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The Packers are 3-0 despite facing three solid defenses to begin the season. As it turns out, Green Bay has a salty defense themselves, ranking second in points per game allowed at 11.7. Meanwhile, quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the offense have done just enough to get the job done in each of the first three contests, as the Packers have shown more balance (compared to previous seasons) with 43.82% of their plays being of the rushing variety. That ranks 10th highest in the league, and it’s a far cry from their 32.46% rushing split from last year, which ranked dead last in the NFL.
While the Packers have impressed through the first three weeks, the Eagles have been classified as underachievers with a 1-2 start to the season. Keep in mind that Philadelphia had to come back to beat Washington 32-27 in Week 1, then the fell to Atlanta (24-20) and Detroit (27-24) in subsequent weeks. The good news is wide receiver Alshon Jeffrey and tight end Dallas Goedert are expected to return on Thursday. The bad news revolves around the doubtful status of wide receiver DeSean Jackson and a vulnerable pass defense. Playing a road game on shortened rest certainly hurts an Eagles’ team trying to iron several wrinkles.
- Opening Lines: The spread started at Packers -3, rising to -4 and -4.5 at some sportsbooks. The total has fallen from its open at 48 as well.
- Current Line: Packers -4 at FanDuel Sportsbook
- O/U: 45 at FanDuel Sportsbook
- Location: Lambeau Field – Green Bay, WI
- Start Time: 7:20pm ET
- Television: FOX / NFL Network
- Last Meeting: November 28, 2016 – Packers defeated Eagles 27-13 in Philadelphia
As mentioned earlier, the Packers have taken more of a balanced approach on offense this season. However, I’m expecting Aaron Rodgers to post some serious numbers against an Eagles’ defense that got torched by Case Keenum, Matt Ryan, and Matthew Stafford (to a lesser degree). Philadelphia cornerback Ronald Darby will likely miss this game, which is bad news for the Eagles’ patchwork secondary.
The best way to attack this surging Green Bay defense is through the ground, as the Packers rank 26th in yards per carry allowed at 4.9. Contrast that against 5.6 yards per pass attempt (fifth in the league), and you are looking at a funnel defense that dares other teams to run the ball. That’s a problem for the Eagles, who haven’t been able to establish any semblance of a rushing attack this season. Philadelphia currently ranks 25th with 3.6 yards per rushing attempt, and they’ll need to kickstart the ground game to take some pressure off quarterback Carson Wentz.
- The Packers are 5-1 SU vs the Eagles over their past six meetings.
- The Packers are 8-5 ATS as home favorites in the past two years.
- The Packers have gone 13-9 to the over vs non-division opponents in the past two years.
- The Eagles are 6-3 ATS as an underdog in the past two years.
- The Eagles have gone 6-3 to the over as a road underdog in the past two years.
Aaron Rodgers OVER 271.5 Passing Yards
As mentioned earlier, the way to beat Philadelphia is through the air. Aaron Rodgers is averaging just 215 passing yards per contest through the first three games of the season, but that came against some of the best pass defenses in the league. This is an excellent bounce-back spot for Rodgers and star wide receiver Davante Adams, who makes for a tempting prop bet himself while looking at over 86 receiving yards.
Injuries and general inconsistencies have plagued the Eagles this season, and I seriously doubt their ability to get their act together for this road matchup on short rest. It just so happens they are facing one of the hottest teams in the league as well, leading me to believe the Packers take this one by a touchdown or more.
Pick: Packers -4 at FanDuel Sportsbook