Odds­mak­ers say Pack­ers have a line on Mack

Packer Plus - - News - Scott Venci Green Bay Press-Gazette

The odds­mak­ers have spo­ken, and at least one is say­ing the Green Bay Pack­ers have the best chance to land Oak­land Raiders star line­backer Khalil Mack by Nov. 1.

MyBookie put the Pack­ers as a 3-to-1 fa­vorite to trade for Mack, who has not re­ported to train­ing camp while seek­ing a new con­tract.

They are fol­lowed by the Raiders at 4-1, the New York Jets, Buf­falo Bills and Wash­ing­ton at 7-1, the Pitts­burgh Steel­ers and New York Giants at 10-1 and any other team at 4-1.

A per­son wa­ger­ing on the Pack­ers would win $3 for ev­ery $1 they bet. Not a bad re­turn on an in­vest­ment if it ends up that way.

“When we do a prop (propo­si­tion bet) like this, I like to look at a player’s cur­rent sit­u­a­tion,” said David Strauss, a se­nior sports an­a­lyst for MyBookie. “Mack wants some­thing north of $100 mil­lion. Do the Raiders even have that much money to pay him? I am sure they can pay the con­tract, but with the guar­an­teed money, with what has to be put in es­crow, there are ques­tions if they have $100 mil­lion kick­ing around to do that.

“If they don’t, which by all ac­counts they do not, it just makes sense to get Mack out of there while they can get some sort of re­turn.”

Since Mack is un­der con­tract for one more year and the Raiders can place the fran­chise tag on him next year, they don’t have to do any­thing. But since he’s a hot com­mod­ity right now, Strauss views it as the best time to un­load him.

Mack, 27, has had 101⁄ or more sacks in each of the past three sea­sons and was the NFL’s de­fen­sive player of the year in 2016. So why the Pack­ers? “Well, you know, they love a strong de­fense at Lam­beau,” Strauss said. “Mack is a rev­o­lu­tion­ary player, a fran­chise player. Most im­por­tantly, Green Bay has the as­sets to pull it off. They have two firstround picks (their own and the New Or­leans Saints) in the 2019 draft. Is that enough to pry Mack away? Prob­a­bly not, but it’s def­i­nitely a bet­ter start­ing point than any other team can of­fer right now.”

For Pack­ers fans hop­ing Strauss is cor­rect, they can take com­fort in what he claims his ac­cu­racy has been so far this sum­mer. Strauss said he put a 98 per­cent chance of LeBron James sign­ing with the Los An­ge­les Lak­ers when some other sports­books had it at 50 per­cent. He also had Kawhi Leonard be­ing traded to the Toronto Rap­tors at 60 per­cent, when most other books had it at 10 per­cent.

While mak­ing the Mack odds, Strauss liked the front of­fice re­la­tion­ship between the Pack­ers and Raiders. Oak­land gen­eral man­ager Reg­gie McKen­zie was part of Green Bay’s or­ga­ni­za­tion from 1994 to 2011, while new coach Jon Gru­den was an as­sis­tant coach for the Pack­ers from 1992-’94.

Strauss said a lot of bets are on the Raiders right now, but he is see­ing more and more ac­tion com­ing in from Wis­con­sin.

MyBookie has taken 200 wa­gers on the prop bet and cur­rently faces a low five-fig­ure loss if Mack isn’t dealt be­fore the dead­line. Strauss likes the po­si­tion it puts MyBookie in should any team trade for him.

“It’s not like it’s all on the Raiders,” he said. “Peo­ple are def­i­nitely back­ing the Pack­ers to pull this off.”

KIRBY LEE / USA TO­DAY SPORTS

Oak­land Raiders de­fen­sive end Khalil Mack is seek­ing a new con­tract and has not re­ported to train­ing camp.

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