Patriots Vs. Packers Week 4 Betting Preview: Trends, Props, Pick

The Patriots are rarely underdogs of this magnitude


September 30

The Patriots will be in relatively unfamiliar territory Sunday when they travel to Green Bay to take on the Packers.

New England is expected to have Brian Hoyer under center for the Week 4 clash at Lambeau Field with Mac Jones nursing an ankle injury. The betting markets reacted in kind with Green Bay currently a 9-point favorite.

It probably shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, but the Patriots have rarely been underdogs of this size in the Bill Belichick era. In fact, New England has been an underdog of nine points or more just six times under the future Hall of Famer. Tom Brady certainly gets a lot of credit for that, too, as the most recent two times the Patriots have been catching nine or more points came with Jimmy Garoppolo at quarterback to open the 2016 season and then when Hoyer was a late fill-in for Cam Newton in 2020 at Kansas City.

The Patriots lost and failed to cover that game in Kansas City — played on a Tuesday night due to COVID-19 issues — as 11.5-point dogs in a 26-10 Chiefs win. That game was relatively competitive — for a half, at least. Historically under Belichick, the Patriots are 4-2 against the spread as underdogs of nine points or more, including four outright wins — the most notable, of course, being their Super Bowl XXXVI win over the Rams.

That, however, was a long time ago.

Here’s what bettors should know before placing their Week 4 wagers, with odds and props courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.

New England Patriots at (-9) Green Bay Packers
Total: Over/under 40.5
When: Sunday, Oct. 2, 4:25 p.m. ET
Where: Lambeau Field; Green Bay, Wisc.

The record changes slightly depending on the number you want to use, but the Patriots are 0-4-1 ATS in their last five games dating back to last season. Again, that depends on the line, as there was some movement around their Week 2 line in Pittsburgh, a game New England won by three. Even if you count that as an ATS win, the Patriots still haven’t been especially profitable lately. In fact, if you go back to mid-December, the Patriots are just 1-6-1 ATS in their last eight games. And that Pittsburgh straight-up win is their only road win since the wind game in Buffalo last December, a span of five games.

The Packers largely have taken care of business as sizable favorites under Matt LaFleur. Green Bay has been a favorite of nine points or more 10 times since he was hired in 2019. They are 10-0 in those games, but they haven’t exactly been profitable against the spread. The Packers are just 4-6 ATS in those games, but those four spread wins all came in the last two seasons. The Packers are 4-1 ATS in those situations since the start of last season, winning by an average of 16 points. The betting market has also been a little slow to react to the Packers’ offensive issues. All three of Green Bay’s games have gone under this season.

Rhamondre Stevenson OVER 45.5 rushing yards (-115) — The obvious caveat here is we never know what the Patriots are going to do with their running backs. But anyone who has watched New England this season knows Stevenson has looked like the best back on the roster. Only four running backs with at least 29 carries this season are averaging more yards per carry than Stevenson, who has averaged 5 yards when his number is called. Of those 29 carries, four have gone for 10 yards or more. Green Bay, despite bottling up Leonard Fournette last week in Tampa Bay, still ranks 32nd in run defense DVOA. The path to a competitive game is paved by the run game for the Patriots, and Stevenson seems like the best man to lead the way.

Aaron Rodgers UNDER 229.5 passing yards (-115) — Despite the quarterback situation, Patriots fans should have some hope New England can pull an upset this week. If that’s going to happen, it probably will have something to do with the defensive game plan. The Packers’ receivers are fine, at least within that system, but they don’t have any true singular talent. Put another way, they’ll struggle to get open if they aren’t schemed open. Belichick probably knows that, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Patriots jam those Green Bay receivers at the line and try to take away the short passing game. Rodgers’ 3.2 air yards per attempt is the shortest of any QB with at least 90 attempts. If New England takes that away, it will be a wildly frustrating day for Rodgers and the Green Bay offense. And if the Packers are going to have a good day, it probably comes on the ground with the two-headed monster of Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon. Regardless, it doesn’t seem like a productive day for Rodgers.

We’ve spent this entire time telling you the Patriots are playing a backup QB, the Packers’ offense hasn’t been great, and the best chance for either team to have success is on the ground. That’s a lot of evidence pointing toward the under. The total opened at 42.5 and quickly was bet down as it became clear Hoyer likely was starting. We’ve seen Belichick stifle better Green Bay offenses in the past, too. In fact, Green Bay’s biggest offensive output versus New England in the last 15 years came with Matt Flynn at quarterback for a concussed Rodgers back in 2010. Green Bay has scored a combined 43 points in the last two meetings with Rodgers under center. So even if the Packers’ defense comes out and commits to stopping the run while daring Hoyer to throw, it’s worth wondering whether Green Bay can turn stops into points. The over might really only be in play if Hoyer throws them a pick-six or gets sloppy deep in his own end. If the Patriots cover, it almost certainly goes under, and the most likely scenario for a Packers cover feels like a 24-10 game or something along those lines.

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Thumbnail photo via Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports Images

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