The 2021 NFL Draft is looming. And for many fans and pundits, it signals the first instance where we look forward to the new season instead of reflecting on the previous one. We are several months away from that, but the draft gets people thinking about all the pieces, where they fit and what the management is thinking (or not thinking, as the case may be).
Sportsbooks will, of course, have released odds for the new season the moment the previous Super Bowl ended. And to be fair, the draft doesn’t tend to move the markets too much. As Kirien Sprecher pointed out on Packers Talk when discussing the need for a cornerback, the draft is “about building the roster to be successful beyond 2021”, and “the vast majority of players you see on the field in Green and Gold next year are already on the roster”.
The point is that the draft will likely change little about this season, and we don’t expect much movement in the betting odds after. The likelihood is that the Packers’ current odds will stay the same unless they – or their rivals – make some huge moves. It could happen, of course. We saw last year how the Tom Brady trade propelled the Buccaneers from mid-level chances to being among the favorites.
So, with the caveat that the odds could change, how do the Packers stack up at this point before the draft? Below we look at three of the main markets for success next season:
Last year, the MansionBet NFC North Blog talked about the tight race between the Vikings and Packers for supremacy in the division. As we know, it didn’t pan out that way as the 13-3 Packers never looked like losing the lead in the division after beating the Vikings in Week 1. But the odds in the summer had the Vikings as slight favorites to win the division. This time around, the Packers are clear favorites with odds of -250. As mentioned, that might change. But as it stands, sportsbooks unanimously see the Packers winning the NFC North.
As with last season, the road to the Super Bowl means the Packers might have to cut a path through the Buccaneers. The Packers and the Bucs are the two leading candidates (in the sportsbooks’ eyes, at least) to win the NFC Championship and head to the Super Bowl at the SoFi Stadium in California next February. Bookmakers prefer the Bucs, marginally, but either team can be found at odds ranging from about +400 to +500. The Rams and 49ers are deemed the next most likely candidates, while there is a bit of a gap to teams like the Seahawks and Saints. Confirming the perception that the rest of the NFC North is relatively weak, the Bears, Lions and Vikings are put among the outsiders for the NFC Championship.
Super Bowl LVI
The Kansas City Chiefs are the consensus pick by sportsbooks for Super Bowl LVI. The Chiefs are given odds of +500, with the Bucs (+800) and Packers (+900). Is that surprising? Perhaps not. But sometimes, a little context is needed. The Chiefs’ position as favorites is reinforced by the fact that they don’t have the Bucs and Packers in their way in AFC. Because the Packers and Bucs are seen as – and remember we are going by sportsbooks – the main rivals but are in the same conference as each other, it serves to lower the Chiefs’ odds and raise the odds of the NFC pair.