TNF Pick: Green Bay Packers vs. Arizona Cardinals

by | Oct 26, 2021 | nfl

Green Bay Packers (6-1 SU, 6-1 ATS) vs. Arizona Cardinals (7-0 SU, 6-1 ATS)
Week 8 NFL
Date/Time: Thursday, October 28, 2021 at 8:20PM EDT
Where: State Farm Stadium, Glendale, Arizona
TV: Fox/NFL Network

Point Spread: GB +3.5/ARI -3.5 (Betanysports - Start saving your hard earned money TODAY by making the switch from -110 odds to -105 odds! You’ll be so happy you did!)
Over/Under Total: 53

Update: Davante Adams and Allen Lazard will miss with Covid, however, our pick remains unchanged. Unbelievably, Aaron Rodgers actually has better stats playing without Adams!

The Green Bay Packers come into Glendale for a big week 8 NFC matchup with the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday Night Football. This game features two teams who have established themselves as contenders through the first almost half of the season. Green Bay won their sixth straight game on Sunday with a 24-10 win over Washington and look to really establish themselves as the team to beat in the NFC with a win here. Arizona, meanwhile, is coming off a fairly routine 31-5 win over the Houston Texans on Sunday. They look to keep it rolling in what should be a big test at home on TNF. Combined, these teams are a massively successful 12-2 against the spread. Who can get the cover on Thursday?

Green Bay on a Roll

Other than what was a really nice win on the road over the Rams, Arizona has had the luxury of playing some teams that came into those games with an erratic run of recent performances. In addition, with games against the Vikings, Jags, Niners, Texans, maybe Arizona has caught a few breaks in the opposition department. Green Bay has rebounded from a bizarre week one loss with a half-dozen straight wins, looking good in the process. They’ve scored blowouts and conclusive wins while also gutting out a few close ones.

Despite some injuries in the secondary, the Packers have managed to hold firm, limiting opposing offenses to limited production aerially as of late. They have been leaky against the run on occasion, so that could be an area where we see the Arizona backfield play a bigger role, with Chase Edmonds and James Conner looking to do damage. But outside the matchup particulars is the fact that a Packers team with an edge is coming into town looking to cement their contender status. This is a big test for an unbeaten Cardinals team.

Urgency

It’s a big game for both teams. Arizona, with no sustainable success having occurred in this current era, isn’t likely to be complacent in this spot. They’re still in a tight divisional race in a top-heavy conference. Just as important is that they’re out to show they’re more than a team off to a fast start. A win here would show they’re for real. Not that they wouldn’t be for real if they were to lose, but the stakes should be high for them. They still have an ax to grind.

Still, there have been more-subdued Arizona offensive performances in recent weeks. Last week against Houston and two weeks before that against San Francisco saw the Arizona offense laying it on less-thick. The final score last week reflects a nice amount of production, but it came in spurts, with long stretches of not a lot happening. And if establishing offensive flow was difficult against those teams, it might be tougher this week against Green Bay. It’s a Packers’ defense that registers big plays on a regular basis. They pounce on the opponent’s mistakes, allow a minimum of big splash plays, and do well at controlling aerial offenses that really spread around the targets as Arizona does.

The Power of Variety

Even if the Packers’ defense has held up well against different types of offenses this season, Arizona might be a different animal. With the Packers, there are multiple viable options on the ground and through the air, to be sure, but a defense knows they will have a leg up if they can corral Aaron Jones and Davante Adams. The Green Bay defense in this matchup has no such luxury. The Cardinals’ backfield features a two-headed monster with Chase Edmonds and James Conner. Even QB Kyler Murray could start breaking off runs again, something he hasn’t been doing in recent weeks. The Packers’ defense hasn’t been getting dominated by the run game, but it hasn’t exactly been a team strength either.

Through the air is where the Cardinals look to do their damage. Even if the Packers have been strong in this area, no team with a strong secondary has likely seen the sheer variety of the Arizona aerial package. Zach Ertz coming into the picture paid off last week, as he joins guys like DeAndre Hopkins, Christian Kirk, Rondale Moore, and AJ Green. That’s a lot of juice. Green Bay’s secondary, not at full strength, is likely to be run a little thin in this spot. At the very least, we could see a little regression from the Packers’ pass-defense.

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Arizona Defense for Real?

Over the last handful of weeks, we’ve seen this Cardinals’ defense produce nice results. With 58 combined points allowed by opponents in the last five games, there isn’t much to complain about in regards to “D.” That could also be a result of playing the Jags, an off Rams team, the battered Niners and Browns, followed by the utterly-dysfunctional Texans team. Things ramp up a few levels this week for the still-unproven Cardinals defense. It’s not Arizona’s fault that the offenses they faced are a troubled lot. But we’ll see if this translates against a smooth-running Green Bay offense. They would like to more consistently apply a pass-rush while hoping a dicey run-defense that hasn’t been exploited lately doesn’t come up and bite them this week against Aaron Jones.

Take the Road Dog

This is a tough spot in a big game, and we’ve already seen the Cardinals thrive in this context this season. I just think this is their toughest game of the season, and the stars line up for a really tough game. I suspect the Arizona run-defense’s state manifests poorly for the Cardinals this week, while there is upside for a big Davante Adams showing. I sense a back-and-forth game, with the Packers doing enough to get out of town with the cover. I’ll take Green Bay.

Loot’s Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I’m betting on the Green Bay Packers plus 3.5 points. Bet your Week 8 NFL picks for FREE by taking advantage of a 100% REAL CASH bonus on your first deposit of $100 to $500 at GTBets Sportsbook!