Packers Have to Learn from Mistakes of 2015; Not Repeat Them


The Packers are still a force in the NFC and the NFC North, but there’s plenty to do as they get ready for training camp at the end of July if they are going to be booking a trip the Super Bowl in February.

Last season the team got off to a red hot 6-0 start before a bad loss against the eventual Super Bowl Champion Denver Broncos, but then never really regained that fire from early in the season as they wrapped up 2015 with a 10-6 record.

The team went 4-6 after that hot start, and easily could have went 1-5 if it were not for the late miracle in Detroit when the team pulled off a win on the final play of the game.

Green Bay couldn’t even win the NFC North as the Viking swooped in and won the division in the last game of the regular season with a 20-13 win in Lambeau Field on the final Sunday night of the year.

Because of that, the Pack had to play at Washington in the wild card round, and while they beat the NFC East Champion Redskins, they then didn’t have enough to close out the Cardinals, losing in the Divisional Round in Arizona.

The team is still in the mix to win the division, as Betfair Casino New Jersey has the team at 5-8 to win the North, but some feel that the way the Vikings finished the season was a sign of things to come, as they are listed at 5-2 to win the North.

The other two teams in the division, the Bears and Vikings, are listed at 8-1, but both teams seem to be almost in rebuild mode at this point.

The Pack can’t fall asleep again after a hot start in 2016. With Aaron Rodgers in his prime, and the return of wide out Jordy Nelson, this team still has the look of a champion.

Now if they can avoid issues like early injuries and playing down to the competition remains to be seen, but for now, the team has to take the lessons of 2015 and learn from them, not allow them to haunt them again this season.

Off the Top: Vigorish Explained


The vigorish, or “vig,” is a term used in sports betting to describe the theoretical advantage a professional bookmaker has when taking any wager from a bettor. Similar in concept to a commission, the vigorish exists to ensure the business of oddsmaking is profitable as well as to protect the bookmakers themselves from sudden ruin in the event of an unlikely outcome.

Vigorish Listing

The vigorish represents the mathematical edge that bookmakers create as a long term insurance policy, and is typically expressed bookmakers as a percentage. The percentage can commonly range from 2 to 5 percent, and is taken from the winning side’s share when the successful bets are paid out. For instance, the Packers are one of the most popular NFL teams to sweat for Wisconsin sports betting fans. If an event were to draw 10,000 dollars in wagers from both sides to create a $20,000 pool with a 2 percent vigorish in place, the winners would be paid a total of $18,000 while the bookmaker turned a profit of $2,000 regardless of the winning side.

Vigorish Against the Spread

Betting against the spread, or against a predetermined margin of victory, is the most common form of wagering on team sports such as basketball or football because it can often make wagering on both teams equally attractive to bettors. The industry standard for bets against the spread is shown as -110, meaning that for every $110 you stake you stand to win $100 with a successful bet, and the extra $10 is kept by the bookmaker as vigorish.

Money Line Vigorish

Low scoring games such as hockey and soccer as well as combat and individual sports more often use the money line system. These bets simply require a wagerer to correctly predict a winner, and the bet is structured to pay out according to the participants’ respective chances at winning. Money line bets will typically be rendered with the favorite rated as -100 or less and the less favored side rated at +100 or more. This means that a bettor will have to risk the listed amount on the favorite to win $100 and a bet of $100 on the less favored side will net the listed amount in the event of a successful wager.

Parlay Vigorish

Instead of taking vigorish on each game or match within a multiple-event parlay bet, bookmakers apply vigorish to these bets by lowering the payout overall as compared to an individual wager on each event. For example, if the odds of a bettor correctly predicting 3 games at random is 7-to-1, the parlay will pay out at 6-to-1 odds and reserve the extra payout. This ratio grows even more favorable to the bookmaker as more events are added and the chance of a winning wager approaches the astronomical.

Vigorish is a form of protection that helps ensure bookmakers can pay winning wagerers as well as keep their operations running smoothly. While it may be true the house always retains the edge, by intelligently navigating the realities of vigorish, players can get the most favorable odds at as low a personal risk as possible.

Packers Have Work to Do to Remain a Favorite in the NFC In 2016

The Packers are coming off yet another playoff season, but 2015 overall was a bit of a downer, as the team was able to make the playoffs, win a playoff game in Washington, but blew a great chance to reach the NFC Title Game as they lost in the divisional round to the Arizona Cardinals after forgetting to cover Larry Fitzgerald in overtime.

Now that it’s all said and done, the Packers window to get back to the Super Bowl is still open, but the team has plenty to do this offseason if they want to get back to the big dance, a place they have not been since beating the Steelers in Super Bowl XLV in February 2011.

As of the time of writing, the team currently is 12/1 to win the Super Bowl according to William Hill. Only the NFC Champion Panthers and the Seahawks have better odds, as both are listed right now at 10/1 to win Super Bowl XLI in February of 2017.

While the Pack will be looked upon as again a contender in the NFC, they as a team will have to look within to sign some of their free agents that will hit the market in just over a week.

Those players include: Mason Crosby, B.J. Raji, James Jones, John Kuhn, Michael Neal, Sean Richardson and Nick Perry. Here’s a complete list of the free agents for the Packers – FREE AGENTS.

The team will also need to address a couple positions, including inside linebacker, running back, nose tackle, tight end and punter. It will be a complicated offseason for the Pack, but if this team wants to make another run in the NFC next season, they will need to address these issues and make sure to be ready to go opening day 2016.

Packers to Play Indianapolis in Annual NFL Hall of Fame Game in August


Packer fans will have even more reason to go to Canton, Ohio to see Bret Favre get inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, as it’s stated that the Packers and Colts, who also have a presence in this year’s Hall of Fame Class, will do battle in the annual Hall of Fame Game to be played on August 7th.

Packers CB Casey Hayward Will ‘Probably’ Test the Free Agent Market

Packers cornerback Casey Hayward says he will “probably” test the free agent market this offseason according to Rob Demovsky of

The 26-year-old Heyward, a 2012 second-round draft pick for the Packers out of Vanderbilt, started 13-of-18 games for the Packers in 2015 and graded out as the team’s No.1 cover corner according to Pro Football Focus.

Heyward was used primarily in the slot and may be looking for a job as an outside corner. After GM Ted Thompson drafted cornerbacks Damarious Randall and Quinten Rollins in the first and second rounds last year, the Packers are in okay shape with those two and Sam Shields should Hayward leave for greener pastures in 2016.

Packers Not Likely to Make a Strong Push to Keep FA WR James Jones

The Packers are likely to move on from impending free agent wide receiver James Jones according to beat writer Rob Reischel of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

The Packers are in desperate need for wideouts who can get separation from defensive backs and “figure to go with younger players” than the 32-year-old Jones. Having said that, Jones returning to the Packers in 2015 was a godsend after Jordy Nelson went down with a torn ACL in training camp and he was quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ most reliable target.

He was particularly effective early in the season but faded down the stretch, ending the season with 50 catches for 890 yards and eight touchdowns. Jones has good hands and an excellent work ethic but rarely makes plays after the catch. The Packers will welcome back Jordy Nelson (ACL) and Randall Cobb while Jeff Janis, Jared Abbrederis, Davante Adams, and Ty Montgomery vie for complementary roles.

This may be the end of the line for Jones, who has only proven effective in Green Bay. He may get signed for the veterans’ minimum and invvited to someone’s training camp but interest in him is likely to be lukewarm at best.

BJ Raji Crucial To Green Bay’s Defense

The Green Bay Packers are likely to be stinging following their painful NFC Championship Game defeat, but that won’t stop the franchise from starting to plan for the next season. Having been overshadowed by the Aaron Rodgers-led offense for the past couple of years, the Green Bay defense really stepped up in 2015 and played a major role in a playoff run that should really have resulted in reaching the Super Bowl. While the whole defensive line improved significantly throughout the campaign, a number of players were instrumental in reaching the latter stages of the postseason and some of them are now waiting to see what their future holds.

BJ Raji was one of those who enjoyed something of a resurgence last year, making the move from defensive end back to nose tackle and making it clear where he does his best work. After an impressive 2010 season saw him earn Pro Bowl status, the Packers made the decision to move the former first round draft pick from his favored position to defensive end, where Raji failed to produce the level of performance that had seen him earn so many plaudits before. After suffering a bicep injury last season, the 29-year-old was unable to secure a long-term contract with the Packers and instead signed a one-year extension.

But following a stand-out, the Packers may have to pull out all the stops in order to keep the big man in Green Bay. And we all know the importance Ted Thompson places on his big men. Raji really showed what he brings to a team in the Packers’ defeat to the Cardinals. Having been torn apart by Arizona running back David Johnson during the regular season game, Raji restricted the Cardinals man to just 2.3 yards-per-carry and 35 yards on the ground.

As we prepare to close the book on another enthralling year, focus is already switching to next season and the Packers will again be one of the teams to watch. If you’re looking to increase your betting opportunities and asking ‘what are the bonus wagering requirements?’ for different sites, there are a host of very tempting offers out there. And for those interested in NFL odds, it’s fair to say Green Bay will once again be expected to make it into the postseason in 2016. While Aaron Rodgers isn’t getting any younger, the quarterback is still performing at the top of his game and the veteran looks more than capable of leading this team to another Super Bowl.

The two-time winners haven’t made the season-ending finale since their 2010 success, but you’d have to consider Mike McCarthy’s men contenders again if they can hang onto their key players, such as Raji, and add a number of useful new faces to this roster. The Green Bay management have decisions to make regarding the future of 18 free agents, one of which is their big nose tackle. But while Raji will likely be on the shopping list of a number of NFL teams, the seven-season veteran will probably end up being one of the most important deals Green Bay are looking to conclude this offseason.

As long as they don’t lose a host of key players, 2016 could be a very successful year for the Packers.

Photo credit: Mike Morbeck (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Potential Free Agency Targets For Green Bay

While the Green Bay Packers secured their NFL playoff spot, it didn’t come as easily as many would have expected after the franchise cruised to a 6-0 record after the opening six games of the regular season. Following their round seven bye, Mike McCarthy’s men all but crawled over the finish line after going 4-6 during the final 10 games of the campaign. General manager Ted Thompson will already be looking at strengthening his roster come the end of the season.

This isn’t the first time the Packers have started the postseason as betting outsiders, but Rodgers has proven beyond doubt he is one of this generation’s best quarterbacks to help Green Bay upset the odds time and again. While the Patriots and the Cardinals are the two teams many 32Red Canada punters expect to be battling it out for the Super Bowl title at the beginning of February, you’d be a brave soul to completely count out the Packers when considering they usually up their game when it comes to the business of playoffs.

Aaron Rodgers (12) and Korey Hall (35) by Mike Morbeck (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Despite their below-par run of games to close out the season, there is still confidence that the future looks bright for this current group of players, and Green Bay fans won’t be expecting to see a particularly high turnover of personnel in the offseason. Still viewed as being relative outsiders in the race for the NFC title with a lot of 32Red and Betway punters, much of the upcoming business could depend on how the postseason goes and whether this team can bounce back from ending the regular season with back-to-back defeats.

Thompson, who hasn’t been a big fan of big spending when it comes to signing free agents, could well find himself forced to look at alternative options as he looks to provide Rodgers with some support. And if he’s ever going to start looking at the free agency as a source of options, this offseason could well be one of the most interesting in recent years. So let’s take a look at some potential free agency options for Green Bay this season.

Vernon Davis: The tight end was believed to have come close to making the move to Green Bay during the trade deadline only to pass on the two-time Pro Bowler and watch as he was traded to the Denver Broncos. While he may end up staying where he is, the Packers are still expected to be in the market for the 31-year-old come the end of the season. With Richard Rodgers and Andrew Quarless as the only two tight end options currently on this squad, this is an area that needs addressing and Davis is just the sort of player to fill it. The veteran has shown what he brings to a team during his 10-season professional career, and he has everything the Packers are looking for at this moment in time.

Vernon Davis by Mike Morbeck (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Terrance Knighton: While the signing of defensive tackle B.J. Raji on a one-year deal last summer will go down as a decent piece of business, the former first round draft pick has struggled with injuries over the past 12 months and many feel the 29-year-old isn’t the player he once was. With Terrance Knighton expected to hit the free agency when his one-year contract with the Redskins comes to an end in the offseason, the Packers may feel replacing Raji with the Washington man would freshen up their tackle options. After a quiet start to life in the NFL, Knighton has gone on to establish himself as one of the league’s most consistent tackles and the former third round draft pick would be an interesting option for Green Bay.

Matt Forte: Running back will almost certainly be a position the Packers are looking at during the offseason. Following a season in which Eddie Lacy has shown he is probably not the man that Green Bay need to run the big plays in the long term, a player like Forte could be the perfect option for the franchise. The Chicago Bears man is in line to hit the free agency for the first time in his career, coming off the back of a $9.2 million cap hit last season – a figure he’ll be looking to match in 2016. But while he won’t be a cheap option, his stats in 2015 show that he is one of the more consistent running backs in the game, despite suffering an injury midway through the year, and definitely an improvement on Lacy.