Packers vs Chiefs Week 9 Picks and Predictions: Don't Pack It in Yet

NFL betting lines shifted considerably in KC after the news in Green Bay this week. That spread may have gone too far toward the Chiefs, even with the Packers coming to Arrowhead without their franchise QB — read our picks for more.

Last Updated: Nov 5, 2021 8:16 PM ET Read Time: 5 min
Jordan Love Green Bay Packers NFL
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So, anything of note to talk about ahead of the game between the Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead? 

Jordan Love's Packers will head to Kansas City as 7.5-point NFL betting underdogs after the series of unfortunate events in Green Bay this week. While the line understandably moved even more in the home Chiefs' direction, has it swung too far?

Here are our best free picks and predictions for Packers vs. Chiefs, with kickoff on November 7.

Packers vs Chiefs odds

Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.

After opening at Chiefs -1 at most books, news of Aaron Rodgers' positive COVID-19 test saw the line move to between Kansas City -7 and -7.5 depending on the book. The total, too, saw a major shift as it now sits at 48 after opening between 55.5 and 56.

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until kickoff and be sure to check out the full NFL odds before placing your bets.

Packers vs Chiefs picks

Picks made on 11/5/2021 at 4:30 p.m. ET.
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.

Best Packers vs Chiefs bonuses

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Packers vs Chiefs game info

Location: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, MO
Date: Sunday, November 7, 2021
Time: 4:25 p.m. ET

Packers at Chiefs betting preview


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Key injuries

Packers:  Kingsley Keke DE (Out), Aaron Rodgers QB (Out), Robert Tonyan TE (Out), Jaire Alexander CB (Out), Isaiah McDuffie LB (Out), Vernon Scott S (Out), La'Darius Hamilton (Out).
Chiefs: Khalen Saunders DT (Out), Mike Remmers T (Out), DeAndre Baker CB (Out), Clyde Edwards-Helaire RB (Out).
Find our latest NFL injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Chiefs are 0-4 ATS in their last four games as a home favorite. Find more NFL betting trends for Packers vs. Chiefs.

Packers vs Chiefs predictions

Home field and reputation must have been doing the heavy lifting when Kansas City opened as favorites against a then fully available Packers team. The two, at full health, share many similarities but it's the Packers who have been considerably more impressive this season and are coming off not only a great win, against the previously undefeated Cardinals, but their best defensive performance of the season too.

Green Bay has the edge on Kansas City on defense, as it ranks 22nd in DVOA and 28th in drive success rate compared to Kansas City's 31st and 32nd marks. The Packers are trending in the right direction, too, as they are 21st in weighted DVOA on defense and approaching preseason expectations (Football Outsiders' DAVE metric had them 18th). Green Bay held the Cardinals to 334 total yards, the second-lowest mark of Arizona's season, and 2.625 points per drive, which is below its season average.

The Packers' defense isn't great but it's superior to the Chiefs', and it's certainly not at the level where it will suddenly allow Kansas City to revert to form, like Washington's did for two quarters in Week 6. So, the spread comes down to whether the Packers and Love can keep pace with Kansas City's offense to within a score, and we like their chances of doing so. 

Obviously, turning to a backup passer is never ideal but if there's a system for a backup to get dropped into, it's one like Green Bay's. The Shanahan offense and its offshoots littered throughout the league, including in Green Bay, famously gives quarterbacks answers to the test pre-snap. Love will be tasked with throwing to a spot with the knowledge the target on that play was schemed open, with timing being paramount as he reaches the back of his drop. The Packers' play-action rate will skyrocket here, too, in order to further limit the processing Love will need to do midplay. 

Green Bay will also continue to depend on its running game, currently ranked 11th in the NFL. A.J. Dillon's increased role in the offense has given the Packers a dynamic 1-2 with balanced skill sets, with the former BC tailback a bruising runner inside and Aaron Jones dynamic when pressing the edge on outside runs.   

Rodgers' absence, of course, has a massive impact on Green Bay's chances of winning this game. It doesn't, however, change the fact the Chiefs don't blow teams out at the moment. The line has swung too far and we're happy to take Love's Packers to cover. 

Even for their flaws, we know what the Chiefs are capable of on offense and believe they can hit their team total of 28.5 in this one. Despite going too far the other way on Monday night against the Giants, operating in the most methodical, patient manner we've seen since Patrick Mahomes took over, the offense still boasts great numbers.

Kansas City is sixth in offensive DVOA, both season-long and weighted, first in yards per drive, and fifth in points per drive. A further boon to the Over is the Chiefs' efficiency coming within an offense that operates at the third-fastest pace in the NFL this season. (It's also worth noting that, while Green Bay's offense is 32nd in pace, it should quicken this week as Love won't be going through the same high-level process as Rodgers at the line of scrimmage pre-snap.) 

So, the total will come down to faith in Love and the Packers' offense. There are justifiable concerns, with Love making his first career start, but the flashes we've seen are tantalizing. Love's preseason numbers were solid if not flashy, as he completed 24 of 35 passes for 271 yards and a touchdown with one pick. In a relief appearance in Week 1, Love went 5 of 7 with 9.71 yards per attempt. He has the characteristics that are the future of the position, as a big-armed, big-bodied passer that can move and create out of structure.

In addition to a generally QB-friendly offense, the infrastructure around Love should be improved by returning pieces. Wide receivers Davante Adams and Allen Lazard will be back, which is crucial after tight end Robert Tonyan was lost for the year. Green Bay may also see All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari return, which would enable Elgton Jenkins to move back to guard, where he has dominated since his first snap in the NFL. 

All that being said, all the reasons for optimism around Love and the Packers are secondary to the most obvious reason to take the Over: the Chiefs' defense. It remains an awful unit that can't get the opposition off the field and can't stop explosive plays. There will surely be growing pains for Love on Sunday but those will come along with plenty of success against a terrible defense. 

If Love is able to operate the offense as we expect, then getting plus-money on Adams' receptions total is great value. Green Bay's All-Pro wideout has averaged 7.4 catches per game this year, and a spot-starter like Love is likely to depend on his best target even more than Rodgers would, relying on the league's premier route runner. Helping this bet is that due to Rodgers' absence throughout offseason activities, Love got a fair bit of run with the first-team offense and thus, he and Adams won't be starting fresh together.

Also helping this bet? The defense tasked with slowing Adams down. The Chiefs are 30th in the league in pass defense DVOA, with both cornerback play and safety play well below par in Kansas City this season. The Chiefs have allowed over 6.5 catches to four different receivers this year (Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Devonta Smith, and AJ Brown) and now face the league's best. Just as Love will on Sunday, count on Adams to deliver.

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