Week 8 of the 2021 NFL season kicks off Thursday night when the Cardinals host the Packers in a showdown of NFC divisional leaders.
The rubber will meet the road in primetime when these two teams, who are a combined 13-1 straight-up (SU) and 12-2 Against The Spread (ATS), clash in the desert.
Bettors witnessed a significant move in the game spread Monday following the news that Packers star wideout Davante Adams could miss the game after being placed on the COVID-19 list. Another blow came Tuesday afternoon when fellow wide receiver Allen Lazard also landed on the COVID-19 list, and he will miss Thursday's game.
Oddsmakers immediately moved the undefeated Cardinals from 3.5-point home favorites to a demand of 6.5 points at SI Sportsbook. The spread has flipped immensely from Arizona opening as 3-point home underdogs in August!
However, bettors need to take note that the Packers have gone 6-0 SU without Adams over the last two seasons.
After being blown out, 38-3, in the season opener at New Orleans, the Packers have ripped off six consecutive SU and ATS victories. Green Bay—with road wins over San Francisco, Cincinnati and Chicago—will look to extend its SU and ATS road win streak.
The Cardinals, the only remaining undefeated team, are a field goal away from covering the spread in every game. Arizona only failed to reward bettors in its 34-33 home win over Minnesota in Week 2 as 4-point home favorites.
- Spread: Green Bay Packers +6.5 (-110) | Arizona Cardinals -6.5 (-110)
- Moneyline: Green Bay (+205) | Arizona (-250)
- Total: 51– Over (-110) | Under 51 (-110)
- Public (Spread) Betting Percentages: GB 58% | ARZ 42%
- Game Info: Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021 | 8:20 p.m. ET | NFL Network
As previously noted, the line has risen since opening with Arizona as a 3.5-point home favorite at SI Sportsbook to the Packers now being 6.5-point underdogs.
The total, which opened at 53, has begun to see significant action to the under, dropping the line down to 51.
Packers Player Prop Info
The Packers (6-1 SU; 6-1 ATS) average 24 points per game (ppg) this season, and will potentially be without arguably the NFL's best receiver in Adams while facing a Cardinals defense allowing a league-low 16.3 ppg. Adams has been instrumental to Green Bay’s success, averaging 106.3 receiving yards per game this season.
On a short week, the Packers will be rolling out a wideout group consisting of Randall Cobb, Equanimeous St. Brown and Amari Rodgers against an Arizona defense allowing the third-fewest passing yards per game (201.0).
Losing Lazard, who had become more involved in the offense in recent weeks with consecutive games with a receiving touchdown, is another blow to the Green Bay aerial attack. It is still unknown if Marquez Valdes-Scantling (hamstring) will be activated off injured reserve and play on the short week.
The Packers' offense will likely lean on the talents of star running back Aaron Jones. The fourth-year back leads the club in rushing yards (404) and total touchdowns (6). Jones is second on the team behind Adams in targets (28), receptions (26) and receiving yards (186) and leads the Packers in receiving touchdowns (4).
Expect Jones, who has a high of 73% offensive snap percentage, to top that amount in Week 9 with a season-high in volume.
Cardinals Player Prop Info
On the other side of the ball, the Cardinals possess solid wideout production from DeAndre Hopkins, A.J. Green, Christian Kirk and Rondale Moore.
Kyler Murray, who ranks fifth in passing yards (2,002), has completed 71.4 percent of his passes for 17 passing touchdowns, as well as four rushing scores. The star signal caller has passed for three-plus passing touchdowns in four of seven games.
Murray is facing a Packers defense that has surrendered multiple passing touchdowns to Jameis Winston (5), Jared Goff (2), Jimmy Garappolo (2) and Joe Burrow (2).
Combine these trends and we find a “Frankie’s Red Hot” involving backing Murray’s over 2.5 passing touchdowns player proposition offering at attractive odds of +170.
Oddsmakers project newly acquired tight end Zach Ertz will only have a moderate impact in his second game with the club, as SI Sportsbook has his receiving yard betting market set at 28.5. My projections have Ertz, who has gone over this posted number in four of seven games, surpassing his betting proposition number Thursday.
The veteran made an immediate connection in his first game with Murray last week, tallying 66 receiving yards and a touchdown. Green Bay has already allowed opposing tight ends Ricky Seals-Jones (51), Cole Kmet (49), T.J. Hockenson (66) and George Kittle (92) to all easily surpass this posted total.
Backing Ertz over 28.5 receiving yards Thursday night is a solid investment.
Another player proposition market bettors should look to target is Kirk's reception total of 3.5, which is simply too low. Kirk, who has 18 receptions in the last three games, has surpassed this projected total in six of seven games.
The fourth-year wideout, who has been on the field for 78.5% snap of the offensive plays over the past two weeks, has capitalized on his increased volume by hauling in touchdown passes in consecutive games. Eclipsing the reception total of 3.5 at a 71% clip over his last seven games makes this a market all bettors should exploit.
Frankie's Thursday Night Football Betting Advice
This game, from a side perspective, is simply too tough to call.
The likely absence of Adams and Lazard has affected the spread, despite the fact that the Packers are 6-0 without Adams over the last two seasons. Instead, pro money is backing that a short-handed Packers offense will not be able to break its recent trend of going under the posted game total by oddsmakers.
The play on Thursday night is to back the trend that Green Bay will be involved in a fifth straight game that consists of less scoring than what sportsbooks are projecting.
BET: Under 51 (-115)
- The Under is 4-0 in Green Bay’s last four games this season; 5-2 overall
- The Cardinals are 5-0 ATS in their last five games
2021 SI Betting Monday Night Football: 4-2 ATS / Props 6-5 +1.85 units
2021 SI Betting NFL Football YTD: 17-12 ATS & Props +6.65 Units
2020 SI Betting NFL Football: 72-58-1 ATS (55%)
Frankie Taddeo is a successful high-stakes fantasy football player who created the first-ever DFS program ever offered in a Las Vegas sportsbook. Frankie is SI Betting's Senior Analyst and provides his significant experience and resources in the sports betting scene. You can follow Frankie on Twitter @Frankie_Fantasy for his latest betting and fantasy insights from Las Vegas.
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