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Aaron Rodgers trade demand impacts Super Bowl odds, Raiders

The drama on NFL draft day wasn’t supposed to start until the San Francisco 49ers were on the clock with the No. 3 pick.

But Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers stole the show Thursday afternoon when news broke that the reigning league MVP wants out of Green Bay.

Amid reports that Rodgers would prefer to play for the Raiders, Broncos or 49ers, Circa sportsbook slashed their Super Bowl odds. It moved Denver from 75-1 to 20-1, Las Vegas from 50-1 to 20-1 and San Francisco from 15-1 to 8-1. Circa also raised the Packers from +975 to +1,450.

When the Broncos emerged as the front-runners to acquire Rodgers — NFL analyst Mark Schlereth said a deal is “as close to being a done deal as it can get” — the Westgate dropped Denver’s Super Bowl odds from 60-1 to 20-1.

“Based off the hot rumors Rodgers will be backing up (Teddy) Bridgewater,” Westgate sportsbook vice president Jay Kornegay joked on Twitter.

Opinions were mixed among oddsmakers on whether Rodgers will be traded.

Sunset Station sportsbook director Chuck Esposito said he doesn’t think Rodgers will be moved, especially after Green Bay reportedly turned down a trade offer from the Niners for the No. 3 pick and more.

“They could’ve got Kyle Pitts or Ja’Marr Chase and potentially Jimmy Garoppolo and another pick,” he said. “The fact that trade didn’t happen, I don’t think it happens at this point.”

Circa sportsbook manager Chris Bennett said a trade “seems pretty likely from what I know at this point.”

South Point sportsbook director Chris Andrews said he would advise the Packers to make a deal or risk getting nothing for Rodgers, 37, who has expressed interest in becoming the permanent “Jeopardy!” host.

“I think he should be traded if he doesn’t want to play,” Andrews said. “He has plenty of money, and a lot of people think he’ll get the ‘Jeopardy!’ job. It’s not an aberration for a guy like that to retire at that age.”

If Rodgers does end up in Denver, the AFC West instantly becomes the NFL’s toughest division.

“If Aaron Rodgers is a Denver Bronco this season, that’s by far the best division in football,” Westgate sportsbook director John Murray said. “Imagine if the Raiders have to play Patrick Mahomes twice, Aaron Rodgers twice and Justin Herbert twice. The Raiders are doing a lot of positive things. But that would make it tough to have an optimistic outlook.

“Maybe Rodgers will be happy in Denver. But it seems like he’s going from a division that’s extremely winnable to what could be one of the toughest divisions in NFL history.”

Raiders reach

Based on draft props at Las Vegas books, the Raiders made the second-biggest reach of the first round for Alabama offensive tackle Alex Leatherwood with the 17th overall pick.

Leatherwood was a 30-1 long shot at the Westgate to be Las Vegas’ first pick, and sharp bettors at Circa won on the field, which cashed at +250 as Leatherwood wasn’t among the 13 players listed.

Leatherwood went way under his draft position of 39½ at Circa and 38½ at the Westgate.

“When it comes to the Raiders, expect the unexpected,” Esposito said.

Offensive line was the +180 favorite at Station Casinos to be the position of Las Vegas’ first pick, but Esposito was surprised the Raiders didn’t opt for a defensive player.

“I really think the Raiders needed more help on defense,” he said. “It was so suspect late in the season.”

Andrews also was surprised at the pick.

“I think they could’ve got that guy easily in the second round if they wanted to,” he said. “We didn’t have him penciled in the first round.”

Third pick

Mac Jones was a -330 favorite to be picked before Trey Lance and Justin Fields, who was previously the favorite to be the third overall pick. But the Niners took Lance, the North Dakota State quarterback who closed at +254 at Circa to be taken before Jones and Fields.

“Mac Jones might have a phenomenal career, but if you’re going up to No. 3, I really felt they would take Trey Lance or Justin Fields,” Esposito said. “Just because they have more upside and are more mobile, big-armed quarterbacks.”

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at tdewey@reviewjournal.com. Follow @tdewey33 on Twitter.

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