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Green Bay Packers vs. Kansas City Chiefs Odds & Game Pick (2021)

by November 6, 2021
Aaron Jones

Well, this game got flipped on its head.

Unfortunately, we won’t be getting the Aaron Rodgers vs. Patrick Mahomes matchup we were all hoping for. With Rodgers out due to a positive COVID-19 positive test, we will now get to see Jordan Love make his first career start at Arrowhead Stadium Sunday afternoon.

Will Love pull a Mike White and stun us all? Or will Mahomes and the Chiefs take care of business? Let’s break it down.

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  • Opening line: Kansas City -2.5
  • Current line: Kansas City -7.5
  • Total: 47.5

Can Packers overcome Rodgers’ absence? 

I was fully prepared to recommend betting the Packers as a short road underdog. Then, Rodgers tested positive for COVID and threw a gigantic monkey wrench in my plans. However, maybe we should trust Packers coach Matt LaFleur to create another winning game plan like he did last Thursday night against the previously undefeated Arizona Cardinals.

With no Davante Adams, Allen Lazard, or Marquez Valdes-Scantling, the Packers prioritized running the ball, slowing down the game, and controlling the clock. That plan worked to near perfection, as Green Bay held the ball for over 37 minutes in a stunning upset victory over the Cardinals.

That strategy could work again versus the Chiefs defense, which ranks 29th in rush defense DVOA and gives up 4.6 yards per carry. However, it’ll obviously be much harder to execute without Rodgers under center. With Love under center, I’d expect Kansas City to load up the box and dare the Utah State product to beat them.

Love, a 2020 first-round pick, has thrown seven passes in his professional career, but his presence has seemingly fractured the relationship between Rodgers and the Packers. Love brings mobility to the equation, and I expect LaFleur to design passing plays that get Love moving out of the pocket.

Defensively, I expect Green Bay to follow what other teams have done against the Chiefs: invite them to run the ball and force K.C. to stage long drives and convert in the red zone. That’ll be especially important without star cornerback Jaire Alexander to matchup with Tyreek Hill.

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Kansas City offense still searching for answers 

The Chiefs edged out the Giants on Monday Night Football, but it kind of felt like they lost. K.C. controlled the game. They had 29 first downs compared to New York’s 18 and held the ball for more than 34 minutes.

The Chiefs probably should’ve won this game easily. But the offense struggled to execute in crunch time, going 2-for-6 on red zone opportunities. Patrick Mahomes once again threw a red-zone pick. Travis Kelce looked like a pedestrian tight end, not the league’s best. And while the Chiefs put a greater emphasis on running the ball, they only mustered four yards per carry.

I wrote last week that Kansas City needed to adapt to how opposing defenses were playing against them, and they did. However, it’s becoming evident that this offense lacks much talent outside of Tyreek Hill and Kelce. Ancillary receivers like Mecole Hardman and DeMarcus Robinson need to step up to help this offense become more difficult to defend.

The Chiefs’ defense took a step forward last week, allowing just 300 yards and 17 points to the Giants. However, I take most results against Daniel Jones and Jason Garrett with a grain of salt. Luckily, this defense might’ve gotten bailed out by Rodgers’ positive test. The Chiefs rank 30th in pass defense DVOA and surely would’ve had their hands full with the Rodgers to Davante Adams connection.

However, with Rodgers out, the Chiefs would be best to load up the box, and shadow Adams with safety help all game long. Dare Love and one of Green Bay’s ancillary pass catchers to beat you.

Bottom Line 

This game is kind of impossible to bet on because Jordan Love is a total unknown. The dropoff between Rodgers and him is simply unknown. But what I do know is Green Bay recently went into Arizona facing a similar situation (granted, with Rodgers) and came out with an outright victory. And while the Chiefs won Monday night, they simply didn’t look impressive.

If I had to bet this game, I would bet on LaFleur and the Packers finding a way to keep this game close.

Pick: Lean Packers +7.5, wouldn’t bet below +7

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Matt Barbato is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Matt, check out his archive and follow him @RealMattBarbato.

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