NFL

Monday Night Football Betting: The Rodgers Rebound

Aaron Rodgers stoked many flames this offseason and keeping open the possibility of sitting out this season -- leaving Green Bay Packers without a whole lot of love this season (or a lot of Love, depending on how you see it). The way he, and the Packers as a team, played in week 1 against the New Orleans Saints didn’t do anything to extinguish those flames. The Detroit Lions are who we thought they were.

Here is how numberFire ranks each team heading into tonight’s game using our nERD metric and Net Expected Points (NEP):

Team nERD nERD Rank Off NEP Rank Def NEP Rank
Green Bay Packers -0.9 21 32 3
Detroit Lions -5.67 31 22 7

Packers and Lions With Forgettable First Games

The Lions may have covered the spread against the San Francisco 49ers last week (9.5 points) but that was in large part due to two very late touchdowns (with 2-pt conversions), so the -8 point differential is a bit misleading.

In looking into win totals before this season I calculated a time-adjusted point differential and regressed the time-adjusted value against the actual. The Lions had a time-adjusted point differential of -13.3 which, when using the regression model, is more representative of a 19-point loss rather than an 8-point defeat.

Interestingly enough, the Packer’s time-adjusted point differential was -15.2 and via regression is more like a 22-point loss. In short, the Lions loss and Packers loss were a lot more similar than the box scores imply.

Hopefully, you took the under on the number of bitten kneecaps by Lions’ players in Week 1.

Inside the Bets

Our models give a big edge to the Packers, as it has them winning outright 84.4% of the time and covering the 11.5 spread 51.5% of the time. Given each of those bets’ odds and implied probabilities, we don’t see much value in either side of those bets. per oddsFire.

However our model sees taking over 48.5 total points at -114 odds as the best value FanDuel Sportsbook, we see that as the bet to make when considering moneyline, spread, and over/under bets.

The Aaron Rodgers rebound game is real. Since he became the full-time starter in 2008, Rodgers has had 10 games with a passer rating under 60, with the tenth coming last week.

The other nine times he posted a sub-60 passer rating his averages in the following game: Rating - 118; Completions - 25.2; Passing Yards - 287, Passing Touchdowns - 2.87, Points Scored - 31.2

You may say “He had a really bad game. What if his passer rating was under 40?” While it’s a much smaller sample of three games here are his stat lines for those following games:

Attempts Completions Passing Yards Passing TD Passer Rating Points Scored
25 37 404 4 140 45
31 40 318 1 108 20
23 34 283 4 132 35


On FanDuel Sportsbook, Aaron Rodgers’ passing yards line is at 277.5 (over | -113) and his prop line for completions is 23.5 (over | -130). With implied probabilities of 53.1% and 56.5%, respectively, the above suggests that those are pretty safe bets.

While I like each of those props taking the over on his passing touchdown prop (2.5 | +116) is where I see the best value even given the volatility of predicting touchdowns.

Currently, the Packers’ point total sits at 30.5, and based on numberFire’s model and the data above, taking the over at -116 odds is a good value especially if you are worried about the Lions scoring enough to cover over on the game’s point total (48.5 | -114).

A Final Note

The Packers are 3-1 against-the-spread (ATS) in their final four home games in 2020, and Detroit was 1-2 ATS in their final three away games last season.