The 2-0 New Orleans Saints ride a short week into Lambeau Field, set to take on the Green Bay Packers who sit as a slight 2-point home favorite with a total of 42.5 according to NFL odds.
There are plenty of underlying metrics that show Jordan Love is a quarterback who shouldn’t be leading the league in passer rating and he's someone I’m looking to fade in Week 3. But is his likely regression enough to take the Saints as a short dog in Wisconsin?
Here are my free NFL picks for the Saints vs. Packers on Sunday, September 24.
Saints vs Packers odds
Saints vs Packers predictions
Jordan Love currently leads the NFL in passing touchdowns and passer rating but the underlying numbers show a quarterback who has been very lucky.
First off, his completion percentage ranks 30th in football among starters, and his -10.8% CPOE ranks second last ahead of only Justin Fields. Now he has to face a defense that has three picks on the year and hunts for turnovers.
Making things even worse for the young Green Bay Packers' signal caller are his decisions with the ball. Love has a 25% aggressiveness rating, per Next Gen stats which means one in every four pass attempts is being thrown with a defender within one yard.
This is by far the highest rate in the league with the next highest sitting at 21% (Joshua Dobbs). Love’s inaccuracies with the ball and his need to force throws will catch up to him this week as his confidence is likely pretty high and could let him down.
The Packers are also dealing with many more injuries than the New Orleans Saints. NOLA lost Jamaal Williams, but the running back position is easily replaceable and Tony Jones can handle the workload as he proved in Week 2 with a pair of scores.
Green Bay, on the other hand, continues to deal with the injury bug. Aaron Jones, Christian Watson, and David Bakhtiari all sat out Week 2 and are questionable early in the week for Sunday’s contest. I feel Watson could suit up but the RB and tackle are tougher to speculate on.
Compounding these issues are the injuries sustained in Week 2’s loss to the Falcons as starting guard Elgin Jenkins and first-round rookie linebacker Lukas Van Ness exited and didn’t return. Jenkins is dealing with an MCL sprain and looks more doubtful than anything this week.
Derek Carr has been competent at QB with his new team but has a lot of weapons in the passing game with Michael Thomas looking good despite the layoff, Chris Olave being a serious threat, and burner Rashid Shaeheed a very good No. 3.
Green Bay beat a bad Chicago team in Week 1 and blew a 24-12 fourth-quarter lead last week to Desmond Ridder. The offense gained seven yards on its final three possessions (10 total plays) and Love looked nervous in crunch time. The Saints are on a short week but this is a team that has shown it can win close games.
My best bet: Saints +2 (-110 at FanDuel)
Picks made at time of writing may not reflect live odds.
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Saints vs Packers same-game parlay
I'm excluding the Saints' spread pick from this but Hill's TD is +240 alone and the correlation between these two plays is significant but the book is giving us +625 odds vs. the true odds of +500.
With Jammal Williams questionable, Taysom Hill could see even more snaps inside the 20 which obviously hurts Carr's chances to get passing TDs. Hill had two rushes and took another snap under center in the red zone last week.
With Carr's snaps inside the 20 getting cut into and Hill possibly taking on a bigger rushing role with Williams hurt, this is a very sexy "boosted" SGP that has a good multiplier.
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Saints vs Packers spread and Over/Under analysis
Green Bay was -1.5 on the look-ahead and reopened at -2. Some books have hit -1.5 as of Wednesday but the 2-point line is more of the consensus heading into the practice schedule, which will certainly dictate where this line closes.
Last week, Green Bay opened as a slight road favorite before closing as a 2.5-point dog vs. the Falcons. A lot of that was injury-related as Jones, Watson, and Bakhtiari were inactive. Their participation this week will be very important to where this line moves as will the health of starting guard Elgin Jenkins and rookie linebacker Luke Van Ness who exited Week 2.
If the majority of these Green Bay players are DNPs or questionable heading into the weekend, this game could easily flip to a pick ‘em.
The Saints have a Top 4 defense in EPA/play, they’re generating decent pressure despite blitzing at a Bottom 10 rate, they're facing an injured O-line, the offense looks capable, and Jordan Love is playing well over his numbers.
The total has bounced around from 42.5 to 43.5, and Green Bay is 2-0 to the Over while the Saints are a perfect 2-0 to the Under.
The Packers under Matt LaFleur have always been a slow offense and the Jordan Love era continues that trend as they rank 28th in pace of play. The Saints have surprisingly been one of the quicker offenses, ranking fifth in pace of play, but were a much slower team in 2022 without Derk Carr.
There will be 15-mph winds projected to blow toward the one endzone, which will help one offense but hurt the other in each quarter. Temps are expected in the high 60s and there is a little risk of rain. Weather conditions favor the Under here and it wouldn’t surprise me to see some Under money come in later in the week.
Saints vs Packers betting trend to know
The Packers have only hit the moneyline in 10 of their last 20 games (-8.75 units / -22% ROI). Find more NFL betting trends for Saints vs Packers.
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Saints vs Packers game info
|Location:||Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI|
|Date:||Sunday, September 24, 2023|
|Kickoff:||1:00 p.m. ET|
|Opening odds:||Packers -3, 42.5|
Saints vs Packers latest injuries
Saints vs Packers weather
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