The Green Bay Packers are at a point where they are so far behind the Minnesota Vikings (three and a half games) that the best they can hope for is to make it to the playoffs as a wild card team. And for that, they would have to make a mad dash toward the finish line, because there are a lot of teams close to their 3-5 record (both straight-up and against the spread, by the way).
As BetOnline patrons watch them take the field at Ford Field against the Detroit Lions this Sunday (1 PM ET kickoff), they may be wondering how much of a factor running back Aaron Jones is going to be.
Jones, at his best, has to be considered a first-rate back in this league. But he’s not alone in the backfield and not looked upon the same way that, say, Derrick Henry or Jonathan Taylor are by their respective teams.
At Prop Builder, here is the over-under on Jones’ rushing yards on Sunday:
Over 67.5 yards -126
Under 67.5 yards -104
One of the things about Jones that is so perplexing when it comes to analyzing a prop is that the play-calling around the Packers is, well, perplexing. Yes, we understand that Green Bay has a four-time MVP at the quarterback position. But this is also a team that has numerous headaches at the wide receiver spot. When you lose Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling in the same off-season, you’re talking about two guys who had developed a chemistry with Rodgers, especially Adams, of course.
And while we also understand that Rodgers has to work his way into a rapport with new receivers, it becomes more difficult when they are in and out of the lineup. That’s been the case with rookie Christian Watson and veteran Sammy Watkins. That has also been the case with Allen Lazard, who sat out last week’s game with Buffalo and is listed as a game-time decision for Sunday. Randall Cobb, with an ankle injury, went on injured reserve.
So let’s just say that the Packers may not be in an optimal position to exploit one of the NFL’s worst secondaries. The Lions have allowed opposing passers to complete 69.2% of their throws. And they have gone for an average of 11.7 yards per completion, which is the second worst figure in the league.
Right now, the thing the Packers do best is run the ball. And they were able to do that with a high degree of success against the Bills, distributing their play calls almost perfectly evenly between runs and passes. The result was 208 yards on the ground, which helped them stay in the contest and get the cover. Aaron Jones got 143 of those yards.
That his team can run the ball is hardly a revelation to either Rodgers or head coach Matt LaFleur. Still, this team doesn’t do it enough. When you have a guy like Jones, who is averaging 5.9 per carry, and then a sidekick like AJ Dillon, you’re not doing it enough if you’re doing it only 39.9% of the time, as they do.
And this impacts how we look at the prop.
Jones is averaging 71 yards a game this season, on 12.3 carries. He’d get more, except that Dillon gets some carries too. In an ideal world, he SHOULD be able to jump over this threshold. But I’m leaning toward him not being able to do that, noting, among other things, that he has topped this number only four times in the last ten games.
And we’ll go back to the play-calling. Yes, some of it my have to do with the availability of Lazard, who is the best receiver Rodgers has, when healthy. But it goes beyond that.
The Packers’ game plan against the Bills was, for the most part, based on the fact that it was the best way to go about winning the game. If Buffalo was “soft” anywhere, it was in shutting down the run.
Against the Lions, the best route may be to throw it. And we say that even with the acknowledgment that Detroit has allowed teams to rush for 5.1 yards an attempt. I just think the mindset of Rodgers is that if he thinks he can move it through the air, that is what he’s going to do.
We’ll go UNDER 67.5 on this prop. And you can indulge yourself with many more of that using Prop Builder at BetOnline, where they also give you a nice surprise with payouts on parlays with Odds Boosters, and offer you a chance to win even more with the $250,000 Perfect Parlay and their 50% Sports Welcome Bonus….. Remember that you can use just about any viable cryptocurrency on earth to make deposits!