Los Angeles Rams (4-9) at Green Bay Packers (5-8)
The Packers are a disappointing 5-8, a year after finishing 13-4, but in some ways it’s not that surprising. Despite their record last season, the Packers finished just 10th in point differential and 11th in overall efficiency, even with an MVP season from Aaron Rodgers who, as good as he is, was no guarantee to play at quite the same level in 2022, now in his age 39 season. Add in the loss of by far their top wide receiver Davante Adams this off-season and some regression was to be expected from them, especially on offense.
In many ways, things have gone how you might expect, given the circumstances. The Packers’ defense has declined slightly due to injuries, ranking 17th in defensive efficiency in 2021 and 25th in 2022, while their offense has fallen off significantly, falling from 4th in offensive efficiency a year ago to 16th this season, while their horrendous special teams that ranked dead last in efficiency a year ago has only been slightly better this year, ranking 29th. All in all, the Packers rank just 24th in the NFL in overall efficiency when adjusted for schedule, about 3.5 points below average.
The Packers have been overrated for much of the season, but that doesn’t seem to be the case any more and, in fact, I think we’re getting good value with them here at home as 7-point favorites against the lowly Rams. As much as they’ve struggled this season, the Packers are 3-2 in Lambeau, as opposed to 2-6 away from home and that’s nothing new, as Aaron Rodgers has a QB rating that is 10 points better in his career, significantly above average, and, as a result, is 48-22 ATS at home in games he starts and finishes.
The Rams are also in a bad spot, as they could be flat after such a big comeback win last week against the Raiders, pulling a big upset in the process. Historically, teams cover at just a 42.1% rate after a home win as underdogs of five points or more, as it’s tough to bring that kind of energy two weeks in a row. Even though they’re an underwhelming team, the Packers are still significantly better than the injury plagued Rams and, when you consider the homefield advantage the Packers have, they should be favored by even more than a touchdown, especially with the Rams in a bad spot. I am hoping this line will drop to 6.5 before gametime, so I am leaving this as a low confidence pick at 7 for now, but I may ultimately end up betting on the Packers even at 7.
Green Bay Packers 23 Los Angeles Rams 13
Pick against the spread: Green Bay -7