The Green Bay Packers and the Arizona Cardinals will collide on Thursday Night Football, setting up a blockbuster NFC showdown to kickstart Week 8. The Packers are riding a six-game winning streak, while the Cardinals remain undefeated on the season after clinching their seventh-straight win on Sunday.
Obviously, something has to give when these stellar NFC contenders go head-to-head under the lights in primetime football action at State Farm. According to the NFL odds, the hosts have the 64.9 percent chance to win this game.
Green Bay Packers vs. Arizona Cardinals
Thursday, October 28, 2021 – 8:20 PM EDT at State Farm Stadium
Lookahead NFL lines projected the Arizona Cardinals as the field goal favorites before Week 7, but the NFL line reopened with the Cardinals up by half a point across most sports betting platforms on Sunday. That’s interesting.
For a game that was poised to become THE game of the week, the lookahead lines already seemed generous towards the Packers. It’s not often that an elite quarterback and Future Hall of Famer like Aaron Rodgers gets spotted a field goal. And yet, the market jumped up further to Arizona – 3.5, which is verging on being overly generous towards Rogers and Company. Does the Market Have It Right?
Packers Riding Six-Game Winning Streak
Aaron Rodgers led the Packers to their sixth-straight win Sunday, beating the Washington Football Team (WFT) 24-10 to come through as the closing 8.5-point favourites. The Packers are 6-1-0 SU and ATS, a run of form that includes a 3.1 winning margin on average and a -3.1 differential versus the spread.
Green Bay could have looked past Washington to Thursday Night Football in Glendale. The undefeated Arizona Cardinals presented their biggest challenge to date while the WFT at 2-4 straight up (SU) ahead of Week 7 looked to be a straightforward obstacle to overcome.
However, Rodgers and the Packers were laser-focused on the task at hand, taking care of Taylor Heinicke and Company in a comprehensive victory. Indeed, the Packers defense was more than ready for Taylor Heinicke as they recorded their first four red-zone stops of the season.
Matt LaFleur’s overall game plan reveals just how fixated Green Bay was on Washington. The WFT came into Week 7 as the worst defense against the pass and the Packers feasted on that shortcoming. The Packers put up a total of 304 yards of offense but only 57 yards came on the ground. Aaron Jones had one of his lowest producing games on the ground with just 19 rushing yards.
Rodgers went 27 of 35 for 274 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions. He connected with Davante Adams, Robert Tonyan and Allen Lazard for the touchdown passes and finished with a passer rating of 127.6. Aaron Jones contributed 20 yards on five receptions to the receiving game as well.
Cardinals Remains Undefeated
It took a while for the Cardinals to get going, but once they did, they blew past the hapless Houston Texans to clinch the 31-5 victory. The Cardinals closed as the 20-point home chalk – the biggest double-digit favourites on the NFL odds board after opening as the 17-point home chalk early in the week. They easily covered the point spread in the 26-point margin of victory and improved to a 6-1-0 ATS mark with a 15.9 winning margin on average and a +11.8 differential versus the spread.
After a sketchy first quarter and a half, and an injury scare for Murray, it was one-way traffic. The Texans tackled Murray for a safety and then added a field goal early in the second half to take the 5-0 lead over the Cardinals at State Farm. But that was the sum of Houston’s account for the rest of the afternoon.
Murray went 20 of 28 for 261 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. He added another 10 yards on the ground on six carries. Chase Edmonds led the team in rushing with 81 yards on 15 carries. Zach Ertz playing in his first game with the Cardinals led the team in receiving with 66 yards on three receptions and a touchdown. A.J. Green also had 66 yards while De’Andre Hopkins had 53 yards and a touchdown.
NFL Predictions and Picks
All things being considered, the Green Bay Packers catching 3.5 points appears to be the value NFL pick in early betting markets. Granted, both the Packers and the Cardinals are playing really well right now, and they’ll be going into this matchup with confidence and momentum, but Rodgers relishes a challenge. And there is no greater challenge this season than handing Kyler Murray and the Cardinals their first defeat of the season.
Green Bay has made back-to-back NFC Championship game appearances in the last two seasons, but they’re not getting enough respect from the oddsmakers, bettors or armchair critics. So, this is precisely the kind of game that could go a long way to gaining respect, especially if the Packers pull off the outright upset on the road. You can bet they’ll be up for it.
NFL Picks: Packers +3.5 (-110) with DraftKings