Green Bay Packers (3-3-1) at New England Patriots (6-2)
This line was New England -7.5 last week on the early line, but it has shifted to 5 this week. That original line was probably too high, like Packers/Rams line last week when the Packers were 9-point underdogs, but that’s a pretty significant line, crossing key numbers of 6 and 7, and it comes despite the fact that the Packers traded contract year safety HaHa Clinton-Dix at the trade deadline, in the middle of arguably his best season in the NFL. With top cornerback Jaire Alexander back last week, the Packers played one of their best defensive games of the season, keeping the Rams’ offense from a big game, but they’re going to have a hard time doing that this week against the Patriots without their talented safety.
The line movement is probably as a result of the Patriots looking underwhelming in their Monday night game in Buffalo, but the Patriots were probably not giving their best effort against the Bills with this game on deck and they still covered anyway, winning 25-6. That game doesn’t really change my opinion of the Patriots much at all. They also should be healthier this week, with Rob Gronkowski another week removed from his back spasms and running back Sony Michel, right tackle Marcus Cannon, and linebacker Dont’a Hightower all possibly returning from injury this week. The Packers are still a tough opponent even without Clinton-Dix, so there isn’t enough here to bet the Patriots confidently as 5-point favorites, but they should be able to win this one by at least a touchdown.
New England Patriots 34 Green Bay Packers 27
Pick against the spread: New England -5