Odd Man Out: Brett Favre and Football Betting

Published August 16, 2008 by OCR Editor

Odd Man Out: Brett Favre and Football Betting

Brett Favre retired, came back, got traded by the Pack to the NY Jets. We all know the story by now, but how will it affect the sports betting odds as the season unfolds?

Background
Brett Favre retired, and fans waved a wistful goodbye to a legend. After 275 consecutive starts, the NFL's answer to Cal Ripken Jr. called it quits after a strong season, before the natural decline of age and injuries could turn him into a has-been. It should have been goodbye.

But Favre is a competitor; he's an elite athlete, possibly the best quarterback in the last decade, and definitely dedicated to the game, so he came back. And then the fighting started between the star and the Packer's management. The result was almost inevitable: last week, the Packers traded Brett Favre, to the New York Jets.

Expectations
The Packers and the Jets both had strong seasons last year, and mavens of football betting are expecting more of the same this coming season. Conventional wisdom would say that acquiring a genuine (albeit aging) star to lead the offense will give the Jets added inspiration and leadership to repeat their playoff bid, and that losing the heart of their offense will hurt the Pack's chances for an NFC Championship.

Unusual predictions
Don't count on that. By making the trade, Green Bay stopped a potentially divisive and deadly contract dispute between Brett Favre the star and a legally justified management. Such a dispute would only have harmed the team's morale and cohesion; ending it, even at the cost of a great player, sends the message that the team transcends the individuals.

In taking Favre, the Jets are hoping to use his star power and talent to propel themselves to another playoff run. However, both the team and the man have performed erratically lately; both were impressive in 2007, but in 2006, the Jets went 4 and 12, and Favre threw 29 interceptions. A mating of the '07 squad and quarterback would be formidable, but a combination of their '06 incarnations will be sad. After Favre fumbled his first practice snap in New York; the jury's still out on what we'll see.

The bottom line for football betting: don't count on either the Packers or the Jets to dominate the NFL. Green Bay is good, but not great; the Jets have potential, but haven't shown more.


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