I don’t know how in the world I’m going to be able to keep up so many daily and weekly features, but here goes. Throughout the course of the season I’m going attempt to highlight the betting lines for every Packers game, both against the spread and the over/under. I’m going to make the case for each possibility, then choose one of each, and track my winnings (or losings) for every game. Here goes…
(For what it’s worth, I’ll be using Danny Sheridan’s lines.)
Line: Packers -4.5
- Bet the Packers: The Packers have so much talent returning this season, it borders on ludicrous. Even better, every impact player is healthy and ready to defend their Super Bowl title from a year ago. The Pro Bowl talents on the team is extensive: Aaron Rodgers, Greg Jennings, Donald Driver, Chad Clifton, Charles Woodson, A.J. Hawk, Tramon Williams and Nick Collins. And that doesn’t even include guys on the cusp of making the Pro Bowl like Josh Sitton, Jermichael Finley and B.J. Raji. This team is young and talented, more so than the Saints.
- Bet the Saints: The Saints had their Super Bowl hangover a year ago, now it’s the Packers’ turn. The Saints, led by Drew Brees, are hungry… as evidenced by all the time they spent practicing as a team during the offseason. It’ll pay dividends, along with the free agent acquisitions they made during the offseason, especially along the defensive line where Shaun Rogers and Aubrayo Franklin join Sedrick Ellis to form an impenetrable front. Combine that with a talented stable of running backs and a Packers defense that’s better defending the pass than they are the run, and the Saints can at least beat the spread if not beat the Packers altogether.
Final decision: Bet the Saints. I actually think the Packers will win, but it’ll be by less than 4.5 points.
Over/under: 48 points
- Bet the over: There’s a reason this game has the highest point total of any in the NFL in Week 1. These are two explosive offenses. The Packers were a passing juggernaut a season ago with Greg Jennings, Donald Driver, Jordy Nelson and James Jones. Now add in Jermichael Finley, Randall Cobb and two running backs that will rotate and keep each other fresh, and the offense might be nearly unstoppable. The weapons at Drew Brees’ disposal is almost as lethal. There will be so many kickoffs this game, you’ll lose count.
- Bet the under: Sure the quarterbacks are talented, but so are the defenses defending the pass. Last year, the Packers defense finished first in the NFL in opponent passer rating (67.2), second in interceptions (24), tied for second in sacks (47) and fourth in passing TDs allowed with 16. The Saints, meanwhile, allowed the fewest passing touchdowns in the NFL in 2010 with only 13. Plus, Drew Brees threw 22 interceptions last year. And Aaron Rodgers might go to the well one too many times if the Packers running game can’t get going. No one’s saying this will be a 10-7 game, but it’s not going to approach 35-30 either.
Final decision: Bet the under. There’s too much defensive talent on both sides of the ball for this game to be a shootout that goes approaches 50 points or more.