The difference between Peyton Manning and Tim Tebow is clear in the eyes of oddsmakers. The Denver Broncos went from a middle of the road team to Super Bowl favorites with one signing.
In February, MGM/Mirage opened the Broncos at 75/1 to win the Super Bowl, but now lists them at 8/1 following news that Manning, a four-time NFL MVP, will sign with Denver.
“We opened them at 75/1 and took a lot of bets, enough to drop them to
35/1, before they even entered the Manning race,” MGM/Mirage oddsmaker
Jeff Stoneback told Covers.com
Stoneback had the Broncos at 20/1 Monday
morning before the news broke. He quickly made them 10/1 and was still taking action, forcing the cut to 8/1.
The story was the same at the Las Vegas Hotel & Casino SuperBook, where Manning's plans started popping up on the big screens at approximately 9 a.m. Vegas time. A steady stream of customers wanting to bet on the Broncos followed.
“It seems like every fifth customer wants to know what the Broncos odds are,” Jay Kornegay, executive director of the SuperBook, told Covers.com
in a phone interview Monday. Kornegay moved the Broncos all the way down to 10/1.
"A lot of that is public perception," Kornegay, a diehard Broncos fan, added. "But why give out 20/1 when I know I can get action at 10/1? Manning isn't a fix-all; he makes the Broncos better, but I don't think they are truly Super Bowl contenders."
Only the Green Bay Packers (5/1), New Orleans Saints (7/1) and New
England Patriots (7/1) are bigger favorites at the LVH SuperBook to raise the Lombardi Trophy
The Cal-Neva sportsbook offered a prop bet on where Manning would land and made out very well, according to oddsmaker Chris Andrews.
"We took the most money on the Cardinals," Andrews told Covers.com in an email.
Denver backers – banking on a Manning landing – had been betting their team in the future book and brought most books down from the long odds range closer to middle-of-the-pack teams. The LVH opened the Broncos at 50/1 but had the AFC West champions at 30/1 last week. Sportsbook.com opened the Broncos at 25/1 to win the AFC. The offshore
book now has them at 9/2, according to oddsmaker Mike Pierce.
opened Denver’s win total at 7.5 back in February. The odds are down
now, but we can only assume the win total will be adjusted in the 10.5
to 11.5 range, considering the Saints and Patriots were at 11.5.
About the only odds that Manning didn't move is the 2013 Super Bowl line. NFC remains a 3-point favorite at Lucky's sportsbook.
While the Broncos' Super Bowl odds were increasing, losers of
the Manning sweepstakes saw their chances plummet at the SuperBook:
- The 49ers went from 8/1 to 12/1.
- The Dolphins went from 20/1 to 60/1.
- The Titans went from 30/1 to 60/1.
“In all my years in the business, the only thing I can compare this offseason with Manning is the LeBron James thing a couple years ago,” Stoneback said. “The difference is, everyone bets Super Bowl futures. NBA futures don’t receive nearly as much action.”-Covers.com writers David Purdum and Larry Hartstein contributed to this story.