Washington vs. Packers Odds, NFL Picks, Predictions: Green Bay, Aaron Rodgers Poised to Cover Spread in Week 7
Quinn Harris/Getty Images. Pictured: Aaron Rodgers.
- Washington has the edge in the trenches, right? Not so fast, because the Packers have held up against strong pass rushes already.
- After breaking down the WFT vs. Packers odds and matchup, our analyst makes the case for Green Bay covering this Week 7 NFL spread.
Washington vs. Packers NFL Odds
|Time||1 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetRivers. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.|
Coming into the season, the anticipation was that the Washington Football Team’s defense would build on last year and dominate. So far, this defense has been anything but imposing.
To compensate, we have seen Washington’s offense pull together two tremendous games to earn its two victories. If the defense does not start to pull together here, though, it is hard to imagine Taylor Heinicke outplaying Aaron Rodgers.
The Packers sit at 5-1 but have earned that record in an underwhelming fashion with a point differential of +8. Holding them back from takeoff has been their mediocre offensive play. Even though Rodgers claimed he owned the Bears last Sunday, he only threw for 195 yards. This will be his chance to show that the Packers still have an elite offense that can blow weak defenses off the field.
Let’s dig deeper to see if the Football Team’s defense will find its way or the Packers offense will feast.
Click the arrow to expand injury reports
Washington vs. Packers Injury Report
- RB Antonio Gibson (shin): Questionable
- WR Curtis Samuel (groin): Out
- WR Cam Sims (hamstring): Out
- OL Sam Cosmi (ankle): Out
- G Brandon Scherff (knee): Out
- CB Williams Jackson III (knee):Questionable
- DB Shaka Toney (illness):Questionable
- T Dennis Kelly (back): Out
- C/G Josh Myers (knee): Out
- CB Kevin King (shoulder): Questionable
- LB Preston Smith (oblique): Questionable
- S Darnell Savage Jr. (concussion): Questionable
Washington vs. Packers Matchup
|WFT Offense||DVOA Rank||Packers Defense|
|WFT Defense||DVOA Rank||Packers Offense|
|Football Outsiders’ DVOA measures efficiency by comparing a team’s success on every play to the league average based on situation and opponent.|
Where is Washington’s Elite Defense?
Heinicke has fully thrown himself into the Ryan Fitzpatrick style of play. He has three games with PFF grades below 50 and three above 65. For context, below 50 is well below Davis Mills’ and Justin Fields’ performances, while above 65 is around Jameis Winston, Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold — not elite company on the high-end, but much better than the flipside.
If Heinicke falls into a good game, his star receiver, Terry McLaurin, could have a big day. McLaurin will be matched up with Packers rookie Eric Stokes, who started the year strong but has since fallen off hard with four straight PFF coverage grades under 63.
On the ground, things might be getting more difficult for Washington too. Starting running back Antonio Gibson is battling a shin injury and was limited in practice. They do have J.D. McKissic, but he specializes as a third-down back. If Gibson misses, work on first and second downs likely falls to Jaret Patterson, who is still in the “too soon to tell” phase of his career with only nine carries.
Defensively, there is little more to say for Washington than it has allowed the most points per game and second-most yards per game. The Football Team’s main troubles come from being unable to stop anyone on the backend, as their 36 coverage grade ranks second-worst in the league, per PFF. Washington is now tasked with stopping Davante Adams.
While Washington’s secondary struggles, its defensive front has not been bad. The Football Team has held opponents to 4.0 yards per carry, which ranks eighth, and it also is second in the NFL at creating pressure, per PFF.
Unfortunately, the pressure has not converted to sacks as Washington only has 12 this season. It will need to finish those pressures and get sacks to set the Packers offense back and make life easy for its corners.
Packers Offense in Prime Spot to Pad Stats
Last season, the drafting of Jordan Love lit a fire under Rodgers and he showed he still has upper-echelon talent. Unfortunately, the offseason drama seems to have put that fire out — and we are seeing Rodgers’ play tick back down.
Green Bay ranks 15th in net yards per attempt and 11th in passing touchdowns. This is as good of a time as any for Rodgers to pad those stats and show the Packers passing game is still elite.
It is impossible to mention the Green Bay passing offense without mentioning Adams, who has 66 targets on the year — 50 more than the next closest receiver. His route-running prowess has shredded any opponent, and he gets to face struggling defensive backs in this one. Adams should be in line for a huge day.
In the running game, the Packers have been successful even with a struggling offensive line. Green Bay’s offensive line ranks 10th in the league in yards created before contact per attempt, per Pro Football Reference. This has not stopped Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon from playing well, though. The Packers have run for the sixth-most yards after contact per carry. Injuries up front are likely the cause of the poor blocking, so watch out when Green Bay is healthy.
Defense is where the questions were for this team coming into the season. Even without star corner Jaire Alexander, the Packers have managed to stay afloat and are 13th in points allowed and fourth in yards allowed.
The big question will be can Green Bay stop Washington’s lone receiving threat. Last week, we saw Kansas City take away McLaurin and the Washington offense subsequently come to a halt.
NFL Picks: Washington vs. Packers
Since Week 1, Washington has struggled against opponents who are currently over .500. Each game has ended in at least an 11-point loss for the Football Team. Green Bay will look to extend that streak while breaking one of its own. The Packers have not won a game by more than 10 points since beating the Lions in Week 2.
The problem for Green Bay is it has missed big quick-strike plays that open a game up right away. Fortunately, stopping anyone on the backend is where Washington struggles the most. The Football Team will have no one who can match up with Adams, and if they dedicate extra resources to him, big plays will be open.
Green Bay’s offensive line will need to hold up against Washington’s front, but it has already done so against several good pass-rushes like the 49ers, Steelers, Bengals and Bears.
As for the Packers defense, even when Taylor Heinicke is clicking, he has not shown the ability to cut up good defenses. We have seen a few top receivers go off against the Packers this year, but Green Bay can replicate the Chiefs‘ game plan for McLaurin. Even if McLaurin does break a play or two, it is hard to imagine Heinicke going score-for-score with Rodgers.
Back the Packers to win big in this one.
Pick: Packers -8 | Bet to: -8.5
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