Sunday night features the undefeated Green Bay Packers traveling to New Orleans Saints (8.20pm ET live on NBC). The latter are coming off an embarrassing performance against the Vegas Raiders.
The Packers opened as 3.5-point underdogs on Monday but have moved to +3pts in most spots after the Saints got handled by double digits. On paper this looks like it will be a shootout with two of the better offenses in the league, but I would make a case for going the other way.
Read on for our Green Bay Packers vs New Orleans Saints predictions for this NFL game preview, along with betting picks.
The two injuries with the most impact in this game both come at the wide receiver position. Star pass catchers Michael Thomas and Davante Adams are not expected to play on Sunday. Thomas has already been ruled out for the second straight week with an ankle injury. Adams is doubtful with a nagging hamstring injury.
Both weapons last year lead their teams in targets, receptions, yards, and touchdowns. Thomas had an incredible season and amassed 1,725 receiving yards. The next closest on the team was Jared Cook with 705 yards receiving. Thomas was the most important team on the offense last year and looked to be again before going down at the end of week one.
The Saints struggled without him last week and were only able to put up 24 points against a Raiders team that allowed 30 to Carolina week one.
Explosive Ground Attacks
Without these two huge weapons I think both teams will struggle a bit to move the ball through the air. I think they will rely heavily on their dominant ground games, which will burn a lot of the clock and keep this a relatively lower scoring game.
The Packers rank first in the NFL with 208.5 rushing yards per game through two games. Aaron Jones not only leads the Pack but he leads the NFL with 234 rushing yards on the year. Expect a heavy dose of Jones and the Packers to control the time of possession through the ground game.
Rodgers should be able to still make some plays through the air against a secondary that gave up 282 yards passing and three touchdowns to David Carr and the Raiders.
Alvin Kamara is a true dual threat on the ground and through the air. He only has 95 yards on the ground on 25 attempts but has 146 yards through the air on 14 receptions. This is going to the Jones and Kamara show, as they are the two best weapons on the field with the star receivers out. They should get a majority of touches come Sunday night.
While most would look to all the offensive weapons in this game it is the two defenses that have been strong this season. It is natural to look at this matchup and think Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara, Aaron Jones, Michael Thomas and Devante Adams and expect a huge performance from both offenses. On paper this should be an absolute shootout, but both defenses are top 10 in yards given up per game.
The Saints are ranked eighth surrendering 343.5 yards per game and the Packers are 10th with 344.5 yards per game. Both defense’s strength comes against the run, which should be the focus of both offenses. This will make for an interesting contrast and lower scoring game. The Saints are 8th in the NFL giving up 101 rushing yards per game and the Packers are ranked 12th giving up 111.5 yards per game.
The defenses should limit the run and force the teams to pass without their two best weapons through the air. Brees also hasn’t inspired confidence after the first two weeks. He can’t seem to make any throws over 10 yards and has also struggled with his accuracy, which has always been his strong suit.
Our Betting Preview’s Green Bay Packers vs New Orleans Saints Predictions & Picks Verdict
We are going back to the under after a rough week two. Last week overs went 11-5 and I expect some negative regression and several more unders this week. This looks like the perfect recipe for an easy under: A high total, two star wide receivers out, two dominant running backs and two solid rush defenses.
They should both look to establish the ground game despite going up against two top 12 defenses in rushing yards allowed per game. The Thomas and Adams injuries will play huge and allow for more touches to Jones and Kamara on the ground and short pass plays.
These are USAbetting’s Green Bay Packers vs New Orleans Saints predictions for this preview.
- The current total of over/under 53 points feels way too high here. For the first of the betting picks against our recommended online American bookies, I am playing the under and think it will hit fairly easily. Go under 53pts @ -110 with Bovada, Intertops or Bookmaker.
- I expect a 27-20 Packers win on Sunday Night Football. So you could also bet Green Bay +3pts @ -105 with Bovada, Bookmaker or Intertops.