The Aaron Rodgers Saga, 2020 Summer Olympics, & NFL Preseason Bets

In this edition of his weekly column, “The Ticket,” Adam Kramer explores the uncertainty surrounding Aaron Rodgers and its impact on sportsbooks as NFL training camp nears, prepares for the 2020 Summer Olympics, and dives deep into some NFL player props. 

For the sake of content, I would like to see the following transpire.

The Green Bay Packers stubbornly decide not to trade Aaron Rodgers until after the 2021 NFL season. In response, a stubborn Rodgers decides not to show up to training camp. Instead, he retreats into the woods, destroys his cellphone, and truly removes himself from the grid, only to appear six months from now with an unkempt beard that could house a bald eagle and a wave of nature-driven tattoos.

Chances are that these things won’t happen (sadly). But with NFL training camp approaching, one of the game’s biggest stars seems perfectly content in this unsettled state. While Rodgers has been largely mum on the matter, one would assume that something has to give sooner or later.

Or maybe it won’t. Maybe Green Bay will dig in, play the season with Jordan Love, and let Rodgers eat fines until they move on from him in 2022. Unless they can get meaningful, active players in return — and this is certainly possible — there is no rush to trade him now.

The current odds for the Packers are reflective of this stalemate, which promises to be the most interesting storyline of camp. On DraftKings, Green Bay is +2000 to win the Super Bowl and now just -125 to win its division.

There is no current win total posted or a line for the Packers to make the playoffs. Sportsbooks are trying to protect themselves from all potential possibilities, which includes teams like the Denver Broncos (a potential Rodgers fit) that have less value than expected.

Maybe Rodgers will simply report to camp. This seems unlikely, although the Super Bowl odds and other wagering opportunities will go haywire the moment he arrives.

But for now, the status of the league’s reigning Most Valuable Player is largely a mystery. And the fact that Green Bay’s season — and many of our wagers — could swing so dramatically at any moment is unlike any recent football situation I can remember.

This is not a typical holdout, something that has been a fixture of training camp for some time. This is something different and far more powerful, and the NFL season could be greatly affected by how it shakes out.

As for me? Give me chaos. I have yet to pull the trigger on any Packers futures as I watch this all unfold. While I would hate to be deprived of Rodgers’ gifts for a full year at this point in his football life, I respect his ability to take this to the brink if he chooses to approach it that way.

Plus, anything that gets us closer to the beard and tattoos is a good thing.


The Aaron Rodgers Saga, 2020 Summer Olympics, & NFL Preseason Bets

Last Week’s Gambling Report Card: My Golf Drought Continues, But UFC Was Kind 

Until football starts, my weekend routine is the same. Bet golf, watch golf. Bet UFC, watch UFC. But while that routine has stayed the same, the results have been anything but.

It’s been a minute since I hit a meaningful golf future. I’ve cashed top-10 bets and other wagers here and there, but a major score has been elusive in 2021. With UFC, however, it’s been quite the opposite. After dropping the first two fights on Saturday night, I finished with eight consecutive wins.

My golf drought won’t last forever, and neither will my UFC heater. Nevertheless, I’ll continue to bet heavily on both.


What I’m Watching: 2021 NBA Finals, UFC, & 2020 Summer Olympics 

2021 NBA Finals

These NBA Finals between the Phoenix Suns and Milwaukee Bucks have been fabulous. At first it was all Phoenix, but now Milwaukee has the momentum after winning three straight. We’re going to crush Chris Paul if he loses, and we’re going to crush Giannis Antetokounmpo if the Bucks blow it. Regardless of how it turns out, this series has been superb.

UFC Fight Night: Sandhagen vs. Dillashaw

We have one of the best non-pay-per-view fights of the year on Saturday. Cory Sandhagen is coming off one of the best knockouts of the year — a perfectly-placed knee that finished Frankie Edgar in under a minute. His opponent, T.J. Dillashaw, has not fought since January of 2019 after being suspended for two years due to performance-enhancing drugs. He was one of the stars of the sport before that, so his return as an underdog is certainly worth watching.

2020 Summer Olympics

In need of something to get you to football season? Look no further. The Olympics will kick off this week — highlighted by the opening ceremony on Friday in Tokyo — and run until August 8. While fans will not be allowed due to COVID, it will still be refreshing to see the world come together to compete.

There will also be plenty to wager on, and I plan to push my betting limits here, knowledge of niche sports be damned. Ever wanted to bet that Norway would win fewer than 2.5 gold medals? I’ll bet you did.

2021 Summer Olympics Tokyo Japan

After being delayed a year due to COVID, the 2020 Summer Olympics will kick off this week in Tokyo, Japan. (Image: USA TODAY)


What I’m Betting: NFL Player Props & UFC

On Take the Points, our site-driven podcast that you need to be listening to now if you aren’t already, we’re previewing divisions in the NFL and capping off said previews with some wagers.

I have a prop bet for each team in the AFC East and AFC North, and I’ll relay each one I come up with here. While we’re at it, please subscribe to the pod, as we’ll be picking preseason games in no time.

All 2021 NFL odds, lines, and bets are courtesy of DraftKings. DraftKings offers a deposit bonus of up to $1,000 with your first deposit. Sign up to claim this welcome promotion today to place your 2021 NFL Futures Bets.

2021 AFC East Prop Bets

Zach Wilson Over 21.5 Regular Season Passing Touchdowns (-115)

Player Prop

-115

Zach Wilson: Over 21.5 Passing TDs In 2021-2022 NFL Regular Season

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Bet $20, Payout $37

Jaylen Waddle Over 750.5 Regular Season Receiving Yards (+100)

Player Prop

+100

Jaylen Waddle: Over 750.5 Receiving Yards In 2021-2022 NFL Regular Season

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Bet $20, Payout $40

Josh Allen Under 480.5 Regular Season Rushing Yards (-115)

Player Prop

-115

Josh Allen: Under 480.5 Rushing Yards In 2021-2022 NFL Regular Season

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Bet $20, Payout $37

Damien Harris Over 845.5 Regular Season Rushing Yards (-110)

2021 AFC North Prop Bets

Baker Mayfield Over 29.5 Regular Season Passing Touchdowns (-110)

Player Prop

-110

Baker Mayfield: Over 29.5 Passing TDs In 2021-2022 NFL Regular Season

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Bet $20, Payout $38

Ben Roethlisberger Under 3,900.5 Regular Season Passing Yards (-115)

Player Prop

-115

Ben Roethlisberger: Under 3,900.5 Passing Yards In 2021-2022 NFL Regular Season

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Bet $20, Payout $37

Lamar Jackson Over 945.5 Regular Season Rushing Yards (-115)

Player Prop

-115

Lamar Jackson: Over 945.5 Rushing Yards In 2021-2022 NFL Regular Season

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Bet $20, Payout $37

Tee Higgins Over 5.5 Regular Season Receiving Touchdowns (+100)

Player Prop

+100

Tee Higgins: Over 5.5 Receiving TDs In 2021-2022 NFL Regular Season

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Bet $20, Payout $40

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