Regression has been a common discussion topic around the 2020 Green Bay Packers. The team overachieved in 2019 en route to a 13-3 record and the second seed in the NFC Playoffs, a season that often saw them referred to as one of the worst 13-3 teams in football history.
Close games are a big part of the reason why they are expected to fall back to Earth somewhat this season. A 8-1 record in one-score games is generally unsustainable, as Justis Mosqueda has discussed frequently. But just how far will this team regress? And what is the realistic estimate for wins for this team, given a full 16-game schedule?
One industry that attempts to predict the answers to those questions is the sports betting industry, and several online sportsbooks have the Packers’ predicted over/under set much lower than the 13 wins they achieved last season. For example, Sports Betting Dime has the Packers’ tipping point set at just 8.5 wins, the same number as NFC North rival Minnesota.
However, even that site recognizes that this number may be a bit on the low side for both of these teams, which both made the postseason last January. In an article this week, SBD writes that the Packers have the fourth-best chance of going over their 8.5-win mark at 61.7%. The Vikings, meanwhile, are two notches higher, sitting in second with a 63.1% chance of hitting nine or more wins.
The Indianapolis Colts, whose over/under is also 8.5, come in first at 67.4%.
For the Packers to go under 8.5, it would require five fewer wins than they achieved last season. Assuming close-game regression to a .500 record would not get there — that would take the Packers down to 9.5 wins, so the books expect the team to drop a full extra win somewhere. Perhaps that is why they view Green Bay as a good bet to beat the 8.5 mark.
Interestingly, a third NFC North team shows up in the top six on SBD’s list, as the Chicago Bears come in at sixth place. Their odds of beating their over/under are given at 57.8%, though their mark to beat is 7.5, a full win lower than that of the Packers and Vikings.