New England Patriots @ Green Bay Packers (-9.5, 40.5) – odds current as of writing
When & Where: 3:25 PM CST, Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI
Despite falling flat on player prop recommendations last week, we still hit a winner on the side with the Packers 14-12 victory over Tampa Bay, and our “lean” proved to be correct as the game stayed under the total. We can’t win them all unfortunately, but at least salvaged something out of last week. Let’s see if we can get back on track in week 4.
Patriots & Packers Current Form
New England enters week 4 with a record of 1-2. The Patriots dropped a hard-fought game to the Baltimore Ravens in week 3, 37-26. The big story coming out of that game was the injury to starting QB Mac Jones. He was helped off the field late with an ankle injury, and it seems unlikely he will play this week, although he hasn’t officially been ruled out as of writing. The Packers are 2-1 after consecutive wins over the Bears and Bucs. Week 3 was a grind in the Tampa heat, but the Packers emerged on top after stuffing a late Bucs 2-point conversion attempt to preserve a 14-12 win.
As noted above, the biggest injury news in this game surrounds Mac Jones. If he is unable to go, veteran journeyman Brian Hoyer will likely get the start at QB for the Patriots. DE Lawrence Guy has not practiced this week and seems in jeopardy of not playing Sunday. For the Packers, tackles David Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins continued their on/off days, but I would expect both to be active Sunday considering no setbacks were reported for either. CB Jaire Alexander did not practice Thursday with a groin injury, and I would not be surprised if Green Bay sits him this week considering the lack of bite in the Patriots passing game. WR Christian Watson returned to full participation Thursday after missing last week with a Hamstring injury.
Patriots/Packers Point Spread
Green Bay is currently favored by 9.5 points in this contest. This line is a bit inflated considering the Patriots quarterback situation. If Jones were healthy and playing, it would be around 7. There are many statistics suggesting we should take Bill Belichick as an underdog. However, a lot of those numbers are from when Tom Brady was in the building, and the Patriots had championship defenses. The 2022 Patriots roster simply is not that good. The Packers are probably the right side here even at a big number. As a disclaimer I will say if Mac Jones miraculously plays, that doesn’t change my opinion at all. Mac Jones on one leg and Brian Hoyer might as well be the same player.
All this said, my favorite point spread look is actually Packers -6 in the first half. Green Bay has come out of the gates hot in the last two games. Against Chicago, the Packers scored on 4 of 5 possessions and built a commanding 24-7 lead, before only managing a late field goal in the second half. Against Tampa, the Packers scored touchdowns on their first two possessions, and drove to the goal line before an Aaron Jones fumble on their third drive. Then in the second half, Green Bay didn’t score a single point. Bottom line, I trust the Packers to start fast again, and do not trust them as much to keep their foot on the gas in the second half to cover a big spread.
The Pick: BET Packers -6 (First Half), HARD LEAN Packers -9.5 (Full Game)
Patriots/Packers Total Points
The total for this game sits at 40.5. All three Packers games have stayed under the total so far. Under is probably the right look here again, but these totals are getting uncomfortably low. The Patriots will lean on their running game with their issues at quarterback, which generally helps an under as the clock keeps moving. Their offense also lacks explosiveness even when healthy. However, I do feel like a Packers offensive outburst is looming, and Sunday could be the spot for it. The weather looks perfect, and Green Bay’s defense should put the offense in good field position all game. When Aaron Rodgers gets hot, his offense can get close to 40 by themselves, and a Packers defensive touchdown is not out of the question this week.
The Pick: Pass (Soft Lean to the Under)
Patriots/Packers Prop Markets
Player props did not go well last week, and I will be treading lightly this week with only one bet. The Patriots surrendered a pair of receiving touchdowns to Ravens Tight End Mark Andrews last week, and one to Steelers TE Pat Freiermuth the week prior. I think this is the week Packers TE Robert Tonyan reaches the end zone. He hasn’t been much of factor in the Packers passing game so far, but he is a trusted target for Aaron Rodgers, particularly in the red zone. His snap counts have increased each week (22, 27, 36), and his red-zone usage is likely to go up in the coming weeks. I think he finds pay dirt this week.
The Pick: Robert Tonyan Anytime TD Scorer +175