Packers are Not Elite? Don’t Tell the Oddsmakers That All Green Bay Packers All the Time

There’s been a plethora of discussion since the Packers’ ouster from the playoffs on whether they are still an elite team. Much of it was set off by a scathing article written by the venerable Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel seven days after the Packers’ Playoff loss.

McGinn railed about the “complacency” he sees within the Packers’ organization. He talked about an air of smugness among the Packers, as evidenced by their comments on overcoming adversity once the season was over. (McGinn maintains failure to win more games without Aaron Rodgers equals failing to overcome adversity)

There was much debate over his commentary and the question of whether the Packers are being left behind by teams like the 49ers and Seahawks, both of whom have young dynamic (and inexpensive) quarterbacks.

Unofficially, judging from the comments of readers, most fans tended to agree with McGinn’s commentary. There was a lot of negativity regarding the Packers’ future, especially with 20 players entering free agency this offseason. Seemingly ignored were the number of  games missed due to injury by key players on the Packers’ team. Matthews and Rodgers, two players responsible for 15% of the entire Packers payroll, missed 14 games between them.

One person who was not ignoring the facts was our own Adam Czech, who wrote a post titled, “The Packers are still among the NFL’s Elite (if they can stop being so fragile).” Adam states, “It’s hard to be elite when you play without your best offensive player, best defensive player, your starting left tackle, your top tight end, one of your best wide receivers and a really good special teams player for most of the season.”

Well, the oddsmakers must agree with Adam. One Las Vegas oddsmaker already has the Broncos, Seahawks and 49ers as 5-1 to win the 2015 Super Bowl. The Packers, Patriots and Saints are all tied for fourth at 12-1 odds. Full odds are as follows:

5-1: Broncos, 49ers, Seahawks.

12-1: Packers, Patriots, Saints.

20-1: Eagles.

22-1: Bengals, Chiefs, Panthers.

25-1: Colts, Steelers.

30-1: Bears, Chargers.

40-1: Cardinals, Cowboys, Falcons, Giants, Lions, Ravens.

50-1: Dolphins, Texans, Rams, Redskins.

75-1: Jets.

100-1: Bills, Browns, Buccaneers, Raiders, Titans, Vikings.

150-1: Jaguars.

Once the 2014 Super Bowl is played, most sports betting sites like will have odds for the Packers Super Bowl chances in 2015.

Whether you’re a betting man or not (I’m not), I think it’s interesting to see how complete outsiders see the future of the team. Let’s hope they’re right.

Go Pack!


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Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for


46 thoughts on “Packers are Not Elite? Don’t Tell the Oddsmakers That

  1. You all do know that these lines are designed to move $, right? It’s not all about who they think are the best teams.

    GB is not an elite team anymore.

    Good? Yes.
    Elite? At one position – yes… as a team – no.

    1. Spot on Cow! This is a good team with holes that keep it from advancing.

      I followed Al’s link to the Bob McGinn article and came across Tom Silverstein and LeRoy Butler talking about what this team lacks, who to keep and our next steps. It was very good and Bulter makes some great player points about this defense. His bottom line is that we are trying to fit guys into our 3-4 that are not right for the scheme and can’t play at top speed. He expressed the frustration of players, coaches and fans in his assessment of this defense. Worth listening to.

    2. “You all do know that these lines are designed to move $, right? It’s not all about who they think are the best teams.”

      True, but they are not in the business of LOSING money, so their lines are set up in terms of likelihoods, probabilities and net gain/loss.

      If you follow these lines, they follow very closely the distribution of QBs in the league: the position where the Packers are strongest.

      1. So these lines reflect what betting people spend money on. They do not reflect football analysis.

    3. When the Packers win the Super Bowl next year, and they will, I hope you will do the first decent thing you have ever done for this site. Either buzz off and lay an egg or for God’s sake at least quit being such a buzz kill!

      You attitude and your constant negativity is old. It was old yesterday and it will be old tomorrow!

      Al, best of luck to you in getting rid of these so-called “fans”. I’ve come to believe that they’re secretly Viking and Bear fans just trolling the Pack nation.

      1. They’re not. I’ve watched games with fans like these (like my old man). It’s fan psychology 101: “I’ll assume the WORST is going to happen so I can avoid feeling let down when it does actually happen.”

        Sad, sad life to live.

        1. Assuming the worst is one thing. Constantly spitting it out at at other people like a headless chicken is another!

          Where are these people when they turn out to be wrong? They deny they were ever a problem or are not seen or heard from for a long time.

          1. Yeah. It gets old. I don’t know how it works – but attitudes like this are their way of loving the team. Like I said, sad.

            …. or they could just be a total butthole. 😉

              1. Sure does. I tend to fall too much on that side sometimes. Pretty hard to stay on the fence without falling off on one side or the other once in awhile.

      2. SB, huh?

        Yeah, um, no.

        Last time I checked you have to be able to at least play a little bit of defense to win the SB.

        It’s gonna take a number of years to fix the mess they have on the defensive side of the ball. Vets they have are leaving. No vets will be brought in. The young guys they have now don’t look to promising. Rookies won’t help much.

        1. You just proved my point! Constantly negative!!!

          Blah! It’s people like you that wouldn’t believe 2010 wouldn’t be possible with 16 players on IR!

        2. Really? It took the Saints ONE YEAR to go from one of the bottom defenses in 2012 to a top 5 defense in 2013. Granted they had a new DC who had never even had a top 10 defense before this year, but it was still done. Worthy was out the whole year and nobody knows what he’ll bring. Matthews and Perry were healthy for a whole 5 weeks this year before being injured. Hayward never really saw the field and Neal was dinged and didn’t practice for much of he last part of the season. Jolly started out strong then faded a bit and was injured. But if you expected him not to wear down as the year wore on after 3 years out of the game, your expectations were a tad high I’d say.
          Last time I checked, a team that builds through the draft actually needs their 1st, and 2nd round choices on the field to compete.

      3. Don’t be bothered by Cow42, he is a known troll on CHTV. He never really has anything positive to say and has admitted to being a troll a few times. I enjoy both chtv and agbp but they need to filter out some of these guys. APC has a really good comments section and guys like Cow, Arlo, MorganMundane and the rest are not welcome. Hopefully this site follows their example.

        1. Nagler stopping writing for CHTV and the ascendancy of the Cow turds happened at the same time.

          I don’t stop by CHTV all that often anymore. The writers there usually have good things to say – but the comments are almost as bad as jsonline or bleacher report…

        2. I think this place has the best comments. I don’t agree with homers most of the time, but then again, i don’t mind that there is debate. After an 8-7-1 season, it should be lively. You can make a reasonable case for the glass being half full or half empty.

          APC used to be better than it is now. The content has been pretty thin the past couple of years. The poor to non-existing editing puts me off, too. Everyone makes mistakes, but you have to at least try.

      4. It’s not that Cow is a Viking or Bear fan, it’s that he’s a “someone drank my half full glass, smashed it against the wall, and then ate my cookie” person…

    4. You do realize that the people who set these odds have a lot of money involved in being right don’t you?! Vegas and betting sites the put out the odds don’t make money being wrong too often!

    5. You’ve got that right. They have a lot of work to do to get past the first round. They have no choice, but to do something in free agency, before the window is completely closed. But Thompson probaly won’t.

  2. I think they had the same odds for GB last year. I just don’t buy it, unless some changes occur.

  3. Would be interesting to look at the 5 year running results for these guys at this point in each year and see just how prescient they’ve been.

    Since this is the first time in a long time that it’s been #1 against #1 in the SB, something tells me the correct answer might be ‘not very’.

  4. This one is REAL EASY. No, the Green Bay Packers are not an “elite” team these days.

    For the word “elite” to have any meaning, the term cannot apply to more than the top 5% to 10%. In a 32 team league, that means only the top 2-3 teams are deserving the label “elite”.

    Were the Green Bay Packers one of the top 2-3 teams this year? No they were not. The Packers are not an elite NFL team.

    And we’re done.

    1. I would argue it’s more than that. You can’t have a flat-curve distribution of talent in the league and label the top 2-3 as “elite”. There has to be a true distinction between that top tier and the next group.

      1. …and by more than that, I don’t mean more teams, I mean more than just designating a number of teams.

      2. Then pick another word. The term eleite is supposed to mean something =more than “a bit better than average”.

      3. Then pick another word. The term elite is supposed to mean something more than “a bit better than average”.

    2. By that I’d agree Kurt, they weren’t a top 3 team this year. But they were a 16 point defensive meltdown from being 7-1 with Rodgers playing the whole game. In weeks 3 – 7 with a bye in week 4, they either lost or were hurt by injuries to Matthews, Perry, James Jones, Brad Jones, Finley, and Starks to name a few. We never saw Worthy or Hayward this season, not really anyways. Worthy played a few snaps in a game at the end of year and Hayward reinjured his Hammy almost right away and just wasn’t the same player in the little time he played this year.
      I don’t care if you’re the 1962 Packers which many consider the best Packer team ever fielded, that’s a lot to overcome for ANY team. Watch the week one game against the 49ers and then the playoff game. The 49ers were actually healthier in the playoffs than week one.
      It’s one thing to say injuries are part of the game. It’s something totally different to have 50% of your starters either out or playing with a injury. You can look at it that as a excuse or just the facts.

  5. Our QB and our offensive specialists, WRs, Lacy and TE Finley (when healthy) are elite as a group. Our OL needs to improve and hopefully with the healthy returns of Bulaga, Sherrod and Tretter the OL will improve in 2014. Our defense,as has been covered repeatedly by the articles and bloggers is far from being a good defense, never mind elite. For some positions on defense we are trying to fit square pegs into round holes. I agree with Butler. As I have stated in many previous posts since the end of the season, I was once a Capers supporter, but now I believe that he must go for our defense to improve. Our defense needs an urgent and aggressive attitude in addition to talent at Safety, ILB and DL. Possibly a new scheme. At the least we need to stop playing defense like it is illegal to make a tackle. We won’t be elite until our defense steps up and plays as well as our offense or at least until we can depend on the defense to hold a lead and stop some opponents drives. Thanks, Since ’61

    1. Well said, Since ’61. I also think we need to try to address the inordinate number of injuries each season, and perhaps that will require changes to the strength and conditioning staff. I am not sure about Special Teams, although my instincts tell me that’s not an elite unit, even if we had a relatively mild year for injuries.

    2. Usually I see eye to eye with you Since ’61. I completely agree with your posts here except for the part of Capers leaving.
      Giving a lot of thought about TT, he likes the steady/consistent/ride the waves mentality. He’s not about to change his philosophy, as well he shouldn’t. A Capers release/firing would signal the defense is in need of immediate improvement. However, what is the plan w/o Capers? Pick of D-coordinators, who does he get? Who can he get?
      Many of us would agree if there was a proven young stud of a coach available, go get ’em. But there isn’t, to my knowledge. Does Capers have to go to see improvement? I don’t think so. I think he can be great, with the right parts.

      1. Bedroske – thanks for the feedback. As I mentioned I have been a Capers supporter in the past. My frustration with him is that the defense did not step up at all after Rodgers went down. Yes, they played well during 1/2 of the Atl, Dallas and Bear games, also heroically against SF. But that was about it after Rodgers was hurt. My other frustration is that our defense has been sub-par for 3 seasons now. If it was just this season or maybe even 2 seasons I would agree with you totally. My concern is, what happens if we’re reading and writing the same posts after the 2014 season. I would rather make a change while it hurts rather than wait until we’re terminal. In any case, Capers is probably staying for 2014 so I may as well focus on what we need on the field versus hoping for a change at coordinator. Thanks, Since ’61

        1. 61 – if we’re reading and writing about this same problem in 2015, then heads are going to roll. The “who is out there that is better?” argument makes the most sense right now. If TT blamed Capers for the poor talent acquisition and unlucky injuries – his new name would be Jerrah!

          1. Bedroske – I hope that you are right and that we’re not talking about the defense after 2014 season. I don’t know who would replace Capers but I’m confident that the Packers have a short list in case Capers retired or went to another team. In any case I think we’re stuck with him for next season so let’s hope that we get some players who can improve the on field results. Thanks, Since ’61

  6. Sorry, I left out Special Teams. Our place kicker and punter are good. After that, return and coverage teams are not close to elite either. I realize that injuries are a factor here as well, but our offense often had poor field position and we gave away too much field position on returns. I would be fine if Slocum joined Capers on another team, preferably the Seachickens or 49ers. Thanks, Since ’61

    1. Since ’61 said: “I would be fine if Slocum joined Capers on another team, preferably the Seachickens or 49ers.”


      1. Thanks Jim! Gotta keep my sense of humor because when I think about our defense I go crazy. Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since ’61

  7. McGinn and company make money by selling newspapers, books, and premium online subscriptions. Las Vegas and the gambler makes their money by getting it right.

    I’ll go with Vegas over McGinn and company.

    Without Rodgers and Matthews (and to a lesser extent Shields and Hayward), the Packers are not elite. With them, they are elite. They came an interception away from beating the 49ers, even with their injuries.

    1. LOL

      Vegas wins every time! The middlemen get money by skimming off a portion from all bets winning and losing.

      Psst: GB has lost 4 games to SF in 2 years. And SF was not and will not be the SB champ in either year. That anio’t elite, that wannabe.

  8. Do the Packers have enough to make the playoffs each year..yes…Las Vegas has them as a team to make the playoffs and therefore automatically will be given odds to make the SB.That in itself does not constitute ‘Elite’ status as a team.

    Plainly and clearly,to surmise such would require Las Vegas and or the fans to believe that each and every QB who gains entrance to the playoffs is therefore ‘Elite’.

    Every team except one,Pitt in lieu of SD,is in the mix of twelve contenders this season with the best odds.Would Las Vegas or you really say each QB on those teams is ‘Elite” and thus the team is ‘Elite’…a ‘C’mon’Man’ if ever there was one.

  9. Good- yeah, Elite hell no… In order to be elite you have to embrace change. And we all no that change is SCARY for TT and MM, therefore we must forget about elite right now. If we can freeze Aaron Rodgers and bring him back in 2020, by golly then I bet TT will have a defense.

  10. Fb right now the most boring display of fb since the sb year. D sucks cannot stop anyone. Offense is stagnant. Mm has no clue how to score. Other teams have caught us. Lookout for the bears and lions ny.

  11. to be considered elite, you have to scare someone. Packers don’t scare anyone, not even at home. And I’m a Packer fan.

  12. to be considered elite, you have to scare someone. Packers don’t scare anyone, not even at home. And I’m a Packer fan.

  13. to be considered elite, you have to scare someone. Packers don’t scare anyone, not even at home. And I’m a Packer fan.

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