Green Bay Packers Betting Preview 2018
Football is the ultimate team sport because all eleven men have to work together every play to be successful. Unfortunately, quarterbacks are overwhelming influential in a team’s success, and when you lose Aaron Rodgers for the last nine games of the season, it really kills your chances at success. It really doesn’t help when the team wasn’t playing that good even with Rodgers in the game.
To be completely honest, losing Rodgers probably saved Mike McCarthy’s job. The teams early season struggles coupled with their lack of playoff success has him on the hot seat. It’s strange to say about a coach who made eight consecutive playoff appearances up until last year; however, when you have arguably the best quarterback in the league, it is Super Bowl or bust every year.
Key Offseason Changes
Thankfully, the Packers fired Dom Capers. The former defensive coordinator has led a flaming train wreck for the past few years, and it showed no signs of getting better. The Packers brought in former Browns head coach Mike Pettine as his replacement. Besides the Browns job, Pettine was the defensive coordinator for the Jets and Bills under Rex Ryan. I’m a little confused why they didn’t promote Winston Moss who has been with the team since 2006 as a defensive coach. Moss even took over head coaching duties at the 2016 pro bowl when Mike McCarthy couldn’t travel due to health reasons. Seems a little strange.
Another step in a strange direction, the Packers were actually active in free agency. Muhammad Wilkerson signed a one-year prove it deal for $5 million. Wilkerson played in the Ryan/Pettine defense in his first two seasons with the Jets. Another veteran looking for a new start, Jimmy Graham signed with the team. If he looks a little more like the Saints Jimmy Graham than the Seahawks Jimmy Graham, this could become the steal of the offseason. They also signed Tramon Williams from the Cardinals who is a 35-year-old cornerback.
With their activity in free agency, they managed to lose two big names. The biggest loss was Morgan Burnett. The safety played at a very high-level last season despite the rest of the defense taking the year off. Burnett signed with the Steelers where he will likely provide a major upgrade to Mike Mitchell. The biggest name leaving the team was Jordy Nelson who put together a great career with the Packers, but he really showed his age last season after coming off an injury.
The Packers further committed to their defensive rebuild by using their first three picks in the draft on defensive players. The first and second round picks were two quality corners with Jaire Alexander and Joshua Jackson. Then they took Oren Burks who is a linebacker from Vanderbilt. There is a strong chance that he starts this year.
Betting on the Packers
If Aaron Rodgers stays healthy, this team continues to be one of the best teams in the league. The upgrades on defense should also really improve this team, but how long will it take for the players to pick up on a new, complex system that Pettine runs?
Win the NFC NORTH
SAFE BET – The Packers and Vikings have the best rosters in this division, and it is safe to say that they should be the final two in the division at the end of the year. I’d say they were a guarantee if the Vikings weren’t so good. GTBets has the Packers at +150.
Win the NFC Championship
SAFE BET – The team with the best quarterbacks in the league is always an option to win their conference. Look at what Tom Brady has done or what Peyton Manning did. Rodgers elevates this team. Betmania has them at +800 for your best odds.
Win the Super Bowl
GIVE IT A SHOT – Rodgers’ window is closing soon. He is 34 right now, and not many people improve as they age (except Brady). The Packers need to make another run soon if they want to take advantage of his talents. Betmania has them at +1400.
OVER 10 – Bookmaker has the Packers at 10 wins, and I like the over for +114. I’m super torn on this one. I think ten games is dead on for their total, but I’ll take the over because I think they are a better team because of Dom Capers departure and Rodgers returning.
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