(Editor’s note: Antonio Brown is now reportedly playing in Week 1 as of Friday afternoon. But there are three more days for that to change … again. Keep an eye on the news and odds movement until Monday night.)
The drama and mercurial behavior continues for Oakland Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown. Now it’s costing him more than money as he is facing a possible suspension before he plays his first game with the team.
FanDuel Sportsbook and DraftKings Sportsbook were among those who reacted quickly to the Thursday’s news out of Oakland. FanDuel moved the Denver Broncos to a -2.5 point favorite in Monday night’s Week 1 AFC West division duel. DraftKings has made the Broncos a 2-point favorite Monday night.
Week 1 lines had the Raiders vs. Broncos as pick ’em before the news on Brown broke, and the Raiders were as high as a 3-point favorite earlier this summer when many sportsbooks released opening lines.
What can you say about Antonio Brown? Sure, he’s a star player in the league, but he’s selfish and unprofessional.
Perhaps that’s why the Steelers traded the bumbling Brown to rid themselves of his antics. Pittsburgh took a $21 million cap charge to get rid of him; the highest dead money charge in the NFL. That’s how bad the organization wanted to move on from Brown and his behavior.
The Raiders and Mayock took a chance on the talented Brown and his irregular behaviors. From his frozen feet incident in a cryotherapy chamber to his helmet complaints, Brown has been creating more buzz for all the wrong reasons. Brown has been a real ‘hard knock’ on the Raiders while missing additional time on the practice and playing field.
The Raiders have had enough and are reportedly suspending Brown for Week 1. The exchange between Brown and Mayock became more heated Wednesday at a team practice. Brown posted an Instagram photo of a letter he received from Mayock and the Raiders informing him of nearly $54,000 in fines for missing mandatory team activities.
Positive chemistry is critical for an NFL team and organization to succeed. The Raiders are paying an early price for bringing in not only Brown, but other players with past behavior issues.
Bettors were believing in Raiders
While money is coming in on the Broncos in Monday night’s Week 1 game at Oakland, the Raiders have been generating plenty of support in futures markets. Oakland’s odds to win the Super Bowl had dropped as low as +4000 (40-1) in Las Vegas where regional bias is heavy on the popular Raiders, who are moving to Vegas next season.
Las Vegas sportsbooks are on the hook for more than $2 million if the Raiders win the 2020 Super Bowl. That’s not likely or expected with the Raiders traveling more than 32,000 miles this season and Oakland’s over/under season win total set at six. The Raiders’ power ranking is also in the lower third of NFL teams. FanDuel Sportsbook has the Raiders odds to win the Super Bowl at +22000 (220-1).
The Raiders host the Kansas City Chiefs next week, and Oakland is a 6.5-point underdog on the Week 2 look-ahead lines at FanDuel Sportsbook. Will Brown suit up and play or be suspended? The saga continues.