Week 5 NFL Odds, Picks, Predictions: Packers vs. Bengals Betting Preview (Oct. 10)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images. Pictured: Aaron Rodgers.
- The Packers find themselves as a road favorite for their Week 5 NFL matchup against the Bengals, who are 3-1.
- With Joe Burrow and Co. coming off a Thursday night game with extra rest, should Cincinnati really be a home dog?
- Our analyst breaks down the Packers vs. Bengals odds in his betting preview below, complete with his favorite pick.
Packers vs. Bengals Odds
|Time||1 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.|
Who would have guessed one month ago that this might be the most interesting game on the entire early Sunday afternoon slate?
And yet here we are, with both the Packers and the surprising Bengals at 3-1, and with Cincinnati in a great spot to pick up another upset as a short underdog at home and get to 4-1, potentially putting itself in great position for a surprising playoff berth.
So what can we expect from this battle of playoff hopefuls? The line has barely budged all week. Can the Bengals really upset the mighty Packers?
Packers Not at Their Best Yet
You already know plenty about the Packers. This is largely the same team we've seen roll up 13 wins each of the past two seasons.
It sure didn't look like that in Week 1 when Green Bay got absolutely rolled by the Saints, but Aaron Rodgers told everyone to "R-E-L-A-X" and the Packers have won every game since.
And they've done it with ease, for the most part. The Lions and Steelers didn't offer much opposition, and Green Bay dominated San Francisco for much of the way too, before falling behind late and coming back to win anyway.
It doesn't feel like the Packers have fully hit their stride yet, but all the better that they're 3-1 anyway.
Green Bay is still using a makeshift offensive line. Stud left tackle David Bakhtiari is still out, and fill-in Elgton Jenkins is playing through injuries himself and is questionable for this game, which the Packers will play without center Josh Myers. The line is holding its own, but it's not the strength it has been in recent years.
Really, that's the story of the Packers overall right now. They're above average, maybe good, but certainly not great, not yet.
Rodgers is great but hasn't reached last season's MVP production, and the run game has been mostly fine. Rodgers and Davante Adams are still an unstoppable connection at times, but the offense hasn't quite lived up to last year's high-roller status yet. The Packers rank eighth in Offensive DVOA, 10th in Passing DVOA and around league average running the ball.
The defense has been a bit disappointing, considering it was a potential strength.
Green Bay's run defense continues to be very leaky, and now the pass D looks suspect too. Star cornerback Jaire Alexander (shoulder) is out for the foreseeable future, and so is stud pass rusher Za'Darius Smith (back). Kevin King has also been nicked, so the secondary is beatable.
Green Bay hasn't faced an elite passing attack yet. The Bengals aren't that either but could provide a real test.
Bengals Defense Faces Legitimate Test
Green Bay is missing the bigger names, but Cincinnati has plenty of injury issues too.
The Bengals secondary is banged up too. Cornerbacks Chidobie Awuzie and Trae Waynes were both limited in practice and have been playing through injury, while star safety Jessie Bates looks set to return. This secondary is beatable, and Rodgers is certainly a guy who can beat it.
The Cincinnati run game is also in some trouble. It's missing two starters on the offense line and though Joe Mixon is questionable, it looks unlikely that he'll be ready to go on Sunday.
The Packers run defense is arguably the worst unit on the field in this one and certainly the easiest way to beat Green Bay. The Pack's run defense ranks 27th in DVOA, but the Bengals aren't ready to dominate in that area and keep Rodgers off the field.
The Bengals' best bet may have to be Joe Burrow and rookie Ja'Marr Chase beating Rodgers in a shootout. While the former LSU teammates have certainly put up some highlights so far this season, that does not sound like a contest Cincinnati wants to involve itself in.
The big surprise for the Bengals so far has been the defense. If you like Cincinnati in this one, that has to be the reason. The Bengals rank fifth in Defensive DVOA and sixth in run defense.
Beware, though — these defenses may not be as dominant as the metrics look. Cincinnati has played the Vikings, Bears, Steelers and Jaguars so far this season. Only Minnesota is even decent offensively, and was coming off a wonky COVID-filled preseason with little practice time together.
I'm not sold on this Bengals defense as any particularly great unit. The pass defense ranks just 11th, even against that weak competition, and these corners look ripe for the picking against Rodgers.
If Cincinnati's defense holds its own here against a potentially great offense, it will earn my respect. For now, I remain suspicious.
This line remains suspicious too. It felt suspiciously low at -3 on Sunday, and it sat there all week without budging when you just know everyone and their uncle is betting on Rodgers as a field goal favorite.
It's tough to talk yourself into the Bengals here unless you're just playing the numbers and contrarian angle, trying to outsmart the bookmakers.
I'm not falling for it. What would this line have been a month ago? The Packers would've been favored by a touchdown easily, maybe even double digits.
We're really going to make this a field goal instead because Cincinnati has beaten the Steelers and Jags? I don't buy it.
Aaron Rodgers is 54-29-1 against the spread (ATS) as a one-score favorite in his career. That's a 65.1% cover rate. And remember, that's even with the books pushing the line a little towards Green Bay as a public team and knowing you want to bet on Rodgers — and he's winning and covering anyway.
Still, the -3 stared at me all week and scared me a little, and there's no question that some of Green Bay's key names being injured lowers their ceiling. I'd feel even better about it if the number drops to -2.5. I mean, this is Aaron Rodgers! Relax. He can beat an average at best Bengals team by a field goal.
If you think the line is a little fishy and are worried about a late Packers field goal and a one- or two-point win, don't just play the moneyline. You can grab Green Bay to win by five or fewer points at +450 at FanDuel. I middled the Bucs against the Pats last Sunday night with that exact play, so if that's the game script you expect here, it's not a bad angle.
I trust Rodgers though, especially at -2.5 if it gets there. I'll gladly play the Packers to win and cover there, and I'll take the -3 too if I need to. If we lose the hook in the other direction, I probably stay away or nibble that +450 winning band.
R-E-L-A-X. Rodgers & Co. will get the job done against a Bengals team that probably isn't as good as their record.
Pick: Packers -3