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Early Odds Favor Packers

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Early Odds Favor Packers

It's that time of year again!  Early May when rookie mini camp is over and the full team gathering hasn't taken place yet.  There's not much Green Bay Packers news out there right now but low and behold, Las Vegas recently released their way-too-early odds for the 2017 season.

Obviously with an entire offseason and preseason before the season starts, much can change.  Injuries or off field issues can strike at any time.  The Packers may also still look to add more veteran talent to their roster.  It's still nice to get some type of early gauge on how the "experts" see the 2017 team.

The first set of odds predicted the Packers win total this upcoming season, also known as the over/under.  That number is 10.  No surprise there, as how often do we hear the narrative-based comment that "Aaron Rodgers will get the Packers 10 wins by himself"?  

The second set the early point spread in every week with the exception of week 17.  The Packers are favored in 13 of 16 games.  Their three toughest games (at least now, on paper) are their toughest road games, based on last year's results.  

The Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers are given a slight edge as of today, at three points each.  

Pittsburgh is easy to understand.  An unfamiliar opponent on the road and assuming the Steelers are contenders, as usual.  Dallas is interesting as yes, they were the NFC's number one seed last year, but the Packers knocked the Cowboys out of the postseason in their own building.  Perhaps Vegas is betting that eventually Dallas has to win this match up at home?

Atlanta's edge is only 2.5 points, which home teams are automatically given when calculating the total spread.  Vegas currently sees that game as a push.  It's in week two and the Falcons will still be riding the momentum of a Super Bowl appearance last season.  A big road win would push Green Bay to the top of the NFC heap early on.

The Packers came out as road favorites against the Minnesota Vikings and Carolina Panthers.  The Vikings didn't finish 2016 strong at all and the Packers are clearly the better team but road games in Minnesota are never a given.  Carolina is usually a tough road game but last year's Panthers left licking their wounds more often than not.

Odds weren't given for week 17 when the Packers are at Detroit but if they had, I'm guessing Green Bay is at least a slight favorite.  Green Bay's biggest spread is their December 10th game at Cleveland, where the Packers are 9.5 point favorites.  No surprise Green Bay is favored, but it's still a road game late in the season against an unfamiliar opponent.  Eh, it's the Browns, they probably got that one right.

These odds don't sound too different from the past few seasons where, once again, the Packers have a good chance of putting up at least 10 wins and have an outside chance of winning as many as 12 or 13.  As with every season, the Packers have their eyes set on the NFC's number one seed and that is likely to take at least 12 wins, based on historical average.

Your turn to chime in with your thoughts on the Packers win total in 2017 and the way-too-early-odds in each week.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (54) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Bearmeat's picture

Assuming they blow a stupid game they should win, (which happens to every NFL team almost every year), the tale of the season will be learned in the 3 road games they are not favored in. Win 2 of them and home field is highly probable. Win 1, and it'll come down to another tight NFCN division race and probably the 4-5 seed.

Right now, personally, I'm thinking they lose @ ATL and @PIT and win @ DAL. But there's a LONG way to go before we ge there.

dobber's picture

I would say lose ATL and DAL and win at PIT, but that's just me.

chugwater's picture

I still think 12-4 overall.

Losses:

- DET, away
- PIT
- Tampa, a team that takes a big step up this year
- CIN, our annual clunker

This is more spitballing than anything. Season always has unexpected twists and turns, but I do expect GB to be competitive barring injury to AR.

Nick Perry's picture

The Packers HAVE to have a little luck on the injury reports this season, if there was ever a team that was due some luck it's the Packers. IF that was to happen I could see 12-4, possibly 13-3.

I really hate the Atlanta game in week 2. Hanging their banner while opening a new stadium which is their home opener on national television? S***!!

The other games I'm a little concerned about is Pittsburgh and maybe Dallas. Going to Pittsburgh late in November playing on THAT field is a scary thought. Players complain about the turf at Heinz Field all the time. Maybe more than a win I want the Packers to come out of that game healthy.

Dallas won't be 12-4 this season, not with a bunch of Rookies playing in the secondary. They might begin to gel later in the season but not by week 5. "Jerry's World" is our house, the Packers are 3-0 in that stadium. They'll be 4-0 after this season. The offense will hang 40 on the Cowgirls.

Barring a slow start or more than one Brain Fart game I think 12-4 is pretty realistic.

RCPackerFan's picture

'I really hate the Atlanta game in week 2. Hanging their banner while opening a new stadium which is their home opener on national television? S***!!'

This will be the 2nd year in a row that they go on the road in week 2 and open an opponents brand new stadium.

Tundraboy's picture

Like you're thinking NP. And as for luck in general, if there was ever a team that was due, it is us. Hoping we have health and a huge impact year 1 from a draft pick and solid contributions from a few more.

Nick Perry's picture

Amen to that TB!!

jeremyjjbrown's picture

I love it. Tough gigs are what this team needs. They've come a long way but they are still not hard enough.

chugwater's picture

Hopefully, the new stadium and fanfare will be more of a distraction for ATL than a boost to their play.

dobber's picture

SuperBowl hangover...

RCPackerFan's picture

With Rodgers as QB, you can pretty safely guess they will be 10-6 to 12-4 when all said and done.

This year the biggest key is health. If this team can stay healthy I think they will be at least 12-4.
The schedule with how its laid out is much better then last years. They have the week 8 bye vs week 4. They don't have any 3-4 game road trips like they had 2 times last year.

IMO, they made 3 moves in the offseason that I think will make them better then last year.

First they signed 2 really good TE's. We have seen what the offense is like with 1 good TE and what effect Cook had on the offense when he played vs not playing. Now they have 2 TE's that will definitely help the team.

Second drafting King and bringing House in at CB. Losing Shields was equivalent to losing Nelson the year before. The impact it had on our defense was obvious. House, is very good as a bump and run CB. Packers have been lacking that. King brings size and speed that they haven't had.

Third the new look at RB. While they lack experience the 1 position that is easiest for Rookies to come in and make an impact is RB. Adding Williams, Jones and Mays in the draft and Philips and Stanback as UDFA's will create a great competition this preseason.
They will compliment Montgomery really well. Williams and Jones could have a huge impact on the offense.

Montgomery is being forgotten about a bit as we talk about all these rookie RB's. Last year PFF showed a great stat about Ty. When running outside the tackles, he averaged 7.05 yards after contact. The next closest was Jay Ajayi with 4.25, followed by Mike Gillislee at 3.78.
With the new look at RB, our offense could more versatile then its ever been.

Spock's picture

RCPF: your point on the bye week is spot on. That 16 games after the early bye was brutal. Interesting that the NFL decided to make the earliest bye week in week FIVE this year. Maybe they saw how unfair that was (or maybe not)!

chugwater's picture

The only question marks that remain are Fackrell, Elliott, and Biegel. If they can contribute to the pass rush then this team could beat anyone anywhere.

Handsback's picture

I think 13-3 is the realistic record, but why not wait until we get closer to the season starting point? That way, we'll know who is available.
A few breaks and this team could be 14-2 or break the other way and its 12-4.

dobber's picture

I like your optimism. We can talk about 12 and 13 wins, but we've seen with this team in recent years that a lot has to go right to get to 11. I would argue that 11 wins tells you that the team has been pretty healthy and playing well...

RCPackerFan's picture

Honestly, a lot has to go wrong for this team to get to 10-6 or worse also...

Look at all the injuries the last 2 years. Both seasons they finished 10-6. They were mostly healthy in 2014 and were 12-4.

Their record will be determined by how healthy they are.

Finwiz's picture

Just assume they will have major injuries, and you will have a 90% probability of being correct.
Being correct is a good thing.
What's the over/under on the number of starting, or key players, that have major injuries and are lost for the season, or at least 6 games? I'll go with FOUR.

dobber's picture

I think that number (4) would apply broadly to 31 other teams, too.

Ferrari Driver's picture

To make a guess on the number of wins is out of my league, but overall, I think the Packers will be in every game. The primary area of concern for me is the situation with the edge rush. If, as McCarthy, has indicated that Mathews remains on the outside, I fear that as a minimum his hamstring will be a problem again. He is getting older now and that initial quickness he demonstrated in his early years is gone. He is a great effort guy and I think his best position to minimize injuries and maximize longevity would be inside. While I like King as a pick, I think if the Packers could have added McKinley, it would have improved the defense noticeably and helped the secondary more that most of us would imagine.

My hope is for the Packers to get into the playoffs and be relatively healthy and take it from there. Very good chance of that happening.

egbertsouse's picture

The Packers have 2 things going for them: They have Aaron Rodgers and they play in that train wreck of a division called the NFC North, so I can't envision them not winning 10-12 games. Of course, injuries could throw everything out the window.

(I wonder if TT and MM would still be "geniuses" if the Pack played in the NFC West or AFC East? They wouldn't have that automatic division title and playoff appearance just about every year.)

cheesehead1's picture

Winning the division is no guarantee. We should, but remember that the Vikings were decimated by injuries last season. Looking forward to seeing a big improvement in our D.

Bearmeat's picture

The ONLY way the Vikings compete for the division (or anyone for that matter, remember, the Leos were 9-1 in 1 score games last year), is if GBs pass D gets no better AND if Minny's OL gets a TON better.

Survey says: NOT LIKELY. :)

L's picture

The Packers should be a lock for 9-10 wins (minimum) as long as health; specifically, QB health isn't an issue. **knocks on wood**

JohnnyLogan's picture

We have this same thread every year, trying to predict how many wins we'll have, when we all know we'll get 10-12 because of weak division and Aaron Rodgers. And then the playoffs and truth sets in. We are a team that plays to make the playoffs, not win them. Yes, I know, the idea is to get to the playoffs and then anything can happen. I just don't buy that. You need a great defense in the playoffs in order to beat four of the best teams in the league to make the SB, and we don't and won't because we have Dom Capers directing our defense. Until Capers and his rush two, leave the middle of the field open, nonsense prevent defensive schemes is gone, it'll be deja vu all over again. I love watching the Packers, despite Capers, but with an all time QB like Rodgers, to win only one SB, and not really feel like we could win another because of Capers and his defense, is frustrating. How many of you really think Capers is capable of directing a SB defense. Be honest.

RCPackerFan's picture

'How many of you really think Capers is capable of directing a SB defense. Be honest.'

Being honest. If the players are healthy, I believe they can be good enough to win a Super Bowl. If Sam Shields career doesn't end last year, I think they had a good chance to go to the Super Bowl. He was infact the 1 player they couldn't afford to lose.

IMO for the Packers to win a Super Bowl they need their defense to be top 16. I believe that's achievable. With the additions at CB and adding more speed to the defense, I really think that will go a long ways to improving the defense.

They got to the NFC Championship game last year with a not very good defense last year, which was mostly from the CB play. The CB's won't be worse then last year, and adding 2 players should really improve the unit.
Also we should see a lot of young players taking a step next year. Maybe not everyone, but guys like Clark, Lowry, Martinez, Fackrell should all be better. Also Randall and Rollins returning healthy, and improvements from Brice and others our secondary should be better.

dobber's picture

"He was infact the 1 player they couldn't afford to lose."

If we could see that, and we all know that Shields never plays a full season, what it tells us is that either the coaches/management had significant faith in the abilities of Randall/Rollins or that they decided that they were going to roll the dice. I'm going to live in a world of option #1.

"Also we should see a lot of young players taking a step next year. Maybe not everyone, but guys like Clark, Lowry, Martinez, Fackrell should all be better."

In a sense, this is Shields/Randall/Rollins again at DL/Edge. Either they really like what they think they can do with the pieces on hand, or they're rolling the dice...with oft injured pieces playing major roles. If the defense fails in 2017, this is where it will happen.

Bearmeat's picture

Dobber bringing the truth smack down.

RCPackerFan's picture

The problem last year wasn't that we just lost Shields. But at the same time Randall, Rollins were also hurt. Down the stretch we had to use guys like Hawkins, Goodson and others to play CB.

My greatest concern for the defense this year is the OLB/pass rushing depth. Perry and Mathews do get hurt a lot. And the depth behind them are all young guys that haven't proven themselves yet. They are relying on young guys to step up and play well.

This being said, they lost Peppers and Jones. Jones simply wasn't a good fit for the defense and Peppers was 'getting long in the tooth'. He made plays occasionally but wasn't the same player as he once was. Peppers at 39 still better then Fackrell/Elliott/Biegel? I would say probably not. And i don't think there is that much of a drop off from Jones to those 3 either. Honestly I thought Elliott was deserving more time already. He always made plays when on the field.

I get the concern, but the truth is you can't sign everyone, and sometimes you have to rely on young players.

To help cover the OLB's they really bolstered their DL. They currently are 6 deep and strong on the DL. If they have to they can play with more 4 DL if needed.

DesertPackFan's picture

Goodson was hurt and was out for the year by wk 12. They didn't even have him down the stretch or the playoffs.

RCPackerFan's picture

Correct.
That really shows how bad the CB position was last year.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

We have AR, Perry and Nelson as players we can't afford to lose. Figuring among the players that would really hurt are Bennett, Bakh, Daniels, and Linsley.

vj_ostrowski's picture

"How many of you really think Capers is capable of directing a SB defense?"

It's not like he hasn't done it before.

Can we be critical of Dom Capers without speaking in utter fallacies to inflate the point we're trying to make?

RCPackerFan's picture

Just like a conversation I had with my dad a while back.

He said the Packers will never win a super bowl with Thompson as their GM...
So I simply said, "Besides the one they won with Thompson as their GM". He looked dumbfounded and then says. Yeah well they won't win another one...

So my question to him was, why do you have to twist your original comment to make yourself not look wrong.

JohnnyLogan's picture

One SB with Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre as our QB's, and the main reason has been the D. If not for an ankle tackle by Bishop and a punt return by Desean Jackson we don't win that one. And yes, when we're loaded with All-pros on D like Collins and Wood and better than what we have at ILB like Bishop, and CB's in their prime like Tramon and Harris, than Capers did in fact win a SB. Otherwise, our D has helped players set all time records against us. I'd list them but I think you already know. At the moment, how many All pro players do we have on D? Anyone? That is why Capers will shit the bed again. The talent is either old and hurt (Mathews) or young (all our CB's) or average (our ILB). He can't win with that. Someone else might at least make it respectable. Not Capers. He's proven it. BTW, I'm a strong lifelong fan. Being critical of Capers doesn't negate that. If anyone wants to counter, feel free. Won't upset me. It's just my opinion that he's kept us from at least two other SB's. With a assist to TT.

Since '61's picture

I'm not a big Capers fan but I do think that he can direct a SB defense if he has the players. He did it when he had Woodson, Collins, Shields, Jenkins, Pickett, Raji, Tramon Williams, CM3 and AJ Hawk healthy and playing well. In fairness he has not had that high level of players since the 2010 season. We should not have let Jenkins go, Collins was lost to injury, Williams never recovered from his nerve injury, Raji went downhill, etc.... My problem with Capers is that I don't see much passion from the defense. There have been times when an infusion of nasty attitude would help this defense. Capers also makes many questionable calls late in the game with the pass rush. For some reason he rushes only 2 DLs just when you would want to put heavy pressure on the QB and force him into a mistake. Also, it seems like our opponents are expecting our blitzes and they rarely get to the QB. We don't need a great defense but we need a defense that can consistently get off the field on 3rd downs and make stops late in a game to hold a lead. If we can do that our offense will take care of the rest. Thanks, Since '61

DesertPackFan's picture

Defense is about having playmakers. Players not plays... Like any DC he looked great when he had great players. And like every other DC he looks terrible when he doesn't have playmakers.

IMO on offense you can scheme to create opportunities if you have a great QB. But on D you need a playmaker on every level. A DL and OLB, a Safety and CB.

chugwater's picture

Exactly.

Many claim that Packers haven't won another SB because TT doesn't get the personnel and DC doesn't coach a worthy defense. That completely overlooks the 2014 and 2015 seasons.

We had a SB caliber team in 2014, but choked in the now infamous NFCCG vs Seattle. The defense gave the offense plenty of opportunities to win the game earlier (and late!), but neither the offense nor the special teams were able to play well enough to win. Yet, no one on this site condemns MM not making a second Super Bowl berth.

In 2015, it was the defense that bailed them out of ball games while the offense sputtered.

I just wish fans would look at the entire body of work...not just the facts that support a predetermined point of view.

RCPackerFan's picture

I completely agree..

Its easy to point fingers at a certain person. I mean look at the Chicago Cubs and Bartman... They can blame him all they want, but the players still had to make the plays, or in their case mess them up.
yeah its easy to blame one person for something that goes wrong, but is it really correct thing to do...

chugwater's picture

JL...Why only complain about the playoff defense when they've actually been pretty decent the last three years?

2016 - Agree, the defense was horrible in Atlanta due to the secondary. However, the defense kept the game close early against the Giants while the offense sputtered. They also kept the Dallas juggernaut at bay while the offense got off to an early lead. While not a great defense, I'd say the coaching was very competent.

2015 - Held ARZ to 10 points through the third quarter in the division round and only 20 points through the fourth. That's solid defense. (And they win that game if the secondary catches any number of INTs they dropped. But, that's players playing in my opinion, not coaching.)

2014 - Defense played extremely well early...and late with the Burnett pick. They weren't perfect, but if the offense scores in the red zone, ST prevents the TD on the fake FG, or we recover on onside kick we go on to play NE who we already beat earlier in the year.

Lphill's picture

I think those 3 road games mentioned are winnable , I would like to see the Packers beat Atlanta more so than Dallas and Pitt , but all are winnable , the Packers should fear no one , our offense is loaded and should be able to score at will , all we need is a defense to make a few more stops, we don't need a number 1 defense we just need a better defense from last season and I think we will have it.

cheesehead1's picture

Agree, but I think we need a big improvement on D. I'm cautiously optimistic, but time will tell.

TXCHEESE's picture

NFC West and AFC East? Rams and 9'ers? Jets and Buffalo? 4 guaranteed wins in either of those divisions. We wiped the floor with Seattle last year and I expect the same this year. While the NFCN is not a murderer's row, it has better overall talent than either of those two divisions

Ben Pearson's picture

S/O Aaron Rodgers for once again guaranteeing us a play off spot. Can't praise/overlook his greatness enough.

S/O TT and our defense for once again making my stomach turn thinking about the playoffs.

dobber's picture

I have serious concerns about the defense, but until we see how the pieces fit together, how some guys have used their off-seasons, and how players respond to competition it's hard to know what to expect. There's significant turnover in the two-deep this off-season. It's going to be a new beast...I just can't say whether we're going to like the new beast.

RCPackerFan's picture

I'm not as concerned, but I do have concerns...

Honestly what concerns me more then anything is the injuries. Something we can't control and something that we have seen ruin our last 2 seasons...

Samson's picture

You sure 'love' the injury excuse.
In fact, any excuse seems to work for you.
In your eyes the Pack are the best team in the NFL, year in and year out. (You need to try realism)

RCPackerFan's picture

Your back? Yay.

cheesehead1's picture

Injuries are inevitable. Hopefully this season will bring us a more manageable number. Like everyone, I like the rookies we drafted but until we see them in action, who knows.

Keyonta Selfsufficient's picture

Ill take the late odds.. hopefully we can be 2-4 in MM era in NFC championships and 2 super bowls

Otto's picture

I think the story of the season will be written with how fast Bennett, Kendricks, King and Jones assimilate to their positions.
I think the offseason additions to this offense could make it REALLY good. They may need to win shootouts until the D rookies catch on.
12-4ish
(the Bengals seem to trip the Pack up, don't sleep on them)

Tundraboy's picture

True but our injuries always involve the worst possible player at the worst time possible. Key players. Collins, Finley, etc.

Samson's picture

If AR stays healthy for the entire season, the Pack will win 9 or 10 games. They will secure the North Division because the Bears, Lions and Vikes will once again play like $hit. -- Then the Pack will lose in either round 1 or 2 of the playoffs because the "D" will once again be exposed for being an inept part of the team.

Same game and team, just a different year.

cheddarhead's picture

COW probably thinks we r a 8-8 team.

dobber's picture

If so, then Cow's put on his happy hat.

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