Denver Broncos vs. Green Bay Packers Pick 9/22/19
Denver Broncos (0-2 SU, 1-1 ATS) vs. Green Bay Packers (2-0 SU, 2-0 ATS)
NFL Football Week 3
Date and Time:Sunday, Sep. 22 at 1pm ET
Point Spread:DEN +7.5/GB -7.5 (WagerWeb)
Nothing is settled in the NFL after just two weeks but an 0-3 start is one to avoid as only five teams have made the playoffs after going winless in their first three. Denver is one team looking to get in the win column, but they will have to take down Green Bay in Lambeau to do so. The Packers haven’t looked overly strong through two weeks, but they are 2-0, and their defense has been the star of the show by allowing just 19 total points. Green Bay is sitting as 7.5-point favorites, and while they don’t look like they are a touchdown better than anyone right now, they are getting 66% of the action in the early betting period. I like fresh matchups, and this one should be fun watch as these teams have faced off just twice in the last twelve seasons, previous meeting in 2015.
Depending on the D
With Aaron Rodgers and all his weapons on offense, you would assume that side of the ball is the biggest factor to a 2-0 start, but the Packers are averaging just 15.5 points per game and have mustered just five scoring drives on the season. The defense has been the better unit and has literally saved both wins with late-game interceptions in the endzone to seal victories. The pass defense ranks 11th through two weeks, but yards allowed alone doesn’t tell the whole story as Green Bay has held opposing QBs to an average passer rating of just 56. The secondary will be dealing with a couple of injuries as S Darnell Savage may miss Sunday with a bad shin. Savage has impressed as a rookie with nine tackles a forced fumble and two pass defenses. Raven Greene is a back-up safety, and he is officially out so Green Bay could be in bad shape if they have to face any more injuries. The run defense is the weak spot and Denver will look to test a front seven that ranks 29th in allowing 5.8 yards per rush.
Denver enters the week 28th in scoring and their chances to win Sunday hinge heavily on their ability to get more on the board than they have so far. Joe Flacco is completing nearly 70% of his passes but has just two touchdowns with most of his throws going underneath. Royce Freeman has looked good while averaging 5.2 yards per carry, but neither he nor Phillip Lindsay has found the endzone. Both backs are good in the passing game, but the Chicago and Oakland defenses have had no issues bending without breaking against this offense. Emmanuel Sanders has 184 receiving yards and two touchdowns, but he is the only established playmaker and draws a tough assignment in either Jaire Alexander or Kevin King this week. Most problematic for the Broncos offense has been their 33% conversion rate on third down. Somehow they still own a small time of possession advantage, but they haven’t been able to sustain drives and no one scores without moving the ball consistently.
More Picks: Keith Allen’s Ravens vs. Chiefs Pick ATS >>>
What’s Troubling No. 12?
Green Bay scored touchdowns on their first three possessions last week but looked lost for the rest of the game and nearly gave away that lead. The offensive line isn’t opening holes for the run game, but it is hard to ignore the fact that Aaron Rodgers has not been sharp. A-Rod is hitting on just 62% of his passes with just one of his three touchdowns coming to a wide receiver. Chicago and Minnesota have superb pass defenses, but that can’t explain Rodgers was missing open receivers or being unable to fit throws in tight windows. Davante Adams has 142 yards but has been held out of the endzone so far, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling is averaging four yards per catch outside of the 47-yarder he caught in the opener. Rodgers targeted the tight end nine times in the opener, but that position group was held without a catch last week, and it looks like Green Bay doesn’t have a handle on how to get the ball to anyone outside of Adams. Aaron Jones can be great as a feature back, but that under-performing O-line is limiting him, and the coaching staff is stubbornly committed to giving Jamaal Williams meaningful touches despite his two yards per carry average. The Packers offense is bottom-10 in nearly every meaningful category and is also near the bottom in sacks allowed with Rodgers on pace to be sacked 60 times.
There are plenty of strong betting trends this week, and most of them do not favor Denver. The Broncos are 5-14 against the spread in their last 19 road games with just one ATS win in their last six games overall. Green Bay remains one of the better early season squads, and they are 4-1 ATS in their last five in September. The over/under trends overwhelmingly point to the under with the low side winning five of the last six Denver road games. That continues with Green Bay as the under is 4-1 in the last five at Lambeau. The total opened at 44 but has fallen to 43 with 53% of the bets coming in on the under.
Green Bay looking less than stellar on offense makes the 7.5 point line seem a little high in some regards, but Denver’s defense has not recorded a sack or interception through two weeks so that matchup could still favor the Pack oddly enough. I think Aaron Jones could have one of his best days as a pro with the Broncos at 23rd in rush defense and any run game production should open things up for Rodgers a bit. Denver needs some playmakers to be potent on offense, and I doubt they find much success through the air against what could be one of the better overall secondaries in the league. Freeman and Lindsay might get something going on the ground, but I predict Denver stalls in that 14-17 point range so I will lay the 7.5 with Green Bay getting to 26.
Ted’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Green Bay