Green Bay Packers at Los Angeles Rams: 2018 Week 8 NFL Pick

Green Bay Packers (3-3) at Los Angeles Rams (7-0)

The Rams are the last unbeaten team in the league at 7-0. They’ve undoubtedly played the best of any team in the league this season, but they are still a little overrated, as the public seems to think they are a perfect team because of their record. In reality, they’ve faced a pretty easy schedule, with games against the Cardinals, Raiders, and 49ers, all of whom are among the worst few teams in the league. Their other 4 wins have come against the Broncos, Seahawks, Vikings, and Chargers, so the Packers could easily be the toughest team they’ve faced thus far.

They’re also a banged up right now. Cooper Kupp will miss his 2nd straight game with a knee injury, while their defense has not been the same since week 3, when they lost cornerback Aqib Talib indefinitely to injury and when fellow starting cornerback Marcus Peters suffered a leg injury that seems to have sapped his effectiveness. Since that week 3 game, the Rams have just one win by more than a touchdown and it came last week in San Francisco in a game in which the 49ers turned it over 4 times, leading to a +4 turnover margin for the Rams. Turnover margins tend to be inconsistent on a week-to-week basis anyway and it’s not hard to see how the Rams could have a harder time forcing takeaways against an Aaron Rodgers led team than a CJ Beathard led team.

Despite that, this line is all the way up to 9, as the odds makers know they can bump up the line on any Rams game because the public thinks the Rams are invincible. For some context, this is the most points by which Rodgers has been an underdog in his entire career. He’s only been an underdogs of 7+ points twice in his career, both times in the post-season and both times Rodgers and the Packers covered. Rodgers has also lost by more than 8 points just 17 times in 148 career starts, so he really doesn’t get blown out often.

The Packers were not playing great football before their bye, but they should be better coming out of the bye, as they get wide receivers Randall Cobb and Geronimo Allison and top cornerback Jaire Alexander back from injury. Rodgers is also as healthy as he’s been all year, as he got an extra week to rest the knee injury he’s been playing through since week 1. I have this line calculated at Rams -6.5, so we’re definitely getting some line value with the visitor. The Packers aren’t in a great spot with a trip to New England following this game, but the Packers won’t look past an undefeated team and the Rams are in a bad spot of their own with a trip to New Orleans on deck. I like the Packers chances of keeping this within a score.

Los Angeles Rams 33 Green Bay Packers 27

Pick against the spread: Green Bay +9

Confidence: Medium

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