Packers-Rams Betting Preview: Will Aaron Rodgers Cover as Massive Underdog?
USA Today Sports. Pictured: Aaron Rodgers, Aaron Donald
Betting odds: Green Bay Packers at Los Angeles Rams
- Spread: Rams -9.5
- Over/Under: 56.5
- Time: 4:25 p.m. ET
- TV channel: FOX
>> All odds as of Friday morning. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NFL odds and track your bets
Betting market: Aaron Rodgers has never been this big of an underdog, and most bettors think oddsmakers have given him too many points. Sixty-eight percent of bets accounting for 91% of dollars have landed on the Packers, as of writing (see live data here), causing this line to fall slightly from +10 to +9.5.
And while bettors are also taking a liking to the over, oddsmakers are holding their ground. Most books are maintaining their opening number despite 73% of bettors expecting a shootout. — Danny Donahue
Trends to know: Teams that opened as double-digit favorites against an opponent with a winning record have gone 12-14-2 against the spread since 2003. Rodgers is also 5-18 straight up and 10-13 ATS as a road underdog in the regular season. — John Ewing
Rodgers is up against one of the fiercest opponents of his career in the 2018 Rams and their offensive firepower.
He’s faced an undefeated opponent five times in October or later, and is 1-4 SU and 2-3 ATS, with his only SU win coming against the Texans in 2012. On top of that, the Rams are averaging 33.6 points per game this season — the highest average for a team Rodgers has faced in October or later.
The Rams are also defeating their opponents by 15.3 points per game. Rodgers has faced an opponent with an average point differential of +14 or more only twice, going 2-0 SU and ATS. Both games were in 2012. — Evan Abrams
Rodgers has only played in one game with an over/under higher than 55 in his career: On Nov. 30, 2014 at home game against Tom Brady and the Patriots.
The total was set at 57, and Green Bay won 26-21, staying under the total. — Abrams
Biggest mismatch: Todd Gurley and the Rams offensive line vs. Packers run defense
Green Bay ranks 15th in Football Outsiders’ DVOA against the pass but 29th against the run, and a run funnel is the last thing you want to be when you have to go up against Gurley.
The fourth-year pro out of Georgia leads the league in rushing yards per game at 98, which is nearly 10 yards more than second-place Ezekiel Elliott (88.4).
And it’s not just Gurley. Guards Roger Saffold and Austin Blythe as well as tackles Andrew Whitworth and Rob Havenstein have all earned top-six run-blocking grades at their respective positions from Pro Football Focus.
Los Angeles’ big guys rank first in Football Outsiders’ Adjusted Line Yards on offense, while Green Bay’s front has been pushed around to the tune of a 29th-place ranking in Adjusted Line Yards allowed. — Chris Raybon
Which team is healthier? Rams
The Packers are tentatively expected to welcome back wide receivers Randall Cobb (hamstring) and Geronimo Allison (hamstring), while the statuses of left tackle Bryan Bulaga (knee), cornerback Jaire Alexander (groin) and right tackle Jason Spriggs (ankle) remain a bit more unclear.
The Rams aren’t expected to have receiver Cooper Kupp (knee) again, but defensive linemen Michael Brockers (shoulder) and Ndamukong Suh (knee) are expected to suit up despite not practicing on Wednesday.
DFS edge: Up next for Rodgers & Co. is a Rams defense that has struggled to slow down competent passing attacks with Aqib Talib (ankle, injured reserve) sidelined and Marcus Peters (calf) playing hurt.
The Rams gave up an average of 7.7 points per game and 168 passing yards to the 49ers, Raiders and Cardinals compared to an average of 26.3 points per game and 271.8 passing yards to the Chargers, Vikings, Seahawks and Broncos.
Bet to watch: Packers +9.5
The Rams (aka the most complete team in football) have rolled to a 7-0 start. Their offense scores at will, Gurley is an MVP candidate and their defense — behind new additions Peters and Suh — doesn’t give you much wiggle room.
Week 8 finds them at home as anywhere from 8.5- to 10-point favorites against Rodgers and the Packers.
Yes, the Packers defense has not been very good — and Rodgers has been hobbled by a knee injury suffered in Week 1 against the Bears — but this line is too damn high.
Even if you think the Rams will win (likely), even if you think the Rams will control the game (also likely), giving Rodgers that many points is a recipe for disaster.
The man simply does not quit. He does not relent. He does not surrender. By laying this number you are begging for a back-breaking backdoor loss.
The best part is you can still get this line around +10 at some books (5Dimes). But be sure to jump on it quickly, because it’s fallen to +8.5 at others (which I still like).
As great as the Rams are, I love getting Rodgers in this spot off a bye. Take the Packers and don’t wait. — BlackJack Fletcher
Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.