2021 NFL Week 1 Odds – Green Bay Packers vs. New Orleans Saints

Written by:
Phil Simon
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It’s been a busy and chaotic time for both clubs as they prepare to open the 2021 NFL season. Following the retirement of Drew Brees, the New Orleans Saints will open with a new starting quarterback for the first time since 2005. And the Green Bay Packers worked to get their veteran signal caller Aaron Rodgers back in the mix. The Saints are facing more than just a tough opponent in their first post-Brees game thanks to Ida. They were displaced from their home to prepare for the Week 1 matchup and will host the game in Jacksonville as a 4-point underdog on the NFL betting line.

Green Bay Packers vs. New Orleans Saints
Date and Time: Sunday, September 12, 2021, 4:25 p.m. ET
Location: TIAA Bank Field, Jacksonville, FL
Opening NFL Odds: Green Bay -4, O/U 50
Packers vs. Saints TV Coverage: FOX

Odds Analysis

This game is a perfect example of how things can change from the posted early lines. Over the summer the Saints were installed as a 2.5-point home favorite. But with the Packers working things out with Rodgers and the game moved to Jacksonville due to the affects of Hurricane Ida, there was a massive shift. The Pack got plenty of play moving the line in their favor. Green Bay is now positioned as 4-point chalk. Both teams are geared for offense and we’ve seen a number of high-scoring affairs between them. The total was wagered up to 50 and the OVER is 4-0 in the previous four meetings with an over/under of at least that many points.

Green Bay Packers

The dynamic of the team swayed during the offseason. With Rodgers demanding a trade and saying he was no longer interested in playing for the team, the Packers were on the verge of being an also-ran in the conference. Thankfully for Cheeseheads the sides were able to work things out and Rodgers is all in for another go. With him behind center the Packers are a threat to the Bucs in the NFC. It just shows us how important the position is and what having a superstar can do for a team.

Rodgers is coming off an MVP season where he threw for 4,299 yards with 48 touchdowns and the Packers led the league in scoring averaging 31.8 points. He hasn’t been to a Super Bowl since 2010 and close calls the last two seasons are a sign that the Packers are close. They dropped a tough 31-26 decision at home to Tom Brady and the Bucs last season. Rodgers is running out of time but he still has something in the tank and a reserved offseason will only help.

It may not seem like a big deal, but one thing to watch out for is the exchange between Rodgers and rookie center Josh Myers. They had few chances to work together during the offseason with Rodgers contemplating his future, and they never had a snap during the preseason. The line as a whole might be the biggest issue. David Bakhtiari is on IR leaving two rookies among the starting five. How the group comes together is a key to any success Rodgers and the offense has.

New Orleans Saints

Father Time is undefeated and his latest victim leaves the Saints with a new starting quarterback for the first time since Aaron Brooks started 13 games in 2005. For the first time in five years the Saints didn’t finish among the top four in scoring and Brees was bothered by injuries. Still, the Saints won 12 games and the NFC South for a fourth straight season. They’re still loaded with talent on both sides of the football, but no Brees leaves a huge hole in the lineup and has many wondering how the club will react.

It’s odd to feel so unsure about the Saints heading into a season. Winston won the starting gig but you can expect to see a lot of Taysom Hill, like we have in the past. A former No. 1 overall pick, Winston certainly has the talent. In 2019 he threw for 5,109 yards and 33 touchdowns. But he also tossed 30 interceptions and fumbled the football nine times. He’s definitely a risk/reward option, but working with Sean Payton should help.

With the No. 2 cornerback spot an area of concern according to Payton, the Saints made a few moves recently bringing in Desmond Trufant while working on a deal for Bradley Roby. Questions in the secondary aren’t what you want when facing Rodgers and Green Bay passing attack. That just has me more confident in betting the OVER.

Bet Packers vs. Saints at BookMaker.eu

After two straight trips to the NFC Championship the Packers are looking to clear the hurdle. And with Rodgers in charge they should be a contender. This game will come down to turnovers. The Packers value the football and Winston is a turnover machine. And with the Saints bouncing around the country ahead of this one the confidence level in Green Bay covering is high.

NFL Score Prediction: Packers 30, Saints 24

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- Phil Simon, Gambling911.com

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