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Super Bowl or Bust for Aaron Rodgers and Company

It’s been six and a half years since the Green Bay Packers hoisted the Lombardi Trophy, and you’d be hard pressed to find a Cheesehead this side of Wisconsin who’d say the team has been a disappointment since then (myself included). The green and gold have had no issue getting to the postseason, but timely wins on the biggest stage haven’t been their strong suit.

Enduring a 4-6 stretch to start the 2016 campaign, star quarterback Aaron Rodgers said the Packers would “run the table” and that’s exactly what they did en route to an unlikely 10-6 record and an NFC North title. After knocking off the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys, the Pack ran out of steam in the NFC championship game, a 44-21 thumping at the hands of the Atlanta Falcons.

Herein lies the conflict of being a Packers fan. They’re consistently one of the best squads in the NFL. They won the whole thing in 2011, the happiest I’ve ever been in my lifetime of sports fandom. They have a future Hall of Famer under center who steals the show every time he steps on the field. But they’re becoming a franchise that succeeds in the regular season and craters in playoffs, whether it’s a Falcons-esque blowout or a heartbreaking last-second loss (i.e. Seattle in 2014 and Arizona in 2015).

On the other side of the coin, rooting for a team that’s perennially competitive and plays in exciting games when they matter the most is a lot of fun. Besides, it could be worse. You could be a long-tortured Rams fan like my good friend and co-worker Justin Hartling, who’s never seen them come close to sniffing the playoffs in his adult life. You don’t want that.

Here’s my betting breakdown for the Packers:

Super Bowl +800

If you’re looking for any sort of value in Super Bowl futures, Green Bay should be at the top of your list. The favored Patriots’ odds of +325 are ridiculously low considering the regular season isn’t even here yet, and the Packers are more solid from top to bottom than teams behind them on the board like Oakland, Seattle, Pittsburgh, Atlanta and Dallas.

With the newly signed Martellus Bennett in the fold, the Packers have a top-tier tight end for the first time in a while, and the other offensive weapons (Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams, Randall Cobb and Ty Montgomery) have NFL pundits expecting Rodgers to post video game numbers in 2017.

Odds to win the NFC North -200

It’s no surprise to see the Pack tabbed as relatively heavy chalk here, as Green Bay has emerged as the king in the north in five of the last six years. The Chicago Bears aren’t going to be a threat any time soon, while the Detroit Lions figure to continue paddling in the good-but-not-great waters they’ve waded in since 2011.

That leaves the hated rival Minnesota Vikings as the Packers’ main threat in the North. Unless Sam Bradford channels his inner Joe Montana and the Vikes are able to play a full season like the team that started 5-0 in 2016, it’s going to be hard for them to knock off Mike McCarthy’s crew.

OVER/UNDER win total – 10

In the Rodgers era, the Packers have gone 6-10, 11-5, 10-6, 15-1, 11-5, 8-7-1, 12-4, 10-6 and 10-6. This is shaping up to be one of the best teams the quarterback has ever had, which is why I’m surprised to see the 10 number here. You’ll have to pay for it with -155 juice, but I don’t think at least 11 wins is too much to ask from them.

Most regular-season passing yards – Aaron Rodgers +700

Despite the aforementioned ugly start to the year, Rodgers threw his name into the MVP conversation thanks to 40 touchdowns, seven interceptions and 4,428 passing yards in 2016. Fellow stud quarterbacks Drew Brees and Tom Brady are ahead of him on this prop, but you have to like the +700 price for a player of Rodgers’ caliber. The addition of Bennett, who recently hauled in seven touchdowns and 701 yards under Brady, is going to be the difference-maker here.

2017 Green Bay Packers Futures Odds
MarketOdds
Super Bowl+800
NFC Championship+400
NFC North-200
Win Total10

Odds as of August 29 at Bovada

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