Thursday Night Football Betting: What Does Our Algorithm Say About the Undermanned Packers?
The Green Bay Packers hit the road to take on the Arizona Cardinals in a matchup of two teams that are smoking hot. These teams are a combined 13-1 heading into the game tonight, and the lone loss was the Packers' Week 1 no-show.
According to our nERD-based power rankings, the Cardinals are the best team in the NFL, but we're not as into the Packers, who we slot 12th.
The Cardinals are 6.5-point favorites, and the game has a 51.0-point total, per NFL odds.
Let's dive into what we think could be some interesting betting angles for this contest.
An Unbeaten Versus an Undermanned
This is a really fun showdown that we should get excited about -- but unfortunately, the Packers will be missing some key cogs, including receivers Davante Adams and Allen Lazard.
Aaron Rodgers will need to be at the peak of his powers for Green Bay to upset the unbeaten Cards.
On the year, the veteran signal-caller is rocking a mark of 0.22 Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per drop back -- well above last season's league average of 0.09 NEP. He's been incredible yet again, throwing for 15 touchdowns and three interceptions. Dude is a stud. Our per-play metrics have the Pack as the sixth-best offense.
For the Cardinals, Kyler Murray has been absurd. He's posted a downright silly clip of 0.36 Passing NEP per drop back, which is second in the league, trailing only Matthew Stafford (0.51). It's no surprise that Murray and the Cards rank as the fifth-most efficient offense, and Kyler has already amassed more than 2,000 combined yards this year between passing and running.
On the ground for Arizona, Chase Edmonds and veteran James Conner have combined for 726 rushing yards, proving to be a nice tandem. For the Packers, with said wide receivers out, it's no secret that Aaron Jones (404 rushing yards and 26 catches) will be a big part of the offense tonight.
In terms of pace, both teams sit in the bottom eight.
Bets to Consider
As I mentioned at the start, the Cardinals are 6.5-point favorites, and the total is 51.0 points, according to NFL odds.
Our model sees a little value in the underdog Packers.
We are projecting this to be a 28.26-22.96 win for the Cards, so we have Green Bay covering 55.9% of the time. It's not much, but it's something.
The moneyline is the same story. While we have Arizona winning, a little bit of value lies with Green Bay. The Packers are +235 to win, which implies win odds of 29.8%. We give them a 32.4% chance to win outright
Our projected total is 51.22, so we think the 51.0-point total is spot on.
In the player prop market, we gotta smash the over on the Aaron Jones receiving yards prop. The line is 33.5 yards at FanDuel Sportsbook. Who else is Rodgers going to consistently throw to? We have Jones projected for 42.4 receiving yards.
Historical Betting Trends
-- Green Bay has been awesome in primetime, going 8-1 against the spread in their last nine such games.
-- Arizona has covered in their last five outings.
-- The over has hit only two times in the last nine games between these two teams.