Broncos vs. Packers Betting Odds & Picks: Can Aaron Rodgers be Stopped at Lambeau?

Broncos vs. Packers Betting Odds & Picks: Can Aaron Rodgers be Stopped at Lambeau? article feature image

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Aaron Rodgers

Broncos at Packers Betting Odds

  • Odds: Packers -7.5
  • Total: 43
  • Time: 1 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: FOX

Odds above as of Thursday afternoon and via PointsBet, where Action Network users can exclusively bet every NFL spread this season at reduced juice (-105).

Neither the Broncos or Packers have looked particularly great on offense after two weeks, but the Packers have Aaron Rogers and they’re at home in Week 3. As for the betting market, Green Bay is garnering more than 60% of spread bets as of Thursday. Can the Broncos keep this one close on the road?

Our analysts break down all the angles, including a look at Sean Koerner’s projected odds and a pick.

Broncos-Packers Injury Report

Which team is healthier? Broncos

The Broncos will likely be down Ja’Wuan James (knee) again as he’s expected to miss several weeks, but otherwise they’re in good shape.

On the Packers side, Jimmy Graham (groin) has missed two practices in a row. Beat writers think the Packers are concerned about Graham’s health, so there’s a chance he won’t be suiting up in Week 3. Justin Bailey

Note: Info as of Thursday. See our Injury Report for daily practice participation and game statuses up until kickoff.

Sean Koerner’s Projected Odds

  • Projected Spread: Packers -7
  • Projected Total: 43.5

The Packers look like a top-five NFC team thanks to their defense.

Their offense, however, has been fairly average through two games. A lot of that could be due to the fact they’ve gotten out to early leads. Last week they scored a touchdown on each of their first three drives to go up 21-0 against the Vikings, then switched to a much more conservative game plan, allowing Minnesota to score 16 unanswered points.

The Packers could win 10 or more games but suffer from back door covers, in which case a line like -7.5 sticks out as a potential trap. But it appears sharps were comfortable enough to bet the Packers off the key number of 7 and up to 7.5.

I’m going to pass on this line, but if the Packers start 3-0, books could add an extra point or two to their spread against the Eagles in Week 4. Sean Koerner

Biggest Mismatch

Packers Pass Defense vs. Broncos Pass Game

When will John Elway admit he lucked into Peyton Manning and stop trying to sell the fanbase on under-competent reclamation projects at quarterback?

Despite some big individual performances from Emmanuel Sanders and Courtland Sutton, the Broncos’ Joe Flacco-led passing game has been hapless in 2019, ranking 22nd in yards per attempt (6.9) and 27th in yards per completion (10.0).

Yes, they’ve played the stingy Chicago defense, but they’ve also played the far more generous Raiders and failed to crack 17 points in either contest. Now Flacco will head back on the road, where he’s averaging 6.49 yards per attempt and a 1.2-to-1.0 touchdown-to-interception ratio compared to 7.27 and 1.4-to-0.7 at home.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Joe Flacco

When he sets foot on the Lambeau turf, he’ll be faced with a much improved Mike Pettine pass defense that has limited opponents to 5.9 yards per attempt (third-lowest) while earning top-five grades in coverage and pass rush from Pro Football Focus.

Pass rushers Preston Smith and Kenny Clark (1.5 sacks each) should be able to pressure Flacco as he looks to throw behind an offensive line that PFF grades just 19th in pass protection.

A reinvigorated secondary featuring corners Jaire Alexander (4 passes defended) and Kevin King (1 INT, 2 PD), 2017 first-team All-Pro safety Adrian Amos (1 INT, 1 PD), and rookie safety Darnell Savage Jr. (2 PD) should be able to limit the receivers to their usual minimal gains.

Hopefully, any Broncos fans who made the trip to Green Bay eat themselves into a food coma on that good Wisconsin cheese, because they’ll want to sleep right through what’s almost certain to be the offense’s third-straight snoozer. Chris Raybon

Expert Pick

Matthew Freedman: Packers -7.5

The Packers offense under new head coach Matt LaFleur has looked incredibly unimpressive, averaging just 15.5 points in Weeks 1-2, but they opened the season against divisional rivals in the Bears and Vikings, both of whom have tough defenses (12.0 and 16.5 points allowed per game).

Given the strength and familiarity of their recent opponents and allowing for a scheme adjustment grace period, we can probably excuse some of the struggles the Packers have had on offense.

And it helps that they’ve looked good on defense, where they’ve made significant investments since bringing in coordinator Pettine last year. The defense ranks No. 3 with a 75.7 PFF grade, thanks primarily to the team’s improved pass rush (No. 3 with 16 quarterback hits) and pass defense (No. 3 with 4.5 adjusted yards per attempt allowed).

As for the Broncos, I’m underwhelmed. Flacco has a high 69.1% completion rate, but his 6.4-yard average depth of target is one of the league’s lowest marks: He’s refusing to attack downfield, and the Broncos offense is stagnant as a result. Honestly, they’re lucky to be averaging 15 points per game.

On defense, the Broncos are No. 26 in Football Outsiders’ pass DVOA with a 42.0% mark. Even with cornerback Chris Harris Jr., the defense has been slow to take to new head coach Vic Fangio’s scheme. It probably doesn’t help Harris that after years as an All-Pro slot man, he’s been moved to the outside.

The Broncos’ defensive strength is their pass rush: They can get to the quarterback with edge defenders Von Miller and Bradley Chubb. But the Packers have a good offensive line bookended by All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari and nine-year veteran right tackle Bryan Bulaga. The Packers might be able to neutralize Denver’s pass rush.

Finally, with Rodgers as the starter, the Packers over the past 12 years have been one of the surest bets in the NFL to cover at home, where they are 49-27-3 against the spread. On average, at home they have exceeded the spread by 3.7 points per game and offered backers an A-graded 25.4% return on investment (per Bet Labs).

Rodgers has averaged just 206 yards passing over the past two weeks. I expect him to progress toward his 2008-18 average of 269.7 as a starter, and Rodgers’ improved play should make the difference.

I’d bet this line to -8.

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