Acquiring a new quarterback should alter an NFL team’s odds to win Super Bowl 57. It certainly did for the Denver Broncos when they traded for Russell Wilson. However, the reaction by sportsbooks was a little different when the Washington Commanders completed a trade for Colts quarterback Carson Wentz.
There was an impact, just not the kind of impact the Commanders fans may have expected.
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Acquiring Wilson was enough for Denver’s Super Bowl odds to move from +2500 to +1200 at many sportsbooks. Green Bay’s odds got a little shorter when Aaron Rodgers announced his decision to stay with the Packers. Washington fans had probably hoped whoever their team acquired would have a similar impact, but then they got Wentz.
At first, it looked like the move would not have even the slightest impact. Washington’s Super Bowl 57 odds did not change at BetMGM Maryland, where they remained at +5000. There has been no change at Caesars Maryland, either. At first, they stayed at +5000 at FanDuel Maryland. However, as of Thursday night, FanDuel has the Commanders listed at +5500.
At DraftKings Maryland, Washington’s Super Bowl 57 odds improved, going from +5000 to +4000. The Commanders’ NFC odds went from +2500 to +2000, and from +500 to +400 in the NFC East. However, since the initial dip, the Commanders Super Bowl 57 odds moved to +4500 Thursday night.
The move was really unpopular at WynnBet, where Washington’s Super Bowl odds went from +6000 to +7500.
The impact of acquiring Wentz has had on Washington’s odds shows how poorly the former No. 2 overall draft pick is now perceived. For those who need further proof, let’s take a look at the odds for the Indianapolis Colts. Prior to the trade, BetMGM had the Colts listed at +2500 to win Super Bowl 57. Following the trade, and without a viable starting quarterback on the roster, Indy’s odds remained at +2500.
Things were a little different at DraftKings, though.
Indianapolis Colts Odds Movement:
Super Bowl: +2500 ➡️ +3000
AFC: +1400 ➡️ +1600
AFC South: +140 ➡️ +140 pic.twitter.com/KnglTGrbxF
— DraftKings Sportsbook (@DKSportsbook) March 9, 2022
Is Carson Wentz An Upgrade From Taylor Heinicke?
Heinicke was not terrible last season — he just wasn’t good. His yardage total was a little less than Wentz’s (3,419 to 3,563), but his accuracy was slightly better (65 percent to 62.4). Heinicke’s touchdown to interception ratio is what makes it easy to justify replacing him (20/15). On the other hand, Wentz did a much better job of protecting the ball (27/7).
Wentz has his faults, of course, but it does appear that he is an upgrade. Not the one the team and fans were hoping to make, but an upgrade, nonetheless. Will the difference be enough to get Washington a division title and into the playoffs?
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Nine of the Commanders’ games were decided by a touchdown or less last season — five wins and four losses. In theory, better quarterback play could turn those losses into wins, but mistakes could also turn those wins into losses. Wentz has become infamous for making bone-headed blunders. He can make game-winning plays, but he’s hard to trust.
The defense will still keep Washington in games, and Wentz will probably make the Commanders more competitive overall. But there is no reason to think they can beat the Dallas Cowboys or Philadelphia Eagles next season. It is hard to see Washington winning the NFC or Super Bowl 57.