Patriots vs Packers: NFL Odds & Picks
Michael Reaves/Getty Images. Pictured: Aaron Rodgers.
- The Mac Jones-less Patriots are 9.5-point underdogs against the Packers.
- Brian Hoyer will start for the 1-2 Patriots at Lambeau Field.
- Anthony Dabbundo makes his betting pick below.
Patriots vs. Packers Odds
|Moneyline||+360 / -460|
|Time||Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get the latest NFL odds here.|
The main kickoff in the late afternoon slate lost some of its luster when Patriots quarterback Mac Jones injured his ankle in the fourth quarter against Baltimore last week.
Instead of Jones and the Patriots visiting Lambeau Field, Brian Hoyer is the expected starter for New England on Sunday. The line adjusted as high as Green Bay -10.5, but it has come down under the key number of 10, as of Saturday afternoon.
Green Bay recovered from its sleepy Week 1 showing in Minnesota to win consecutive games over the Bears and the Buccaneers to reclaim its favored status in the NFC North. The Packers offense still hasn't looked close to its old self from the past two seasons.
The Packers scored on their first two drives of the game against Tampa Bay last week — the scripted portion — but the offense did very little in the last three quarters and didn't score another point.
The question is whether or not New England can sustain enough offense to stay in this game with Hoyer instead of Jones. The offense wasn't exactly humming before his injury and the skill position talent is underwhelming.
Despite that, it's hard to back a huge home favorite on a low total and head coach Bill Belichick's history as an underdog holds a lot of weight.
Patriots vs. Packers Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how the Packers and Vikings match up statistically:
Patriots vs. Packers DVOA Breakdown
The most important aspect of this game will be the success of New England's run game. Belichick can coach up the defense and shorten the game better than any NFL coach maybe ever, but without the rushing attack, the offense is unlikely to be able to sustain drives.
New England's rush offense ranks 10th in success rate and eighth by EPA/play. Going up against a Green Bay defense that is 25th in rushing success rate allowed and you can see the path toward a big ground day for Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson. The Packers run defense has been mediocre for multiple years and teams like the 49ers and Browns were able to exploit that.
Even though the Patriots aren't on that level with their rush offense, it will limit the number of possessions that Rodgers gets with the ball to get margin.
The Packers play quite conservatively and slowly with a lead too. They love to run the ball with a lead and they are generally less pass heavy than seasons past. Green Bay should be able to run the ball in this game — the Patriots are 30th in rushing success rate allowed — but it's fine if the Packers want to run the ball and grind down the clock without explosiveness as a nine-point favorite.
This chart, from rbsdm.com, shows that the Packers are passing less than expected in almost every situation through three weeks. This is a solid contrast to years past with Matt LaFleur and Rodgers.
It seems like a direct response to the success of the running game and the lack of weapons that Rodgers trusts on the outside. They led for the entire game against Chicago and Tampa and LaFleur called a very conservative game script.
Green Bay hasn't exactly played an elite group of secondaries and yet the passing offense has looked lackluster through three weeks. I'm intrigued by the rise of Romeo Doubs, but expecting him to carry this offense in the receiving room is a stretch. Given how poorly the Bears and Vikings secondaries have done otherwise — Minnesota especially — Green Bay's rank of 10th in passing success rate and 16th in efficiency leaves more questions about their ability to get margin here.
The trends on Bill Belichick off of a loss in the NFL are hard to ignore. He is 36-13 straight up (73.5%) and 38-10 (79.2%) against the spread when the Patriots are favored by less than a touchdown, or are an underdog after losing. The Patriots didn't cover the -3 late closing line against the Steelers but they did cover most numbers in a bounce back win in Week 2 after losing in Week 1 to Miami.
The downgrade from Jones to Hoyer is definitely worth a few points, but this isn't the first time Belichick has had a backup quarterback. The Patriots covered three of their last five games when the starter was out.
The market overreacted to the downgrade from Jones to Hoyer and some money came and bought back the Patriots as a double-digit underdog. The 10s aren't there right now, but it's probably worth waiting until closer to kickoff to see if you can't get a 10.
There's asymmetric risk in the line movement, where it doesn't matter much if the line dips to 8.5 or 9, but you gain more value if it does get back to 10. I'd still bet the Patriots at +9 or better, but try to see if a 10 is available.
Bet Patriots +9.5 at FanDuel | Play to +9