Packers Odds Without Davante Adams: How the NFL’s Most Valuable WR Moved The Thursday Night Football Spread
Getty Images. Pictured: Packers WR Davante Adams
- Davante Adams is the NFL's most valuable wide receiver in terms of his impact to point spreads -- at least according to our experts.
- Find out how our experts adjusted their projected Packers odds with the star WR set to miss the Thursday Night Football showdown against the Cardinals.
Editor’s note: The following story has been updated to reflect Davante Adams’ reported availability for Thursday night as well as to include input from more of our experts.
The Thursday Night Football spread swung from Cardinals -4 to -6 immediately after news broke that the Packers placed Davante Adams on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Now with Adams unlikely to play and Allen Lazard also ruled out due to COVID-19, the spread sits at Cardinals -6.5 (check real-time NFL odds here).
Should a wide receiver really move a spread that many points?
Five of the six experts whose models power our NFL PRO Projections break down how many points Adams’ potential absence impacted their projected spreads below.
How Much Davante Adams Is Worth To Packers Odds
Sean Koerner, Director of Predictive Analytics: Adams is worth 1.5-2 points in my model. Considering the Packers are road dogs, though, I value Adams closer to the full two points this week.
Not only is Adams an elite receiver, but there’s a huge drop-off behind him on the depth chart.
I still consider Tyreek Hill worth about 1.5 points to the Chiefs’ spreads. And the Bengals’ Ja’Marr Chase, Rams’ Cooper Kupp, Vikings’ Justin Jefferson and Bills’ Stefon Diggs are also in that range, but each have teammates who would be able to step up in their absence.
Two receivers who might not rank inside the top 10 in terms of pure value to the spread, but absolutely rank inside the top 10 when you factor in the drop-off when they’re out are the WFT’s Terry McLaurin and Texans’ Brandin Cooks. And as long as 49ers tight end George Kittle is out, Deebo Samuel would qualify as well.
Adams is the most valuable, though, because he is the combo of both: A top-three WR and there isn’t much depth behind him.
Not only is he responsible for 42% of the Packers’ receiving yardage and 32% of their third-down catches, but he also ensures that the other receivers see single coverage.
Because we’re dealing with a short week on the road, where it will be next to impossible to fully prepare to mitigate his absence — and because we’re also dealing with a cluster injury at the position, with Lazard out as well — I have adjusted the line more than two points in total.
First, he’s really good. Second, he’s really important to that offense, especially on third downs. And most importantly, there’s a large drop-off to his replacement, which is really what matters from a getting perspective.
On a normal week, he’d be worth 1.5-2 points. However, given the other issues Green Bay has at WR and that this is a short week on the road against a team the Packers will likely have to keep up with, I have the total impact closer to three full points.
My model had him worth only one point, but I added the extra half-point as I don’t think it understands how import he is to Aaron Rodgers on third downs.
Adams and Chase are my highest-graded WRs to the spread based on what they mean to their respective teams.
Travis Reed, Data Manager: My line went from Packers +3.3 to +4.1 as Adams is worth about 0.80 points in my model, though that depends on the spread — a move from 3 to 4 is worth more than 1 to 2, for example.
Adams is the NFL WR worth the most to the spread but Chase’s numbers are, uh, up there.