As far as the Los Angeles Rams are concerned, their quest to defend a Super Bowl title is over. The Green Bay Packers are still alive, but they are barely breathing, and even winning the rest of their games provides no assurances.
Even though BetOnline patrons won’t see the most glamorous of scenarios for Monday Night Football, there are still angles to be looked at. One of them, as it always is with the Packers, involves quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who has won two straight MVP awards but won’t win a third. Another one concerns Baker Mayfield, who seemingly stepped out of a phone booth against the Raiders last time and gave the Rams some “hero” stuff.
So it’s the Rams and Packers in another “Shanahan Bowl” as things get underway at 8:15 PM ET at Lambeau Field, which is going to be a frozen tundra.
The Packers are 5-8 (both straight-up and against the number), and there is no chance for a division title because the Minnesota Vikings, with their massive comeback against the Colts (where they were behind 33-0 at the half), have clinched the NFC North. But there is still a bit of a wildcard scramble in the NFC, and the Washington Commanders hold onto the final spot with a 7-6-1 mark. The Pack would have to leapfrog people like the Seahawks and Lions, and they would unquestionably have some work to do.
But after a 3-1 start, they have plummeted, losing seven of nine. It’s not all about having injuries at the receiver spot, either. Rodgers has turned water into wine before. It’s partially about his inability to do that this season.
A lot of the responsibility has to fall on the defense, which has allowed at least 150 rushing yards on eight separate occasions and five yards a carry for the season. A low water mark there was the 363 that Philadelphia rang up just three weeks ago.
Coming out of a bye, do they have more of a plan?
In the NFL Monday Night odds on this game, as they are posted at BetOnline, the Packers are favored by more than a touchdown:-
Green Bay Packers -7.5 (-112)
Los Angeles Rams +7.5 (-108)
Over 39.5 Points -110
Under 39.5 Points -110
There are a few things we definitely have to take note of here.
- It’s going to be about 16 degrees in Green Bay, with a 70% chance of snow and up to an inch. That certainly won’t help the Rams.
- Aaron Rodgers (62%, 22 TD’s, 9 INT’s) is going to have a healthier receiving corps than he’s had since the second week of the season, and that should be a relief to him.
- The head coaches – Sean McVay and Matt LeFleur, have coached together quite a bit. They are disciples of Mike Shanahan, having served on his staff in Washington, and LeFleur was McVay’s offensive coordinator. Packer DC Jim Berry also worked under McVay. Rodgers knows the Rams’ defensive scheme and philosophy – the one that Brandon Staley (now the Chargers’ head coach) employed under McVay – like a book. And he will attack it accordingly. It is not at all insignificant that Rodgers is 7-0 against the spread vs. the Rams.
- The Rams are very poor at running the football, averaging just 3.7 yards per carry and ranking 30th in the National Football League.
- The Packers may be poor at defending the run. Still, because they are an excellent rushing team with Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon (4.9 ypc as a team), they will have the ground advantage, especially as all-world defensive tackle Aaron Donald is out (high ankle sprain) for the Rams.
- Mayfield was 22-of-35 for 230 yards last week after being with the Rams less than 48 hours. But in these weather conditions, are we really counting on a repeat performance in these weather conditions? That’s exactly what Los Angeles might need to do to be competitive here.
So basically, the Packers have their two Aarons (Rodgers and Jones), who should play a big role in this game. But the Rams don’t have theirs (Donald), and his absence will also be a factor, which will surely create fluctuation at top NFL betting sites. Given a choice between these two, we like the Packers, even at this number.
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