The Green Bay Packers were on the brink of making it to the Super Bowl last season when the Seattle Seahawks spoiled their party in the 4th Quarter of the NFC Championship Game at CenturyLink Field.
Green Bay certainly won’t be short of motivation this coming NFL Regular Season. And the organization locked up all the major players it needed to re-sign in the Offseason, so the Cheeseheads should be ready both Roster- and Motivation-wise. Let’s look at some Trends, potential losses on the schedule and Rookies on Green Bay and then offer up some picks on this elite NFL team which could eventually be NFL champions.
All the Pieces in Place For Another Run to NFC Title Game
It may be hard this coming 2015 NFL Regular Season for QB Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers (+650 to win Super Bowl, 888sport) to worry about fellow NFC powerhouses—the Seattle Seahawks (+450, bwin)—with some upstart teams in their own NFC North division like the Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings potentially improving so much. So how to upgrade an already Elite NFL team? By working on glaring weaknesses like Special Teams and Defense. So Packers General Manager Ted Thompson made it a big priority for Green Bay to get Defensive Backs—especially after seeing 7-year CB Tramon Williams test the Free Agent waters and sign with the Cleveland Browns while fellow CB Davon House also found his payday with the the Jacksonville Jaguars. So, Green Bay (13-5 SU overall) went out and signed Free Agent CB Sean Richardson (Raiders) and then selected FS Damarious Randall (Arizona State, 4.46 40-yard dash) and Rookie CB Quinten Rollins (Miami Ohio) with its first two Picks in Spring’s NFL Draft, helping ease the worries of 10th-year Head Coach Mike McCarthy (90-63-4 ATS) and providing some wonderful depth with CB Sam Shields, CB Casey Hayward, SS Morgan Burnett and FS Ha Ha Clinton Dix likely starters and Rookies Randall and Rollins, Richardson, FS Micah Hyde, CB Demetri Goodson, FS Chris Banjo, CB Kyle Sebetic and recently-signed CB Ryan White all providing some nice depth for the Packers (10-7-1 ATS overall). And CB Jarrett Bush—an Unrestricted Free Agent right now—could still remain a Packer after serving his 4-game Suspension to start the new season for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances, but with the team giving away his jersey number, drafting DBs and having so much depth at Cornerback and Safety, Bush’s days in Green Bay may be over.
Usually pretty boring in the Free Agency marketplace, the Packers (+350 to win NFC, Sky Bet) continued that trend, but did do a fantastic job re-signing vital cogs like star WR Randall Cobb, LT Bryan Bulaga, FB John Kuhn, backup QBs Scott Tolzien, DT Letroy Guion, LB Josh Francis and DT BJ Raji; adding some Free Agents like backup QB Matt Blanchard (Panthers) and aforementioned CB Richardson (Panthers); and, by drafting well, including getting another solid QB in UCLA’s Brett Hundley. The Packers (-300 to win NFC North, bet365) are really deep at the QB position with Rodgers, Tolzien, Blanchard and Hundley and it’s rare in the NFL for a team to have four decent guys at the spot although the latter three have things to prove and the current veteran starter probably deserves an adjective better than ‘decent.’ With future Hall of Fame QB Rodgers (34-18-3 ATS Home), workhorse RB Eddie Lacy (246 rushes, 1,139 yards, 9 TDs), WRs Jordy Nelson (98 receptions, 1,519 yards, 13 TDs) and Cobb (91 receptions, 1,287 yards, 12 TDs), this Green Bay team is loaded with talent on the Offensive side of the ball. Expect Alabama product Lacy (+1000, NFL Rushing Leader, 5Dimes) to soften up the opposing Defenses and the dynamic duo of Nelson (+800, NFL Regular Season Receiving Yards leader, 5Dimes) and Cobb (+2000, 5Dimes) to again record gaudy numbers catching the pigskin. Packers Head Coach McCarthy (101-55-1 SU) has everything he needs to repeat as NFC North (8/1 to win Super Bowl, 5Dimes) champions and Green Bay (6-0 Home, 9-3 vs. NFC) should be able to get back to the NFC title tilt again and improvements at DB and hopefully on Special Teams—where the Packers were absolutely pathetic in 2014—could get to Super Bowl 50 if everything goes right. One area the Packers (486 PF-248 PA) were great at last season was in Turnover Differential Margin, where Green Bay was a sexy +14 (27 Takeaways - 13 Giveaways=)—the best mark in the NFL. Teams that value the football go places and Rodgers makes few mistakes while the Packers Defense gobbles up Fumbles and Interceptions like they’re an integral part of their diet. The thought here? The Cheeseheads should improve on Defense, yet will still try to outscore opponents with their prolific Offense and will likely easily top the 500-point mark this season. If Green Bay doesn’t let NFC teams on the upswing like the Lions and Vikings mess with their mojo and can find a way to beat Seattle this season—the Packers can send a nice message when the two meet in Week 2 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay (Packers -2½, NFL Games of the Year, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook)—and find a way to earn that invaluable Homefield Advantage throughout the NFC Playoffs, then this could very well be the year of the Packers.
Packers QB Depth: Aaron Rodgers—Scott Tolzien—Matt Blanchard—Brett Hundley
Who’s New and Could Have an Impact? Free Agent CB Sean Richardson (Raiders), Rookie FS Damarious Randall (Arizona State), Rookie CB Quinten Rollins (Miami Ohio), Rookie WR Ty Montgomery (Stanford), Rookie OLB Jake Ryan (Michigan), Rookie QB Brett Hundley (UCLA), Rookie FB Aaron Ripkowski (Oklahoma), Rookie DE Christian Ringo (UL-Lafayette), Rookie TE Jennard Backman (UAB), Free Agent QB Matt Blanchard (Panthers), Undrafted Rookie WR Ed Williams (Fort Hays State)
Who’s Gone From the Roster Now? Free Agent CB Tramon Williams (Browns), Free Agent CB Davon House (Jaguars), Free Agent LB Jamari Lattimore (Jets), RB DuJuan Harris (Vikings), Free Agent WR Jarrett Boykin (Panthers), Free Agent QB Matt Flynn (Jets signed Tuesday), Unrestricted Free Agent CB Jarrett Bush, LB AJ Hawk (Released, now on Bengals)
Possible Losses on the Schedule: Week 2: vs. Seahawks; Week 8: @ Broncos; Week 9 @ Panthers; Week 11: @ Vikings; Week 13: @ Lions; Week 14: COWBOYS; Week 16: @ Cardinals
Some Good Potential Betting Spots in Regular Season: Betting on these Packers (17-7 ATS vs. NFC North L4 years) in Week 1 against the Bears in Chicago has been chirped about here, and the bettors agree, driving what was a 5-point opening point spread (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) all the way up to its current 6½ still 25 days away from the game. No doubt it (the point spread) keeps going that direction, and snagging Green Bay before it hits (minus) 7 is advised here as the Pack are a stellar 8-1 ATS L9 vs. Da Bears and 5-0 ATS L5 in the Windy City. And in Week 15, Green Bay heads to the O.co Coliseum in Oakland to face Rookie Amari Cooper and the Raiders in a game oddsmakers will have trouble making the visiting Packers more than and 8- or 9-point favorite. And Green Bay (5-1 ATS L6 vs. Raiders) should win by at least 10, with things not likely being clear in Week 15 and Wins as valuable as parking spaces in cities. With many recent, relevant Trends (see below) leaning Green Bay’s way, this is an easy team to pull the trigger on and the best advice if you want to bet Green Bay usually is to get to the number early, as the Week 1, Futures and niche Super Bowl Matchup markets show.
Sarcastic Green Bay Packers Super Bowl Matchup and Odds to Make You Smile: Green Bay Packers vs. New York Jets 121/1 (5Dimes)
Are There Any Good Packers Futures Bets Now? Even though it seems like the journey will be tougher this season, taking the Packers (12-4 SU) to go Over the posted 11 wins for their Regular Season Team Win Total (Under -150, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) appears prudent as this team has dominated this NFC North division both SU (20-4-1) and ATS (17-7) the L4 seasons. And as you can see above with the games where a Loss is considered a possibility in my mind, that only 7 games were candidates with 4 of them NFC Road dates Rodgers & Co. can potentially win (Panthers, Vikings, Lions, Cardinals) and a Home date against Tony Romo and the Cowboys at Lambeau Field in December where the Weather in Brown County, Wisconsin could be very advantageous to the homeboys without the zillion dollar stadium and mile wide TV inside. The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook NFL Games of the Year opened the Packers as 5-point favorites over Dallas for that high-profile December 13th NFC showdown in America’s Dairyland where Romo hails from (Burlington). At least it officially won’t be Winter yet?
Recent Relevant Trends: Packers 8-1 ATS L9 vs. Bears, 5-0 ATS L5 in Chicago, 3-1 ATS L4 at Home; Packers 6-2 ATS L8 vs Lions, 4-0 ATS L4 Home; Packers 5-1 ATS L6 Home vs. Vikings; Packers 3-1-1 ATS L5 Home vs. Seahawks; Packers 5-1 ATS L6 vs. Rams; Packers 6-0 ATS L6 vs. Chargers; Packers 3-0 ATS L3 vs. Broncos; Packers 5-2 ATS L7 at Carolina; Packers 3-1 ATS L4 vs. Cowboys; Packers 5-1 ATS L6 vs. Raiders; Packers 3-1 ATS L4 vs Cardinals; Packers 1-3-2 ATS L6 vs. 49ers; Packers 1-6 ATS L7 vs. Chiefs, 0-3 ATS L3 Home
Players to Watch: QB Aaron Rodgers, RB Eddie Lacy, WR Jordy Nelson, WR Randall Cobb, RT Bryan Bulaga, FB John Kuhn, TE Andrew Quarless, RB James Starks, TE Richard Rodgers, WR Davante Adams, LB Clay Matthews, FS Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, CB Casey Hayward, CB Sam Shields, SS Morgan Burnett, ROLB Julius Peppers, DE Mike Daniels, NT BJ Raji, Rookie FS Damarious Randall (Arizona State), Rookie CB Quinten Rollins (Miami Ohio), Rookie WR Ty Montgomery (Stanford), Rookie OLB Jake Ryan (Michigan), Rookie QB Brett Hundley (UCLA), Rookie FB Aaron Ripkowski (Oklahoma), Rookie DE Christian Ringo (UL-Lafayette), Rookie TE Jennard Backman (UAB), P Tim Masthay, PK Mason Crosby
Bet on Green Bay Packers in Regular Season: Week 1—on Road at Chicago (Packers 8-1 ATS L9 vs Bears, 5-0 ATS L5 in Chicago; Odds: Packers -6½, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook); Week 10—at Home vs. Lions (Packers 6-2 ATS L8, 4-0 ATS L4 in Green Bay); Week 15—on Road at Oakland (Packers 5-1 ATS L6 at Oakland)
Green Bay Packers Future Bets: Season Team Win Total Over 11 +130 (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook); Green Bay Packers-New England Super Bowl Matchup 18/1 (5Dimes)