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#pounditThursday, October 1, 2020

Odds reveal favorite to replace Jason Witten on ‘Monday Night Football’

Peyton Manning

Jason Witten announced on Thursday that he is leaving ESPN to return to play for the Dallas Cowboys next season, and fans will likely be excited to see who oddsmakers believe is the favorite to replace him.

In its list of potential replacements for Witten on the “Monday Night Football” broadcast, OddsShark has Peyton Manning as the favorite at +200. Behind Manning are Louis Riddick — who already works for ESPN — at +225 and Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen at +350.

It would be a shock if ESPN executives didn’t try to convince Manning to take the job, and they would probably let the future Hall of Famer name his price. Beyond that, the biggest surprise on the list is probably Olsen. The 33-year-old has some experience calling games for FOX, but he’d be another very raw addition after Witten’s inexperience became a blatant issue at times last season. Olsen has also told the Panthers he wants to keep playing in 2019.

In terms of value, Kurt Warner seems like a steal at +900. He was said to be the runner-up last year when Witten got the job, and he has experience calling “Monday Night Football” games for Westwood One Sports radio. Though, Warner sent some cryptic tweets last year that many interpreted as a criticism of ESPN and Witten, so perhaps there are some lingering hard feelings from that.

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