Sunday Night Football Betting: Can the Packers Get Things Figured Out?
Our nERD-based rankings show that the records likely can be thrown out the window; we rank Green Bay 10th best, while the Bears are only 24th.
Let's dive into some interesting betting angles for this contest.
Game Preview and Key Matchups
Last season, Aaron Rodgers was highly efficient under center, as he logged a mark of 0.28 Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per drop back a year ago -- the third-best clip among signal-callers -- on his way to 4,115 yards and 37 touchdowns.
His counterpart in his rookie season, Justin Fields, wasn't quote so stellar. He posted an unsightly -0.15 Passing NEP per drop back. You read that right -- they were actually worse every time Fields dropped back to pass. He tossed more interceptions (10) than he did touchdown passes (7) as the learning curve in his first season seemed to be pretty steep.
This seems to be a pretty significant mismatch at the quarterback position.
If we compare the running games, Green Bay features a two-headed monster in Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon that's pretty tough to beat. Both recorded positive Rushing NEP per rush marks, with Dillon (0.10) actually besting Jones (0.06). The two combined for over 1,600 rushing yards and nine scores.
For Chicago, this was primarily a one-man show in David Montgomery leading the charge for Chicago. With 224 carries as the primary toter of the rock, Montgomery ran for 846 yards and seven scores, albeit posting a -0.03 Rushing NEP per carry mark.
Both of these offenses rank in the bottom half of the league, so there's nothing exactly to brag about there. Chicago currently boasts the third-best defensive unit in the league, whereas Green Bay was pretty handily gashed consistently by Kirk Cousins and Dalvin Cook a week ago, currently ranking seventh-worst.
Bets to Consider
After a very unique Week 1, what do we see happening between these two teams this week?
The Packers opened as 9.5-point favorites, with the line dropping down to 8.5-points in some books but returning to that number.
We are projecting a 26.4-17.4 win for Green Bay, and we give the Packers only a 47.4% chance to cover that monster spread.
On the total, we have a heavy lean on the OVER as we project it to win out 56.2% of the time.
Comparing player prop lines to our player projections, betting the OVER on rushing yards on David Montgomery makes a lot of sense.
We project him for just shy of 64 yards, but the line sits at a tidy 46.5 yards. While the running back was stifled last week for only 26 rushing yards on 17 carries, keep in mind that the contest was played in a virtual monsoon. Last season, Montgomery only suited up once against Green Bay, logging 42 yards, but in 2020, he rushed for over 165 yards in two contests.
Historic Betting Trends
-- This series has been dominated by the Packers, with Green Bay winning the last nine games.
-- In their last 16 games as an underdog, Chicago has done a poor job covering the spread, going 4-12 ATS.
-- Green Bay has hit the over in their last six Sunday Night Football contests.