Life without Aaron Rodgers begins for the Green Bay Packers with a home game against the New Orleans Saints. Game time is 1:00 EST on Sunday, October 22 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The game is available on Fox.
Without Rodgers, oddsmakers have made the Saints 6-point favorites on the road. The over/under for the game is set at 48 points. Click here for a full list of the Week 7 betting odds and links to more game previews.
Saints vs Packers Vegas Betting Line & Game Preview
With Rodgers getting knocked out last week against the Vikings, the Packers had trouble getting much going offensively last week, especially on the road. Brett Hundley came off the bench but was just 18 for 33 passing the ball with three interceptions and four sacks. Obviously, the Packers are hopeful that with a full week of practice, Hundley will be better prepared to step in for Rodgers against the Saints.
As for New Orleans, after starting the season 0-2, the Saints have won three in a row and are officially rolling on offense. Drew Brees and company put up 52 points last week against the Lions. The Saints are averaging better than 35 points per game during their winning streak, giving them the 4th best scoring team in the NFL.
The most surprising thing about the Saints surging recently is that it’s not just Brees, who threw for less than 200 yards last week against the Lions. Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara are becoming a feared tandem coming out of the backfield, giving the New Orleans offense great balance.
Free NFL Betting Prediction: Packers +6
Everyone is going to jump off Green Bay’s bandwagon with Rodgers hurt. But I won’t be so hasty. A 6-point spread for a road team going into Green Bay feels like a lot. The Packers are far from a one-man team, and at Lambeau Field, I expect them to keep the game close and at least beat the spread.
The 52 points the Saints scored last week looks impressive, but it was helped along by five Detroit turnovers. That stat will be hard to replicate this week, even against an inexperienced quarterback. The Green Bay defense is middle of the pack, but at home, the Packers are allowing just over 15 points per game this season. The Pack will have a plan for how to slow down Brees and company to keep the game from getting out of hand.
Click on the link for more free NFL betting predictions from our experts on staff.
On the other side of the ball, I have to believe that Mike McCarthy will have a game plan that will fit Hundley’s skill set. Keep in mind that he has less than 50 career pass attempts, including the 34 he had last week, so there’s not a lot of film on him. McCarthy will find a way to use that to his advantage and put Hundley in a position to succeed.
Plus, it’s not as if the New Orleans defense is a dominant unit. Even with five turnovers and five sacks last week, the Saints still gave up 38 points at home. Even after shutting out the Dolphins a few weeks back, the Saints only rank 21st in the NFL in points allowed. The Packers may even have a chance to get their struggling rushing attack going in the right direction against a questionable New Orleans defense.
Bottom line: Hundley coming into the game after Rodgers got hurt is different from McCarthy having a week to game plan with Hundley in mind. The Packers will do enough offensively to stay in this game, and I can’t swallow that many points for a road team in Green Bay.