Green Bay Packers: nfl FUTURES & BETTING ODDS
The Green Bay Packers have one of the most storied histories of any NFL franchise, boasting thirteen NFL championships from inception and a whole slew of legendary players and coaches.
The team began play in 1921 as part of the American Professional Football Association, which would become the NFL 1922. It borrowed its nickname from the company that sponsored it – the Acme Packing Company. After financial struggle, the team was sold to… a publicly owned company named the Green Bay Packers, Inc. To this day, it remains the only publicly owned sports franchise in the United States.
Initially, the Packers wore navy and gold, because of then-coach Curly Lambeau’s college – Notre Dame. The team would adopt a gold and white uniform in the ‘40’s, before switching to its current green-and-gold makeup in the 1950’s.
At the outset, Lambeau did not have much success. But in 1929, the Packers won back-to-back-to-back championships, beginning the new dawn of championship Packers football. Lambeau won again in 1936 and 1939, sandwiched between a 1938 championship game loss to the New York Giants. Lambeau would post yet another title in 1944, before retiring in 1949. Fittingly, the Packers’ stadium was named after their first legendary coach in 1965.
The 1950s were not a good time to bet on the Green Bay Packers. Already reeling from five straight seasons in which they did not make the playoffs, Green Bay continued to struggle, and the Green Bay Packers odds of adding to their trophy case dwindled each year. However, as the saying goes, the night is darkest just before the dawn. In 1959, the team finished last in the NFL, posting a 1-10-1 record. The Packers would hire New York Giants offensive coordinator Vince Lombardi to take over the team… and change the course of NFL history.
Lombardi coached the Packers back to glory. With stars like HOF QB Bart Starr, RBs Jim Taylor and Paul Hornung, and DB Herb Adderley, it was a great time to bet on the Green Bay Packers, and the Green Bay Packers odds were never higher. The Packers lost the title game in 1960 to the Philadelphia Eagles, but then won two straight championships over the New York Giants to exact a small measure of revenge for 1938. The Packers would miss the playoffs in ’63 & ’64 despite winning records, then would win another set of back-to-back-to-back championships between ‘65-‘67. The latter of the two, over the Chiefs and the Raiders, would be known as Super Bowls I & II – the first Super Bowls of the modern era.
Lombardi retired after Super Bowl II, stepping down after winning five championships in his nine years at the helm. Predictably, the Green Bay Packers odds of success fell, as well. The Packers made one playoff appearance in the ‘70s, and one more in the ‘80s, even after Starr returned to coach the team. It wasn’t until the Packers hired San Francisco offensive coordinator Mike Holmgren as head coach in 1991 that things began to turn around. Packers GM Ron Wolf traded for Falcons backup QB Brett Favre, and even though Favre actually failed his physical, the trade would return the Packers to glory.
Holmgren led the Packers back to the playoffs in ’93, ’94, & ‘95, losing all three times to the powerhouse Dallas Cowboys. However, in 1996, a futures bet on the Green Bay Packers would’ve paid off handsomely. The rival Cowboys were knocked out of the playoffs by the former expansion Carolina Panthers. The Packers beat the Panthers in the NFC title game, and in Super Bowl XXXI, Holmgren, Favre, and MVP return-man Desmond Howard beat the New England Patriots, 35-21, to win their first Super Bowl since the Lombardi era. The Green Bay Packers odds in that game? 14-point favorites. In other words, a bet on the spread would have pushed.
Holmgren and Favre took the Packers back to the Super Bowl the following year, seeking a repeat. Once again, the Green Bay Packers odds were high – they were installed as double digit favorites. But John Elway, Terrell Davis, and the Denver Broncos upset the Packers 31-24.
Holmgren would leave the following seasons to coach in Seattle. Oddly enough, Seattle’s offensive coordinator Mike Sherman would take over in 2001. Favre would play until 2007, when the Packers would meet the New York Giants in the NFC championship game. A bet on the Green Bay Packers would not pay, however, as the Giants would pull the upset in overtime. Subsequently, Favre would step away from the NFL.
Packers head coach Mike McCarthy replaced Favre with understudy Aaron Rodgers, who had been selected 24th overall in the 2005 draft. Rodgers was an instant star, leading the Packers to yet another Super Bowl championship in 2010, his third year.
However, some might say that Rodgers has underachieved throughout his career. Despite being arguably the most talented passer ever, Rodgers never led the league in passing yardage. And even though the Green Bay Packers odds to win multiple championships with Rodgers was high, Super Bowl XLV would be Rodgers’s only appearance in a Super Bowl. The Packers would make it to three more NFC championship games, but a bet on the Green Bay Packers to win those games would not pay, as the team would lose all three.
The Packers drafted Utah State QB Jordan Love with the 26th overall pick in 2020, signaling that it may be looking to move on from its legendary signal-caller. But Rodgers responded by leading Green Bay to the best record in the NFC and another NFL MVP award. Green Bay's season came to an end with an eight-point loss to Tampa Bay in the NFC Championship Game, and an offseason full of drama followed, as Rodgers threatened to retire or holdout instead of playing for the team in 2021. He did return in time for the preseason, but the situation in Green Bay is worth watching.