The 3-4 Green Bay Packers have opened up as 10.5-point underdogs against the 5-1 Buffalo Bills on DraftKings. The Packers as double-digit underdogs has few parallels, but it’s hard to blame anyone for losing confidence in the team after they’ve lost three straight games and struggled with backup quarterback Bailey Zappe over the last four weeks.
According to Ben Fawkes of VSiN, this is the first time that quarterback Aaron Rodgers, the back-to-back MVP of the league, has ever been a double-digit underdog in his NFL career. Traveling to Buffalo for a Sunday Night Football environment should only bring the best out of Bills Mafia, too. So far, the Packers are 2-1 straight up at Lambeau Field and 1-3 on the road (including London) this season.
ANY/A Value going into Sunday Night Football. If you've thought "there are two good teams and a bunch of bad teams" this year, you're right.— Justis Mosqueda (@JuMosq) October 24, 2022
Denver: HOW pic.twitter.com/T6gOYl2P6o
The Bills come into the game red hot, as they and the Philadelphia Eagles have separated themselves from the pack through seven weeks of the NFL regular season. Meanwhile, the Packers are about as league average as it gets on both sides of the ball, at least statistically.
Buffalo is also coming off a bye week, a vastly different situation than the Packers are in. Sunday Night Football will mark the fourth stadium Green Bay has played at in four weeks, exacerbated by their trip to London and the team turning down the option to have an early-season bye week following the game. The Packers will again be on the road in Week 9 when they will play at Detroit and start a three-game stretch against familiar foes: the Lions (divisional team), Cowboys (led by former head coach Mike McCarthy) and Titans (Matt LaFleur’s former team.)
According to DraftKings, the Packers are estimated to have a one-in-five chance to win on SNF, based on the moneyline of +390.
Something to pay attention to throughout the week is the health of this Green Bay roster. Outside linebacker Rashan Gary left Sunday’s action with a concussion and never returned. Left tackle David Bakhtiari (knee) was listed as questionable on Saturday, after not being given a status on Friday, and missed the game. This forced fourth-round rookie Zach Tom into the starting lineup at left tackle against the Commanders. Second-round rookie receiver Christian Watson (hamstring) also missed the game while Sammy Watkins (hamstring) was put on a pitch count and Randall Cobb (ankle) was placed on injured reserve.
If the Packers want to have any chance to knock off the kings of the AFC (and maybe the NFL), they’re going to need as many healthy weapons as they can get.