Khalil Mack to the Packers? At least one oddsmaker thinks so

Scott Venci
Green Bay Press-Gazette
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Oakland Raiders star Khalil Mack is a favorite to end up on the Green Bay Packers, at least according to one oddsmaker.

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 10.5 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 first-round 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 to 1994.

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.”

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