The Packers suffered the most significant NFL preseason injury so far with Jordy Nelson going down. Lets take a look at how this changes betting strategy on the Packers.
Packers Week 1
The Packers face the Bears in Week 1 and they’re a 6/6.5-point favorite on the road. However, the line didn’t change much after the Nelson injury, so that goes to show you what the odds makers and bettors think of the Bears. The Bears defense is deemed to be awful and Rodgers typically picks them apart. With a suspect secondary, the loss of Nelson shouldn’t be a huge issue in Week 1. Would you rather have him in the lineup if you’re laying a touchdown on the road? Of course. Will it deter bettors from taking who they view to be the significantly bettors team? Apparently not.
Packers Division Futures
The Packers are viewed as the best team in the division and a Super Bowl contender. However, this definitely drops them down a peg. If they were clearly the best team in the division before, now they are still ahead in the race but just by a nose. The Packers are deemed to be loaded at the wide receiver position where players like Davante Adams, Jeff Janis and Ty Montgomery are expected to breakout. If any of those emerge, the Packers might not really lose much of a step.
The Detroit Lions will be hot on their trails but they’re a team that has bigger flaws. And the Minnesota Vikings appear to be on the rise but they’re probably not ready to take the throne. The loss of Nelson definitely complicates things for the Packers and makes the race much closer, but this could present a good value opportunity to buy in on the Packers at a cheaper price to win the North.
Packers Regular Season Win Totals
The Packers win total is about 11 at most places and while this is a significant injury, it probably won’t change their NFL odds that much. Nelson is a huge loss but again, the Packers are deemed to be deep at the wide receiver position and we know that quarterback Aaron Rodgers can make almost any receiver look good. I liked the Packers regular season win total over when it was sitting at 9.5 as I view them as a 10-11 win team. However, with the value gone and the line at 11, I would avoid betting this line.
Packers NFC/Super Bowl Futures
This is the one area where I think the Nelson injury comes into play the most. While the margins inside the division aren’t that small, the margins to win a Super Bowl or even the conference are. We saw just how close the Packers came last season and that was with a fully-stocked roster. Now they are a significant brick short of a load and that’s going to come into play either in the NFC playoffs, Championship Game or Super Bowl. It’s just hard to look at the futures right now and place a serious bet on the Packers knowing the loss they just suffered.
If you still like Green Bay, you’re better off waiting to see how they handle this injury. If they look fine after the first few weeks and you still have confidence in them, then buy in then. Betting it now is too risky a proposition.