NFL Weekend Picks: No Aaron Rodgers, No Problem; Take Packers Over Chiefs

Jordan Love isn't seven points worse than Rodgers

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Last weekend’s picks were a dud, plain and simple. I still can’t get over Jim Harbaugh kicking two short field goals on fourth-and-2 and fourth-and-3 to keep Michigan State in the game.

If you’re new around these parts, this is not a place where you’ll find a million betting picks. I isolate the ones I really, really like and roll with those. Nothing more, nothing less. Don’t expect to see any five-team parlays or “locks” on primetime games, either.

Let’s go to work.

Green Bay Packers at Kansas City Chiefs (-7, O/U 48)
Packers +7

Aaron Rodgers will not play for the Packers after testing positive for COVID-19, but I can’t believe how much the betting market moved. The line was a pick ’em before the news and Las Vegas sportsbooks re-opened the game around a touchdown. Rodgers is amazing, but Jordan Love should prove to be extremely capable against that Kansas City defense. Love is very familiar with the playbook and has plenty of experience with the ones in training camp. Remember, receivers Davante Adams and Allen Lazard are likely both back for the Pack.

Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints (-6.5, O/U 42.5)
Saints -6.5

I don’t have much of a drop-off between quarterbacks Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill and apparently, the oddsmakers don’t either. New Orleans opened as a 4.5-point favorite and the Saints were quickly bet up to -6 over the ensuing 24 hours. This pick is mostly about the Saints’ defense, which has been top 10 in the NFL in multiple advanced metrics over the last five seasons. Atlanta will struggle to move the football and Matt Ryan is still without top weapon Calvin Ridley.

New England Patriots (-3, O/U 41.5) at Carolina Panthers
“Over” 41.5 points

Sam Darnold is reportedly a go for Carolina and that makes me like the “Over” even more. The Patriots finally took the training wheels off of rookie Mac Jones after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers game and all four games have gone “Over” since. Jones has looked much more comfortable throwing the ball down the field and the running game continues to open everything up. Also, Christian McCaffrey is back for the Panthers and we already know New England’s secondary is far from special. Expect both teams to reach the 20s.

Sam’s Picks
Packers +7
Saints -6.5
NE-CAR “Over” 41.5

RECORD: (69-65, +10.8)

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