Reported Antonio Brown Suspension Triggers Huge Odds Shift
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With the Oakland Raiders set to take on the Denver Broncos in just a few days, the team was hoping for a quiet week of practice leading into the game. Unfortunately, that won’t happen as ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that the team is planning on suspending four-time All-Pro receiver Antonio Brown after he got into a heated exchange with general manager Mike Mayock.
The Next Chapter: Antonio Brown and GM Mike Mayock got into it Wednesday, and the team is now planning to suspend its star wide receiver, league sources tell ESPN.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 5, 2019
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Brown and Mayock engaged in a screaming match after Brown was fined by the general manager earlier this week due to a missed practice. Brown reportedly told Mayock that he would “punch him in the face” and continued to curse at the team’s general manager.
With the news of a possible suspension for Brown, the odds for the Raiders-Broncos have already shifted dramatically. The Raiders were one-point favorites entering Thursday, but the line has moved all the way in Denver's favor, and they are now -2.5 heading into Monday night at both 888Sport and SugarHouse.
888Sport also took him off all prop bets on Thursday afternoon.
Raiders NFL Futures Odds Take a Major Hit Too
Sportsbooks both in the United States and abroad are lowering their expectations for the Raiders this season due to the latest bit of news regarding Brown.
Not only has the line on the upcoming game moved, but many futures bets, including Oakland's playoff odds, division odds and win total have all shifted due to the recent news of Brown's pending suspension. At WilliamHill, the Raiders’ win total has dropped from 6.5 to 6 in light of the looming suspension.
At 888Sport, the team's Wild-Card odds have moved from +800 to +850. The most significant differential coming in AFC West odds, moving from +1400 to +1700. It’s also noteworthy to mention that their odds for having the least amount of wins in 2019 as moved from +1100 to +800 at SugarHouse. Finally, PointsBet now has the Raiders’ odds to win the AFC down from +3500 to +4000.
Why The Odds Were Impacted So Greatly
The biggest reason the odds have dropped so much for the Raiders is there is now the potential that the team could move on from their star receiver. According to Michael Ginnitti of Spotrac, a Brown suspension for conduct detrimental to the team could void his approximately $30 million in guarantees. That means that Oakland could cut or trade Brown with zero dollars in dead cap space.
Given all of the drama that has surrounded Brown over the last few weeks, that suddenly seems like a possibility. Even Schefter believes that may be the plan for the team with Brown going forward:
There are those around the league who now believe the Raiders could suspend Antonio Brown with the idea of trying to void the $30.125 million of guaranteed money in his contract.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 5, 2019
Which obviously would end his time in Oakland.
Ever since arriving in Oakland, Brown has struggled to fit into the Raiders’ culture. There also appears to be a divide between Mayock and head coach Jon Gruden as to how to handle their star receiver. Whatever the issue may be, this doesn’t appear to be a situation that is going to be resolved anytime soon.
And the longer this hangs over the head of the Raiders, the worse their 2019 outlook appears to be. Look for the odds to continue to fall as more news surfaces about Brown’s possible suspension from the Raiders.