By Spike Eskin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – When Peyton Manning decided to play quarterback for the Broncos, and Chase Utley decided to see a specialist, it changed the odds for their respective teams to win it all. While the “Manning Effect” was drastic, the “Utley Effect” wasn’t nearly as great.
Pat Morrow, head odds maker for online betting at Bovada, spoke to the WIP Morning Show on Tuesday, and says that the Broncos went from long shot to front runner with the prospect of Peyton Manning as their quarterback. “Before Manning signed, we had the Broncos all the way at 50-1. After the announcement yesterday that he had allowed his agent to begin negotiations, we have them at 12-1, which is the 4th largest favorite to win the Super Bowl.”
Morrow said that Bovada dodged a bullet having Denver at 50-1, even though they were a a clear finalist in the Manning sweepstakes. There wasn’t a lot of action on the Broncos before the Manning news on Monday. “The Miami Dolphins actually drew a significant amount of early action. Truth be told, we were just as surprised as anybody that Denver was the inevitable ending for him. We thought that Tennessee would have been a better fit, I mean it was his home town. We thought [San Francisco] would have been a better chance for him to win immediately. But it appears that it is this connection with John Elway tipped him over the edge, and fortunately not a lot of players saw that coming,” he said.
It wasn’t as big a national story, but the news about Chase Utley leaving Spring Training to see a specialist about his knee problems was the biggest story in Philadelphia sports yesterday. Though Utley is a key player in many fans and analysts’ eyes, Morrow doesn’t see it hurting the Phillies chances all that much. “We heard about the injury to Chase Utley. We still think the Phillies are incredibly well set to have a pretty good run this year, and we have them at +550 or 13-2 to win the World Series, which is still the largest favorite. We still think that with that dominant pitching staff,” he said. Though the Phillies are the favorite, the line did move a bit because of Utley’s news. “We did have them at 5-1, so it was a small move (to 13-2). But the Phillies had to deal last year with injuries and a little uncertainty with the production that they were going to get out of Utley, so we still feel that compared to the rest of the league, it’s just a fantastic team from top to bottom.”