No team in the NFC has been more consistent this decade than the Green Bay Packers as they have made the playoffs every year since 2009. Will that streak continue? Let’s break down the Packers’ 2017 schedule and their NFL futures odds.
The Green Bay Packers’ NFC North Division will play against the NFC South and the AFC North this season. The Packers won the North in 2016 at 10-6 and thus also play the other two first-place teams in the NFC outside of the South (Cowboys and Seahawks).
Green Bay’s 2017 strength of schedule is ranked as the 13th-easiest in the NFL as the Packers’ opponents had a combined 2016 winning percentage of .480 (122-132-2). A total of five playoff clubs are on the schedule, with division-rival Detroit twice. Teams visiting Green Bay next year finished with a combined record of 60-66-2 (.477) in 2016. Opponents that Green Bay will face on the road finished the 2016 regular season a combined 62-66 (.484). The Packers were 9-6-1 ATS last season, 5-2-1 ATS at home and 4-4 on the road.
For the second straight year, the Packers won’t play west of the Central time zone, so that’s a nice travel benefit. That said, the road schedule is a monster with trips outside the division to potential Super Bowl contenders Atlanta, Carolina, Pittsburgh and Dallas. The toughest home game likely will be the first one vs. Seattle. The Pack opened at -3 on NFL odds.
Of course the Packers won in Dallas in the divisional round last year, 34-31 in one of great playoff games in recent memory. Mason Crosby kicked a 51-yard field goal as time expired following an epic Aaron Rodgers-to-Jared Cook 36-yard pass. Green Bay lost in Atlanta in last year’s NFC title game 44-21 as Matt Ryan torched the Green Bay defense. That game was in the Georgia Dome. This season, the Falcons move to their new Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Cook is gone now, replaced by former Patriot Martellus Bennett. The Packers still may have to address their hole at running back after losing Eddie Lacy to Seattle in free agency. Do they believe former receiver Ty Montgomery can be an every-down back? The Packers are likely to target a running back in the draft but if they don’t get one they like, it’s possible the team could sign former Viking Adrian Peterson.
The Packers are +550 on 5Dimes NFL odds to win the conference title and +1150 for Super Bowl LII.