Sunday.
- Jameis Winston threw five TD passes while Aaron Rodgers had zero TDs and two interceptions.
- Rodgers’ MVP odds dropped from +1000 to +6000 while Winston’s odds shortened from +4000 to +2800.
The underdogs went 8-6 on Sunday night in the NFL but if there was one upset that really shook us, it was the Saints not just beating but decapitating the Green Bay Packers in a game that wasn’t even played at the Superdome.
The comparison wasn’t even close. Jameis Winston battled Taysom Hill for the right to be the Saints QB1. Aaron Rodgers had his starting job waiting even after threatening not to play. Rodgers was third in the preseason MVP odds boards at +1000. Winston was a long shot of longshots but improved to +5000 after being he was anointed as the Saints’ starter.
New Orleans opened as 2.5 point betting favorites against the Packers when the lines first opened last summer at the best NFL betting sites. But when Rodgers decided to return to Green Bay and the game was moved to Jacksonville due to Hurricane Ida, there was a massive 5.5 point swing that made the Packers instant three-point betting favorites heading to Saturday’s game.
According to the online Sportsbook BetOnline, 74% of the betting money was placed on Green Bay to cover the spread, which had increased further to -3.5 on game day. What was more telling was that 88% of the Moneyline bets for the game were wagered for Green Bay at -197. At the Caesars SportsBook, 88% of the tickets and 87% of the money were placed on the Packers at -3.5 points.
The betting spread, betting trends, nor Aaron Rodgers did not matter.
Rodgers Looked Like A Jeopardy Host Trying to Play Quarterback
Last year: Aaron Rodgers won MVP
This year: He looks like a Jeopardy! host trying to play quarterback
— BetOnline.ag (@betonline_ag) September 12, 2021
Rodgers looked like a shell of the player who won MVP honors last season and was more like a jeopardy host trying to play NFL quarterback. He completed only 15 of 28 passes for 133 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions. For comparison’s sake, Rodgers threw just five total interceptions last year. He was pulled from the game with 11 minutes left and ended up suffering the worst defeat of his Hall-of-Fame career.
Rodgers’ return improved Green Bay’s preseason odds across the boards. Similarly, once he decided he was returning to Lambeau Field for his version of Michael Jordan’s “Last Dance”, he immediately became an instant MVP betting favorite. Third, at most of the top NFL betting sites, Rodgers entered Sunday listed at +1000 at FanDuel, DraftKings, and the Caesars Sportsbook. He was also a +1200 at PointsBet, +900 at Bet365 and BetOnline, and even at +800 at the Barstool Sportsbook.
At the only current available MVP odds board right after Sunday’s game, Rodgers fell to +1800 from +1200 at PointsBet. As Rodgers would say after the loss, it’s just one game. But if that game was any indication, the Packers and their gambling backers could be in trouble.
Winston’s Unique Statline
Jameis Winston put up a unique statline 🤯
◾ 14/20 Comp/Att
◾ 148 Yds
◾ 5 TDs
That’s the fewest pass yds in a 5 pass TD game in NFL history. pic.twitter.com/gv3pZTnwnc
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) September 12, 2021
While Rodgers laid a fat egg in the TD department, Jameis Winston threw for 5 to become the first QB to out-throw a reigning MVP five TDs to none since 1984. The last time that happened was when Dan Marino met Joe Theisman and Marino went on to win MVP honors that season.
Winston was incredibly effective for the most part of the game. He had just 93 passing yards with four touchdown passes before throwing a 55-yard home run to Deonte Harris in the fourth quarter. Winston finished with a total of 148 passing yards, the fewest ever in a five-touchdown passing game. But Winston threw just 20 passes, completing 14. And for a guy who led the NFL in interceptions in 2019, he had none while Rodgers threw a pair.
Following the game, Winston’s MVP odds moved from +4000 to +2800 at PointsBet. Although he is still far from the Top 5 in the odds board, his decrease of +1200 was the most significant of week 1 at the said online sportsbook. Again, it’s just one game, but it certainly helps justify the Saints’ decision to hand him the key to the car over last year’s back-up Taysom Hill.