Tyreek Hill Trade Shakes Up Super Bowl 2023 Odds
Six-time Pro-Bowl wide receiver Tyreek Hill was traded by the Kansas City Chiefs to the Miami Dolphins in exchange for a slew of draft picks Wednesday morning.
Kansas City walked away with 2022 first, second, and fourth-round draft picks, as well as fourth and sixth-round picks in the 2023 draft. Miami also agreed to a four-year, $120 million extension with its new All-Pro wideout.
The all-powerful Chiefs dynasty is now the most vulnerable than it has been in the Patrick Mahomes era— but the real question is, what do the oddsmakers think?
Kansas City’s betting numbers
Kansas City still has the best odds (+155) to win a now-loaded AFC West in which every team, barring KC, has made improvements.
The Denver Broncos upgraded at quarterback by trading for Russell Wilson, the Las Vegas Raiders worked out a deal with star receiver Davante Adams, and the Los Angeles Chargers reached agreements with J.C. Jackson and Khalil Mack, turning the heat up on the perennial division winners.
The Chiefs also have the third-best odds to win the Super Bowl at (+950), trailing only the Buffalo Bills (+650) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+700), in light of Tom Brady’s unretirement.
Most teams would kill to be in Kansas City’s position in what is expected to be a “down year,” but for the AFC West powerhouse, not being the consensus favorite is an unfamiliar position. They have reached four straight conference championship games, appeared in two Super Bowls, and walked away with one Lombardi trophy in the past four years.
The Chiefs without Tyreek Hill
Kansas City is losing a massive dimension of its offense now that Tyreek Hill has walked out the door.
The team’s current number-one is Juju Smith-Schuster, who has disappointed in recent seasons after having a promising start to his career. Mecole Hardman and Josh Gordon, both extremely inconsistent in their own rights, are second and third in the depth chart for a receiving group that suddenly does not look so terrifying.
Travis Kelce is still going to be the workhorse of the team and dominate the middle of the field, but he is no longer going to benefit from the vertical threat that Hill provided. This means that many of his 10-yard routes that turned into 20-yard gains are going to stop at the point of first contact since there will no longer be two or three people attempting to match Hill’s ridiculous downfield speed.
Of course, Kansas City can choose to invest its new first-round pick on a prospect like Jameson Williams or Chris Olave, but that would be a more long-term approach unless they hit on an instant-impact player like Justin Jefferson or Ja’Marr Chase.
However, most of the overwhelming criticism that Kansas City is receiving is unjust; they got away with paying less than market value for a top-three receiver in the game for six years and walked away with five draft picks after they only used one fifth-round pick on him back in 2016.
The Chiefs would also cripple themselves if they succumbed to Hill’s $30 million annual salary demands, so he effectively left them with no choice.
It’s not like Kansas City is going to fall off of a cliff without its playmaking wideout, but it is going to notice his absence in key situations, such as the late 64-yard-touchdown against the Bills in this year’s AFC Divisional Round playoff. Prepare for lots of Troy Aikman “here’s where the Chiefs really miss Tyreek” moments.
Bettors can find decent value on both the Chiefs or any one of their competitors now that Tyreek Hill is in Miami and a bit of parity has been restored to the league.
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