Matchups Week 4: Patriots at Packers

Aaron Rodgers vs. Patriots

New England Patriots (1-2) at Green Bay Packers (2-1)

Opening Spread: Packers -10.5

Opening Game Total: 41

Opening Team Totals: Packers (25.75), Patriots (15.25)

Weather: Outdoors, no concerns

The Line Report

  • This line opened between Packers -10 and Packers -10.5.
  • This line has moved down to Packers -9.5 as of Friday afternoon.
  • DraftKings Pick’Em has the Packers -9.5.
  • Circa Sports Millions Pro Football Contest has the Packers -9.5.
  • This total opened between 41 and 41.5 points.
  • This total has moved down to 39.5 points.

Notable Injuries

Packers: IR: Sammy Watkins; Questionable: Allen Lazard, LT David Bakhtiari, RT Elgton Jenkins, CB Jaire Alexander
Patriots: Out: QB Mac Jones, DL Lawrence Guy; Questionable: WR Jakobi Meyers, NT Davon Godchaux, CB Jalen Mills, S Kyle Dugger

The Packers Offense vs. Patriots Defense

At full strength, Green Bay’s offensive line has a significant trench advantage against the Patriots’ front. Barring a setback, we can reasonably expect Elgton Jenkins to play this week. Left tackle David Bakhtiari is more of a question mark.

Notes and Observations

  • The Packers are 2-1 against the spread this season.
  • The Packers are 0-3 on overs this season.
  • Per The Edge, Aaron Rodgers is 21st in yards passing and 12th in yards per attempt.
  • Among running backs Aaron Jones is 11th in yards rushing while teammate A.J. Dillon is 27th. Jones is 14th in yards receiving while Dillon is 22nd among running backs.
  • New England has yielded the sixth-fewest yards rushing but the eighth-most yards receiving to running backs this season.
  • Four Packers wide receivers have a target share between 11% and 18%. However, with Sammy Watkins and Christian Watson out last week, Romeo Doubs took a step forward.
  • Our Nic Bodiford did a deep dive on Romeo Doubs.
  • New England has shut down enemy wide receivers, allowing the third-fewest yards receiving on the third-fewest receptions to the position.
  • Robert Tonyan is second on the Packers in target share (15.1%).
  • The Patriots have allowed the 15th-most yards receiving to tight ends on the ninth-most receptions. A big portion of that production came from Mark Andrews last week.

The Patriots Offense vs. Packers Defense

This is a strength vs. strength type of matchup in the trenches where there is no significant macro edge for either side.

If Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander suits up for this contest, New England’s group of role players at wide receiver could struggle to create windows against Green Bay’s secondary.

Notes and Observations

  • The Patriots are 0-2-1 against the spread this season.
  • The Patriots are 1-2 on overs this season.
  • Mac Jones will miss this contest with a high ankle sprain.
  • Per The Edge, Damien Harris is 21st in yards rushing and teammate Rhamondre Stevenson is 25th among running backs.
  • Our Nic Bodiford did a deep dive on Rhamondre Stevenson.
  • The Packers have allowed the tenth-most yards rushing and the ninth-fewest yards receiving to running backs this season.
  • Jakobi Meyers leads the Patriots in target share (29.7%) and air yards share (35.5%).
  • DeVante Parker substantially leads Patriots wide receivers in snaps (166) and routes run (96) while being second in target share (14.6%) and air yards share (30.6%).
  • Green Bay has allowed the 11th-fewest yards receiving on the 15th-most receptions to wide receivers.
  • Jonnu Smith has 58 yards receiving and Hunter Henry has 28 on the season.
  • The Packers have allowed the ninth-fewest yards receiving on the ninth-fewest receptions to tight ends this year.

This is What You’re Betting On in Packers vs. Patriots

A bet on the Packers is a bet on a championship caliber defense limiting backup quarterback Brian Hoyer and his below-average group of pass catchers. It’s also a bet on Aaron Rodgers guiding an offense with an exceptional running back duo and a top-10 offensive line, but a bottom tier group of wide receivers. An interesting aspect of the Green Bay Packers this season is that this roster is set up in a way where Aaron Rodgers can effectively be the most talented game manager in the history of the sport against certain opponents. Your two biggest concerns here are Bill Belichick’s historic ability to create opponent-specific gameplans, and the possibility that Green Bay will struggle to stop the run against New England.

A bet on the Patriots is primarily a bet on Bill Belichick creating a big enough strategic edge to narrow the talent gap between these two teams. On offense we can expect a run-heavy, muddy gameplan with a shot play or two mixed in for backup quarterback Brian Hoyer. If New England has to play from behind by more than two scores, they are not equipped for that kind of game script. Outside of Belichick, the most appealing aspect of a Patriots bet is that the Packers’ well-below-average wide receiver group has limited the ceiling of this offense through the first three weeks.

Awards Market Ramifications: Aaron Rodgers is an MVP contender.

Winner/Confidence Pool: I’ll be taking the Packers in all of my winner pools and ranking them at the top of my confidence pools. The Packers will be the standard top ranking in confidence pools, but I’ll be looking to differentiate elsewhere.

Spread Pool: A 24-13 type game gets the job done on a Packers bet. That type of outcome is likely enough that I’m considering taking the Packers as a heavy favorite in one of my tournament entries. That idea has been a late riser for me this week.

Survivor: Green Bay will be the chalk option in survivor pools this week. In an otherwise tough slate where the Chargers and Lions are far less appealing now than they were a week ago, I wouldn’t be opposed to taking the Packers chalk if I had one active survivor entry. I’ll definitely be using them in at least one of mine.

WATCH MORE: Rashan Gary Leads a Strong Packers Defense

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