According to Yahoo Sports, among the NFL teams drawing the most attention in the “To Win Super Bowl LVII” proposition bet are the Denver Broncos. And although the Broncos had in 2021 a solid defense (allowing the 3rd-fewest points in the NFL, for example), some good special teams play and a few parts on offense, the impetus for the waves of bets is naturally new acquisition Russell Wilson.
To the Yahoo piece states that “the Buffalo Bills have gotten the most bets” in the Super Bowl winner prop at the MGM online franchise but “The biggest liability in the Super Bowl market […] is the Broncos, who are 16-to-1 odds (sic) and getting a lot of attention.”
Wilson and Denver are currently still getting right around 16/1 odds at most sportsbooks and the Bills are favored everywhere at around 6/1. The Broncos are 4th-favorite in the Super Bowl prop – interestingly getting longer odds than two other division mates but not the defending conference championship – and 7th among all NFL teams. Not a bad acquisition for the Broncos, a 7-10 team in 2021 who finished last in the division.
So how likely is Wilson to get his new team to the Lombardi Trophy ceremony? NFLbets considers four paths undertaken by franchise QBs in a relatively similar situation in switching to a new team with Super Bowl aspirations.
• the Namath way. Joe Namath played 12 seasons with the New York Jets, the last seven marked by repeated injuries to the knees and elsewhere. Namath was waived after the 1976 season and landed with the Los Angeles Rams. “Broadway Joe” got L.A. out to a 2-2 start, was replaced by Pat Haden, and literally never saw another minute of NFL playing time. The Rams did well nevertheless, going 8-2 the rest of the way and making the playoffs.
• the Montana/Favre route. Hall of Fame QBs Joe Montana and Brett Favre were both eased out of their role as longtime franchise (and Super Bowl-winning) QBs by future HOFers: an enviable situation for a franchise, but not necessarily the best for the quarterback. After missing essentially the entire 1991 and ’92 seasons, Montana joined the Kansas City Chiefs at the age of 37; Kansas City advanced to the postseason both years, but went just 1-2 SU/0-3 ATS cumulative.
Fifteen years after Montana retired, Brett Favre was essentially let go by the Green Bay Packers after a 13-3 record in the 2007 regular season and a 14-4 SU/13-4-1 ATS mark for the year to make way for Aaron Rodgers. At the age of 39, Favre joined the New York Jets and then bounced to the Minnesota Vikings for his last two seasons. Of his three non-Packers years, only the ’09 Vikings made the playoffs, losing ignominiously to the New Orleans Saints after Favre threw an interception late in the fourth quarter in the NFC divisional round.
• the Peyton Manning analogue. The easiest comparison to Wilson for more reasons than one. After similarly winning one and losing one Super Bowl in a career with the Indianapolis Colts, Manning first sat out all of 2011 due to major surgery and then got released at just about 36 years old. He soon signed with Wilson’s new team and helped (to increasingly diminishing degrees) the Broncos to four playoff runs – though it took that long to finally ride the Von Miller-led defense to a Super Bowl win.
• and of course there’s Brady. Everybody knows the Tom Brady story right through to the Tampa Bay plug-and-play rebirth. Of course, there’s no sane comparison between Touchdown Tom and Russell Wilson – or any NFL quarterback in history, for that matter – than can offer insight into betting the Broncos to win Super Bowl LVII, so this passage ends here.
Except this: As Brady is the only solid example of a franchise quarterback translating his success with one team into a Super Bowl win for a second, would-be bettors of the Denver Broncos to Win Super Bowl LVII’d better have more than “Russell F. Wilson” in the plus column…