- The Rams return home from a three-game road trip to put its unbeaten record on the line against the always-dangerous Packers. Which NFC power should you bet on in their Week 8 showdown?
Green Bay Packers at Los Angeles Rams (-9.5)
Sun. 10/28, 4:25 p.m. ET
Four things you need to know before betting on Packers-Rams:
1. The hope in Green Bay is that the Packers will come out of their bye week with quarterback Aaron Rodgers being as healthy as he’s been since suffering a sprained knee in a season-opening win over the Bears. Green Bay has gone 11-4 straight up and 10-4-1 against the spread when coming off a bye since Mike McCarthy took over as the team’s head coach prior to the 2006 season. The Packers have won five straight in this series (straight up and against the spread), including all four of the games they’ve played against the Rams with Rodgers under center. The future Hall of Famer has completed 67% of his passes for an average of 292 yards per game with 10 touchdowns and only three interceptions over the four victories, all of which were by double digits with an average win margin of 16 points per game.
2. This marks the first time that the Packers have been an underdog of more than eight points in a game with Rodgers under center. It’s the sixth time under McCarthy that Green Bay has been a road underdog of between 7.5 and 14 points, and the team has gone 4-1 against the spread over the previous five instances. While the Packers are 7-2 against the spread when facing an NFC West opponent since the start of the 2015 calendar year, the Rams are 3-11-1 against the spread when facing an NFC North opponent since the start of the 2010 season. L.A. is 3-11 straight up and 2-8-2 against the spread when facing a conference opponent at home over the past two calendar years, and the team is just 4-8 against the spread since the start of 2016 when facing an opponent with a winning record.
3. Green Bay's path to success in this game would appear to be with a rushing attack that’s averaging 4.7 yards per carry (ninth in the NFL). The Packers will be facing a Los Angeles defense that's giving up an average of 4.7 yards per carry (seventh-worst mark in the NFL) despite having faced three of the eight NFL teams that enter Week 8 averaging fewer than 95 rushing yards per game. The Packers' effective ground game has contributed to the team’s 32:28 average time of possession, which is fourth highest in the league and has the potential to play a role in limiting the amount of time that the Rams’ third-ranked scoring offense is on the field.
4. While it's difficult to find many weaknesses in the NFL’s lone team without a loss this season, the Rams have struggled against the attacks of opponents with effective passing games. In the two games the team has played against top-10 passing offenses, Los Angeles gave up 392 passing yards at home to Minnesota and 300 yards in Oakland. Green Bay is one of only four NFL teams that averages more than 315 passing yards per game, and the Packers have gone 43-24 against the spread under McCarthy when facing a defense that allows a completion percentage of at least 64%. Effective passing teams have been solid wagers when getting a significant amount of points in recent seasons, as road underdogs of between 3.5 and 10 points that are completing at least 60% of their pass attempts are 20-8 against the spread since the start of the 2014 season when coming off three straight games in which they averaged at least seven yards per pass attempt.
Pick: Green Bay +9.5
Confidence Level: High (on a scale of Low/Moderate/High/Very High/Extremely High)