The Green Bay Packers are traveling to play the Carolina Panthers in BofA Stadium and have opened as the 4.5-point favorites on DraftKings. This is the third week in a row where the Packers have opened favorably. They have not been underdogs since the Chiefs came to town in Week 13.
The average advantage given to a home team is three points. This means that normally on a neutral field, the Packers would be favored by a shade over a touchdown. This may not be the case in this specific instance, however. The Packers just finished giving up the first-ever perfect passer rating at home in the team’s history (to an otherwise statistically mediocre quarterback), and the Panthers are having trouble putting fans in the seats of their home stadium.
Home-field advantage may very well not play into this week’s contest, as Packers fans tend to travel very well. The X-factor here really could be Joe Barry’s ability to elevate a usually unimpressive quarterback.
Last week the Panthers played at home and managed to beat the Falcons by not scoring a single touchdown. You may recall that the Falcons managed to take down a Packers team that scored 24 points. So what does this mean? The Packers have been known to “play down” to their opponents. The team has only won a single game while favored. All the other victories came against teams that oddsmakers felt were better.
The Panthers are not without their own faults as they have only won two games so far this season with long droughts between the victories. In fact, the symmetry has been perfect with six losses preceding each W. This Panthers team has been far and away the worst of what is generally considered a weak NFC South.
With the spread opening at -4.5 in favor of the Packers the moneyline opened at -218. This means the oddsmakers have the Packers winning this contest about ~68.5% of the time. The over/under is 36. They also do not expect a shootout.