The Green Bay Packers have opened up as two-point favorites against the Denver Broncos on DraftKings, which might be a surprise to some Packers fans who are disappointed with the team’s back-to-back losses. In our weekly Reacts poll, about one-third of fans responded that they’re confident in the direction that the team is taking and two-thirds of fans blamed coaching for Green Bay’s 2-3 record going into the bye.
Despite all of the obstacles that the Packers are facing, the Broncos might be facing more. At the moment, Denver has a 1-5 record — a mark that only bests the Panthers through six weeks of NFL action in 2023. On top of this, it’s somewhat of a bad-blood game between Broncos head coach Sean Payton and Packers head coach Matt LaFleur.
In July, Payton heavily criticized former Green Bay offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett about Hackett’s season as Denver’s head coach prior to Payton’s hiring. Since then, Payton has faced three teams headed by offensive coaches with ties to Hackett: the Dolphins, the Bears and the Jets. The Bears’ offensive coordinator Luke Getsy was the Packers’ quarterbacks coach under Hackett. Hackett is currently the Jets’ offensive coordinator. Miami is led by Mike McDaniel, who worked for years with LaFleur at Houston, Washington and Atlanta.
In those three games, the Broncos came out with 1-2 record — only because Chicago wasn’t able to get the job done and blew a 21-point lead. Over those three games, Denver was outscored 132-69 — which is either a reflection of how badly these play-callers wanted to run the score up on Payton or how bad the Broncos’ defense is at matching up against this “Shanahan-style” offensive system.
Like the Packers, who are coming off of a bye week, the Broncos also have extended rest coming into this game — as they most recently played in a 19-8 loss to the Chiefs on Thursday Night Football. Over the past few weeks, Denver has stripped down its pass-rushing unit, as they have released three-time Pro Bowler Frank Clark and also traded Randy Gregor — who had a sack on Sunday with the 49ers. That’s great news for Green Bay’s offensive line, which has struggled in protection in their past two games after playing nearly perfectly for the first three games of the 2023 season.
If you’re looking for the total here, it’s set at 45 points. The Packers have a -130 moneyline, which carries an implied probability that Green Bay wins the game around 57 percent of the time.