- The Green Bay Packers finished the 2018 season 6-9-1
- The Packers have missed the playoffs in back-to-back seasons
- The Packers’ Super Bowl odds have dipped from +2100 to +1800
The Green Bay Packers’ Super Bowl odds continue to shorten. Their odds were at +2100 across the board in early May, but are now down to +1800. Maybe they’ll drop even more after Aaron Rodgers allowed his offensive lineman out-chug him in a beer-drinking contest in the NBA Eastern Conference Finals.
Joking aside, are the Packers a good bet at this point?
Super Bowl 54 Odds
|Team||Odds to Win Super Bowl 54 at
|New England Patriots||+700|
|Kansas City Chiefs||+800|
|New Orleans Saints||+900|
|Los Angeles Rams||+1100|
|Los Angeles Chargers||+1600|
|Green Bay Packers||+1800|
*Odds taken 05/24/19
Packers Produce Very Positive Offseason
The Packers were a six-win team last season and have missed the playoffs in two straight seasons, so its clear changes needed to be made. The good news is that they’ve made plenty of positive ones in the offseason and it looks like their arrow is finally pointed up again.
The Packers defense was embarrassed last year, finishing 18th in total yards while giving up 93 points in their final three games – including a season-ending 31-0 shutout at home to the Detroit Lions. They made a slew of additions in the offseason, including signing linebackers Preston Smith and Za’Darius Smith, and drafting lineman Rashan Gary and safety Darnell Savage in the first round.
The Packers ran the ball a league-low 333 times in 2018 despite having the second-best yards-per-carry (5.0) average.
The main change on offense was the hiring of new head coach Matt LaFleur, who helped perk up the offenses of the Los Angeles Rams and Tennessee Titans during his time as an offensive coach with those teams. He’ll recommit to running the football. The Packers ran the ball a league-low 333 times despite having the second-best yards-per-carry (5.0) average.
Receivers a Big Question Mark
One area that the Packers didn’t make any improvements was at wide receiver. It was a bit odd as they – in the past – relied so much on their passing game. Davante Adams is still the lead dog, but Geronimo Allison is now the most experienced receiver behind him. The Packers are expecting a lot of growth out of youngsters Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Equanimeous St. Brown.
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Packers Were a Perennial Contender
The good news for LaFleur is that he’s taking over a team that struggled last season but isn’t in need of a complete rebuild. The Packers had faded in the final two seasons under Mike McCarthy but let’s not forget that this team had made the playoffs in eight straight seasons before that, and won double-digit games seven of those times.
Packers Still Have the Best Quarterback in the Division
Say what you want about the Chicago Bears’ improved defense, the Minnesota Vikings’ potential or the Detroit Lions’ improvement, the Packers still have the best quarterback in the division by a long shot. Rodgers is one of the best of all-time. Even in a bad year, playing for a coach he didn’t like, the Packers won six games, tied once, and lost six others by a score or less.
A motivated Rodgers is the last thing any of the teams in the NFC North want to see.
Schedule Sets Up Favorably
The Packers have an opportunity to carry the momentum form the offseason into the regular season with a welcoming schedule. They start off at Chicago, which will be tough, but playing at Soldier Field in September is much easier than December.
Then the Packers host Minnesota, Denver, and Philadelphia, which are three tough games, but the Packers will be favored each week. That’s followed by a road trip to Dallas and home games with Detroit and Oakland. It might sound crazy but this team is capable of going 6-1 or 5-2. If so, their Super Bowl odds will jump up a lot at that point.
Bet the Packers
Of the longer shots in the NFC, I do like the Packers. With Rodgers in tow, we know this team used to be a perennial Super Bowl threat. After cutting ties with a head coach who no longer had control of the team and bringing in some fresh air to clear out the stale system, Green Bay should be back to being a double-digit win team.
If that’s the case, they’re undervalued on the board here. I expect them to enter the season at 15/1 or less.