Bettors, oddsmakers saw Colts’ deal for Philip Rivers coming

Philip Rivers, Dec. 29, 2019
Philip Rivers (AP Photo/Reed Hoffmann)
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The betting market was way ahead of the Colts’ acquisition of Philip Rivers, as Indianapolis’ odds to win Super Bowl 55 stayed put following Tuesday’s news.

Well before the team and quarterback were reported to be finalizing a deal, a bettor in Las Vegas played the Colts to win next season’s NFL title with one of the largest Super Bowl wagers Circa Sports has booked this offseason, oddsmaker Chris Bennett told BetIndiana News on Monday. That bet, made at 45/1 odds, prompted Bennett to tighten Indianapolis’ futures price to 20/1. There was no adjustment immediately following Tuesday’s reports, Bennett said in a text message.

“Before we approved the bet, I immediately thought there’s something this guy knows about who they’re going to get at quarterback,” Bennett said Monday over the phone, “so I immediately assumed, ‘Okay, this is a sharp bet, I’m going to move the number drastically so we don’t get any more Colts money for the foreseeable future. I figured it was Brady or Rivers, even though I thought Rivers was terrible last year and Brady is deteriorating. If the market thinks the Colts are really good – and I do think they have a good team outside the quarterback position – then we can’t just take an avalanche of liability on them.”

Also: Odds say Patriots still a contender

At the Westgate SuperBook, the Colts were moved to 20/1 on Monday, shortened from 40/1 a week ago.

“I moved a lot of futures yesterday and the Colts were a team we liked so I lowered them and today they signed Rivers,” Westgate VP of risk management Ed Salmons said Tuesday in a text.

Circa did make a slight upward move on the Colts’ season win total, from 8.5 flat to 8.5 (OVER -140), even though Bennett said the big Super Bowl bet had been factored into the opening number.

Divisional odds at DraftKings indicate a virtual dead-heat between the Titans (+170 to win the AFC South) and Colts (+180). The Texans, panned for trading stud wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins this week, are +225, while the Jaguars are a distant +1400.

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