Washington Football Team (2-4) at Green Bay Packers (5-1)
The Packers are 5-1, but they are not the same team as they were a year ago when they went 13-3, as they are missing three of their best players, left tackle David Bahktari, edge defender Za’Darius Smith, and cornerback Jaire Alexander. On top of that, Aaron Rodgers doesn’t seem to be playing at quite the same level as a year ago, even if he is still obviously one of the top quarterbacks in the league. The Packers’ only win by more than 10 points came against a Lions team that is winless and the Lions actually led at halftime before the Packers came back and pulled away in the second half. In total, the Packers’ +8 point differential is just 13th in the league and is more in line with a 3-3 team than one that is 5-1 at this point.
The Packers are also in a bad spot here as they have to turn around and play a much tougher game against the undefeated Cardinals next week on Thursday Night Football. Favorites cover at just a 41.5% rate all-time before Thursday Night Football, while favorites of 7+ cover at just a 42.7% rate all-time before facing a team with a winning percentage that is over 50% higher than their current opponent’s winning percentage, both of which should work against the Packers this week.
The Packers are very tough to play at home, where Aaron Rodgers has a well above average 10 point jump in QB rating in his career and is 46-22 ATS when playing in front of fans in games he starts and finishes. However, that’s more of a reason not to bet on Washington than it is a reason to pick the Packers, as even with extra homefield advantage it’s hard to get this line up to the 8 points the Packers are favored by, even before you take into account that the Packers are likely to be flat in a tough spot this week. Washington isn’t quite bettable, but only because I don’t want to bet money against Rodgers at home without a great reason to and Washington is still the right side for pick ‘em purposes.
Green Bay Packers 24 Washington Football Team 17
Pick against the spread: Washington +8