This is probably the most intriguing NFL game of the season when it comes to the point spread. The betting market has spoken and downgraded Green Bay substantially after Aaron Rodgers’ broken collarbone. In comes Brett Hundley who has been a preseason star the last few months of August. I personally downgrade the Packers seven points, which would still only make the Saints a one-point favorite based off my numbers.
I explained in the beginning of this voice recording about why I like the Packers for the game so give it a listen:
The spread has dropped to +4.5 so I will make this pick official before it goes any lower.
In the voice recording I mentioned a few other games I liked with my favorite being Redskins plus the points on Monday night. I’m still waiting to see where the point spread goes but will tweet as soon as I think I’m getting the best number on Washington.
I’m still working on my power ratings and cheat sheet but there are five games that jump out to me that I wanted write about on Tuesday afternoon.
Bears at Packers -7 (-115)
I’ll start off by saying that I’m a Bears fan and have a strong dislike for the Packers. However, I have no problem picking against my favorite team in any sport if there’s value. In this spot I think there is tremendous line value on Green Bay. My numbers have the Packers six points better than the Bears on a neutral field. Add in home field and I would make this line Packers -9.5. Green Bay was an -11.5-point favorite on the look ahead line before Week 3 so another reason I believe there’s value. The other part of this handicap is the situation and matchup. Thursday night games are always tricky for me but I would give the Packers a significant edge here. Both teams won in overtime last week but Green Bay gets to stay at home. My initial thoughts on the matchups also favor the Packers. The way to beat Green Bay is attacking their secondary and Chicago isn’t equipped to do that. Mike Glennon threw for only 101 yards in Sunday’s win and a Bears wide receiver only caught one pass. There were 12 completions to the running backs and two to the tight ends. I usually don’t pick games this early in the week but I’ll make an official play on Packers -7 (-115).
Giants (+5) over Panthers: I think this is the week the Panthers lose. The Giants are getting way too many points at home and the Panthers are on the verge of locking up home field advantage in the NFC. Finishing 16-0 would be nice for the team but success in the playoffs is more important.
Packers (-3) over Raiders: I think this will be a high-scoring game as well so I have no problem with taking a road favorite at a field goal. The Raiders are coming off a big win over the Broncos last week and think they have a letdown especially on the defensive side of the ball. The Raiders offense will move the ball but think they lose by a touchdown.
Eagles (+4) over Cardinals: I think this is a field goal game either way and the Eagles are a much improved team with Sam Bradford at quarterback.
The only question in this game is how healthy is Aaron Rodgers? The Packers quarterback looked more comfortable as the game went on against Dallas but the Seahawks defense is much stronger the the Cowboys. I think there is a slight overreaction to this line with the Rodgers injury but don’t feel comfortable picking against Seattle at home. I would pass on picking this game but like the following props:
Aaron Rodgers UNDER 260.5 total passing yards: I think the Packers are going to run the ball early to make sure their defense stays off the field. Rodgers is banged up and the Seahawks have an elite secondary.
James Starks OVER 15.5 total rushing yards: This is a little risky because Starks is the backup but I think the Packers will need to use two running backs if they want to run the ball. Eddie Lacy was limited in practice earlier this week so there’s a better chance of Starks getting touches.
Marshawn Lynch OVER 87.5 total rushing yards: The Packers defense allowed 123 yards to an injured Demarco Murray last round. Lynch has 110 yards on 20 carries against the Packers in Week 1. Expect Lynch to have another 20+ carry, 100+ yard outing.
Luke Wilson OVER 27.5 total receiving yards and OVER 2.5 receptions: The Packers allowed six receptions and 71 yards to Jason Witten last week. I don’t trust the Seahawks wide receivers and Wilson is becoming a bigger part of Seattle’s offense.
Packers (-7.5) over Lions: I don’t think the Lions are a good team. They were on the right side of every close game and their only impressive win was back in Week 3 against the Packers. Since then Green Bay’s offense has clicked and they have become a force at Lambeau Field. They have scored 37 or more points in five of their last six homes games. The Lions strength is their defense but I still think the Packers can put up big numbers on Sunday. The Lions offense has struggled greatly with Matthew Stafford and center Dominic Raiola is suspended for the game. The NFC North and a first round is on the line, and Green Bay always seems to step up when some they need to. I think the Packers win in blowout fashion.
Under 48 in Raiders vs Broncos: The Raiders are coming off a win. The last two games following a win they scored a combined 13 points in the two contests. I don’t think they will score a lot in Denver, and the Broncos just want to win to clinch a first round bye. There isn’t an incentive for Denver to score a lot of points. They just need to take care of business and stay healthy.
Steelers (-3.5) over Bengals: Pittsburgh has won three straight games and clinched a playoff berth last week. Now they are playing in a primetime slot with the division on the line against Cincinnati. The Bengals also clinched a playoff berth last week after an hard fought win on Monday night against Denver. Now the Bengals have to come back on a short week to play the Steelers. I don’t think Cincinnati has much in them after defeating the Broncos. Andy Dalton had his best primetime game of his career and I wouldn’t count on him to have another strong national TV outing.