Drew Brees and the Saints look to get back on track when they host Aaron Rodgers and the Packers on Sunday Night Football. Here’s a complete preview, including updated odds and our betting pick.
Green Bay Packers vs. New Orleans Saints
Sunday, September 27, 2020 – 08:20 PM EDT at Mercedes-Benz Superdome
The Numbers Don’t Lie
Time to bring in the quants. Comparing the following projections to the NFL odds will help us make the right choice:
FiveThirtyEight: Saints 53 percent
Equivalent Odds (using SBR’s Odds Converter): -113
The Saints opened as 3-point favorites; but over at FiveThirtyEight, they have the Saints as 1-point faves, leaving a 2-point gap between the projections and the actual NFL odds.
That 2-point difference is usually enough for us to not recommend opening up your wallet and/or purse and splashing some money around on the favorite. So what will it be, Human or Machine? Read on to find out.
Green Bay Packers
The Packers are playing incredibly well on offense. Aaron Rodgers and Aaron Jones are at their best and opposing defenses haven’t figured out a way to stop them after two weeks this season. Matt LaFleur’s offense is clearly experiencing a second-year jump. They showed flashes of this great play last year but this season it’s been more way more consistent and relentless.
Green Bay leads the league with 505.0 total yards per game. They’re the only team averaging over 500 yards. The Packers also lead the NFL, averaging 42.5 points per game and they’re fifth with 296.5 passing yards per game and first with 208.5 rushing yards per contest. The sample size is small and they could experience regression but it’s still very impressive.
Davante Adams has also looked unstoppable and luckily for them, his hamstring injury doesn’t seem to be a long-term concern. As mentioned before, Aaron Rodgers and Aaron Jones have been on fire. Rodgers has completed 50 of 74 passes for 604 yards, six touchdowns
New Orleans Saints
The Saints blew a 17-7 lead in Las Vegas and lost 34-24 against the Raiders. They only have themselves to blame. Committing over 100 yards in penalties cost them the game. Alvin Kamara was the only real bright spot for the offense. He ran for 79 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries and also caught nine passes for 95 receiving yards.
Tre’Quan Smith also played well with five receptions for 86 yards, helping replace Michael Thomas, who missed the game due to a high-ankle sprain. That said, the absence of Thomas was glaring. Taking one of the best wide receivers in the NFL out of a prolific offense has consequences. Drew Brees clearly had trouble maintaining consistent rhythm and Thomas’ mere presence makes Kamara, Smith and Emmanuel Sanders better because of the extra attention he draws from defenses.
The Packers have been close to unstoppable to start the season. Can they keep this up in New Orleans? There’s room for improvement and they do need to clean up their drops and get more production from their tight ends. Drew Brees will raise his level of play in Week 3 but the loss of Michael Thomas is significant. I like Rodgers and the Packers for my NFL picks.