Packers-Jets Betting Preview: Can Aaron Rodgers Bounce Back?
USA Today Sports. Pictured: Aaron Rodgers, Jamal Adams
Betting odds: Green Bay Packers at New York Jets
- Spread: Packers -3
- Over/Under: 46.5
- Time: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
- TV channel: FOX
>> All odds as of Friday afternoon. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NFL odds and track your bets
Betting market: The Aaron Rodgers scare appears to be all for naught, as the veteran quarterback has confirmed he’ll play on Sunday. The line had initially fallen from -3.5 to a pick ’em with his status in question, but is back up to -3 with him set to play.
Trends to know: With a loss on Sunday, the Packers will go winless on the road for the first time since 1958. They’re 0-9 straight up and 1-7-1 against the spread in their past nine road games. — Stuckey
The Packers are coming off a hard-fought loss to the divisional rival Bears last week. They’re 13-5-1 (72.2%) ATS in Rodgers’ 19 starts the week after facing Chicago, including 9-0-1 ATS in his last 10 games in this spot, covering the spread by 11.5 points per game.
Rodgers’ last loss ATS in this spot? The famous “Fail Mary” game against the Seahawks in September 2012. — Evan Abrams
Biggest mismatch: Jets’ Third Down Defense vs. Packers’ Third Down Offense
The Packers’ third down offense has stalled too many drives compared to its otherwise very impressive marks in Football Outsiders’ DVOA.
Some of that has to do with injuries, some with play-calling, some with execution and some with offensive line play (the Packers have given up more sacks on third down than any other team). As a result, Green Bay ranks 22nd in third-down conversion rate (36.9%) after finishing third in the same category in 2016 — Rodgers’ last fully healthy season.
Those troubles should continue against a Jets defense that’s thrived on third downs all season.
New York has held opponents to the second-lowest conversion rate on third downs (32.6%). And it won’t help that Green Bay put Aaron Jones on Injured Reserve after leading the NFL in yards per rush at 5.5 (min. 100 attempts). — Stuckey
Which team is healthier? Jets
While Rodgers said he’ll play, it’s unclear whether Randall Cobb (concussion), right tackle Bryan Bulaga (knee), right guard Lucas Patrick (illness) or No. 5 receiver Jake Kumerow (hand) will do the same.
The Jets have already ruled out Quincy Enunwa (ankle), but are healthy aside from linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis (shoulder), cornerback Daryl Roberts (toe) and right tackle Brandon Shell (knee, IR).
DFS edge: With Isaiah Crowell (foot) on Injured Reserve, Elijah McGuire played 75% of the Jets’ running back snaps and saw 21 touches (18 carries and three receptions) in Week 15. He’s a strong play regardless of format in what could be a close game with Rodgers at less than 100%.
McGuire is only $4,700 on DraftKings with the second-highest Projected Plus/Minus among running backs on the main slate. — Justin Bailey
Bet to watch: Over 46.5
The Jets have a reputation as a terrible offense — and in many cases, it’s well-deserved — but their recent output has been promising: 27 points at the Bills (No. 3 DVOA defense) and 22 points vs. the Texans (No. 7 defense).
The Packers are nowhere near that level of quality on the defensive end (24th in DVOA), which is one of the reasons this total has risen from 44 to 46.5.
In terms of Green Bay’s offense, I actually think Aaron Jones’ aforementioned injury might help this over hit. Without a reliable RB behind him, expect Rodgers to sling it early and often against the Jets.
And more passes means more chunk yardage gains and, when the incompletions inevitably occur, more clock stoppages.
New York’s defense is exactly middle-of-the-pack, per DVOA, but after digging into the numbers, I think that number is a little inflated. For one, the Jets have played the second-easiest offensive schedule.
And then there’s this: New York’s defense has seen its efficiency fall off as the season has worn on, ranking 25th in weighted DVOA defense, which puts more emphasis on recent performance.
With no weather- or pace-related red flags looming for this game, there are still a couple points of value left in betting the over here. I think this game gets into the 50s. — Scott T. Miller
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.