The Week 9 NFL schedule includes a great matchup between the Packers and Patriots. For this game and every other primetime contest, we’ll break down the sports betting lines and recommend where to place your bets at DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook.
Keep an eye on injury news right up until kick off since things can change quickly in the NFL. Any player listed as questionable may see limited action or not suit up at all if they don’t respond well in warm-ups.
Week 9 Sunday Night Football Betting
Green Bay Packers (25.75) at New England Patriots (30.75)
For the first time since 2014, Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady will go head to head. Rodgers shredded the Pats for 368 yards and 2 TDs (112.6 passer rating) to defeat the Pats, 26-21, that time around.
Fast forward four years and both the Packers and Patriots have regressed considerably on defense. For their part, Green Bay ranks 24th in DVOA rush defense and 25th against opposing top receivers.
If Sony Michel (knee) is cleared to play, he could become a focal point of the Pats offense. Michel logged a whopping 68 touches over three games before spraining his knee in a Week 7 win at Chicago. He’s been practicing this week and would likely produce great numbers against a Packers defense that yields 4.68 YPC.
If Michel is inactive, James White would become a shoo-in top play in NFL DFS contests on DraftKings and FanDuel. White would be the Patriots’ preferred back in short-yardage situations, as well as their replacement for the running game with his ability to pile up short receptions. He’s drawn 10-plus targets and caught 8-plus receptions in four of his last five games.
As for the Pats receivers, after fizzling in Buffalo Monday night in the coverage of elite CB Tre’Davious White, Josh Gordon is primed to bounce back at home.
Julian Edelman might match up with 35-year-old slot CB Tramon Williams, or the Packers could shadow him with promising rookie Jaire Alexander. Edelman has produced 100 yards and/or scored in TD in three straight games and is obviously a favorite target for Brady.
Rob Gronkowski has lost a step and is going to be questionable on a weekly basis with back and ankle injuries. He’s always capable of making big plays in big games, but the Patriots aren’t going to force feed the ball to Gronk when he doesn’t separate.
Green Bay has faced the third-fewest pass attempts this year, mainly because the Packers have been unable to stop the run since losing DT Muhammad Wilkerson (ankle) to I.R. The Patriots almost always take advantage of the opponent’s weaknesses, hence the upside Michel brings if he’s active.
With Aaron Rodgers running the show, Green Bay is second in pass play rate this year. He’s targeted Davante Adams on 78 of 286 pass attempts (27%) and hasn’t hesitated to feed Adams when he draws shadow coverage from elite cornerbacks.
Patriots top CB Stephon Gilmore is playing lights out right now and allows the third-lowest completion rate in the NFL. With Gilmore battling Adams, the stage is set for Green Bay’s secondary receivers to make an impact.
Geronimo Allison (hamstring) has been ruled out, clearing the way for promising rookie Marques Valdes-Scantling to start opposite Adams.
Allison played 30 of 52 offensive snaps and “MVS” saw 31 snaps last week. Seeing his first action since Week 3, Randall Cobb played 24 snaps and saw just 5 targets against the Rams last Sunday.
Cobb might have a much larger role in this road game, however, as the Patriots are vulnerable with slot CB Eric Rowe (groin) now on I.R. Jonathan Jones could move into the slot, and preseason whipping boy Jason McCourty may start opposite Gilmore.
New England has employed a “bend-but-don’t-break” mentality on defense once again, which has led to a solid 4.25 YPC average from opposing RBs.
Aaron Jones saw a season-high 14 touches while playing on 62% of offensive snaps as the Packers’ featured back coming out of their bye. With Ty Montgomery traded and Jamaal Williams only handling situational short-yardage runs, Jones has excellent upside in DFS contests.
The Patriots have allowed the eighth-most receptions (49) and receiving yards (433) to opposing RBs this season. Since Matt Patricia’s departure, the Pats have also been vulnerable to opposing TEs, allowing a league-high 5 TDs to the position.
Jimmy Graham is another upside play to consider given the strength of the Patriots’ secondary down the field. New England ranks second in DVOA against deep passes and allows the third-lowest reception rate this season.
NFL Week 9 Picks
The Patriots score four touchdowns per game at home this season and average only 1.8 on the road. The Packers defense allows the third-most TDs per game (3.7) on the road this season and the seventh-most TDs (5.50) per red zone trip.
We should have no concerns about the Pats scoring over 30 points in this spot. Then, the Packers should be able to keep pace with Rodgers exploiting the holes in New England’s inconsistent secondary.
Approximately 70 percent of bets and money are coming in on the Over (56.5), and we tend to lean that way in a potential shootout.
Taking the Packers to hang within seven points at the Rams last week paid off easily, but they brought a huge fan base to L.A. and will undergo a more decided disadvantage at raucous Gillette Stadium this Sunday.
With the line moving down from Patriots (-7) to Patriots (-5) on most sportsbooks, over 60 percent of the money is down on New England. The Pats’ pedigree speaks for itself, and there are simply too many positive matchups for their offense to expect the Packers defense to hold its ground on the road.
We’d recommend the Over as the primary bet, potentially teasing it with Green Bay (+5), since a shootout would likely come down to a last-minute field goal.