Finally an exciting game on the Thursday Night Football slate! The Packers (-195) will host the Eagles as four-point favorites, with the total set at 46.5 points. Here are some plays that catch my eye in this NFC battle.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
GREEN BAY PACKERS VS. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (8:20 P.M. ET)
First Half GB -2.5 (-132)
This bet makes sense on the surface, targeting the home team with the better defense to cover the first-half spread against a 1-2 team that’s banged up a key positions. But the trends so far this season tell an even more compelling story.
The Packers have led at halftime in all three of their games so far this season by at least four points — and 22 total points when you add the three games together. This will be the best defense the Eagles have faced, and Aaron Rodgers has been making a point to say all week the Green Bay offense needs to get going in this game.
The Eagles have come out of the gate sluggish in every game this season, trailing by at least four points in all three games of their season. Philly’s halftime deficit in each game combined is 27 points, so it’s been even worse than Green Bay’s been good. A Thursday night road game against the best competition yet doesn’t feel like the end of the road for this trend.
First Half UNDER 23.5 (-122)
Staying with the first-half trends, we finally saw the first-half under fail to hit in a primetime game. Chicago and Washington went over, but it was the inept turnovers of Case Keenum that got the Bears their points. The first-half under primetime spot is still 9-1 overall this season, and I think this total is high enough to play.
The Eagles are averaging just 7.66 points per game in the first half this season, although the Packers are averaging 15 (just another reason GB 1H spread is my favorite bet on TNF). The short week generally means a sluggish start, though, and if the Packers get out to an early lead, they could start grinding the clock. The two big names at QB have this total slightly inflated in my mind.
Total Passing Yards: Aaron Rodgers OVER 270.5 (-130)
Rodgers’ passing yards total has gone up slightly in each game this season as the defenses have gotten more lenient, but he’s faced three tough opponents. Here are his totals thus far: 203 yards at CHI, 209 yards vs. MIN, 235 yards vs. DEN.
On the flip side, here’s what the Eagles have allowed to opposing quarterbacks: 380 yards to Case Keenum, 320 yards to Matt Ryan and recovered with 201 yards to Matthew Stafford. That’s still an average of more than 300 yards per game, and now Rodgers gets this matchup at home. I’m also putting some weight on Rodgers’ comments about getting the offense going this week. He’ll be looking to take advantage of this awful secondary and keep his foot on the gas.
Total Passing Yards: Carson Wentz UNDER 274.5 (-140)
A road underdog always sets up for a game script where the QB might have to sling the ball down late just to keep the team in the game. But I trust this Green Bay defense to continue its fantastic play.
Here’s the yardage the Packers have allowed to QBs this season: 228 yards to Mitch Trubisky, 230 yards to Kirk Cousins and 213 yards to Joe Flacco. Wentz will be the best of the bunch so far, but Washington’s swiss cheese defense is the only one he’s been able to top this number against so far this season.
Over the past two games, Wentz is averaging 245 yards against the Falcons and Lions. We can chalk some of that up to the loss of DeSean Jackson, who accounted for 154 yards against Washington and has been ruled out of this game with an abdomen injury. Alshon Jeffrey’s return from a calf injury should help a little bit but not enough to get Wentz to 275 yards through the air against this defense.
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