What are the Green Bay Packers going to do so differently this time around against an Arizona Cardinals team that so thoroughly beat them when they played less than a month ago? That’s a good question as NFL bettors evaluate the Divisional Round playoff game that is going to take place at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ at 8:15 PM ET. BetAnySports customers are able to continue their wagering even after the opening kickoff when they take advantage of the state-of-the-art software provided by Live Betting Extra.
The Packers came up empty when they went to Glendale on December 27, as they were held to just 178 yards in a 38-8 loss. Aaron Rodgers was sacked eight times, three of those coming from Dwight Freeney, the veteran (and future Hall of Famer), who was a very fortuitous pickup. There is a school of thought that the Packers have gotten their act together offensively because they scored 35 against the Washington Redskins last weekend, but if you look at the numbers of Rodgers, they weren’t all that outstanding, as he completed 21 of 36 passes for 210 yards.
But the Packers got things going on the ground, as Eddie Lacy and James Starks combined for 116 yards. They will have to get some production out of those guys again, as Davante Adams, the third receiver in the Green Bay rotation, is sidelined with an injury.
In the NFC playoff odds that are posted on this game by the people at BetAnySports, the Cardinals are favored at home:
Arizona Cardinals -7 (-110)
Green Bay Packers +7 (+100)
Over 49.5 points -105
Under 49.5 points -105
Rodgers has registered a career-low in yards per pass, and his numbers dwarf those of Carson Palmer, who has averaged 8.7 yards per passing attempt. The interesting thing about Palmer is that he has never won a playoff game, so there is that kind of thing hanging over his head. But he has plenty of weapons at his disposal, including a crafty and speedy corps of receivers, including Larry Fitzgerald, whose 109 catches set a new team record. Palmer was able to connect with Fitzgerald on 75% of his attempts, and the two have developed a real comfortable rapport after a rocky period.
Head coach Bruce Arians likes to stretch the field, and he has the weapons to do it with, as Fitzgerald is joined by the likes of John Brown (66 receptions, 1003 yards) and Michael Floyd (16.3-yard average). And the pleasant surprise has been rookie David Johnson, the third-round pick out of Northern Iowa who has gained over yards from scrimmage, with rushing and receiving combined.
BetAnySports patrons know that Palmer has thrown for 300 yards or more nine different times this season, while Rodgers has gone eight consecutive contests without a 300-yard game. And even though Green Bay has benefited from the re-acquisition of veteran James Jones (17.8-yard average), it is a very real possibility that shutdown cornerback Patrick Peterson can blanket Jones.
If the Packers are feeling more confident on offense, and they are more comfortable with head coach Mike McCarthy having re-assumed the play-calling duties, that will help them be more productive offensively. But their cornerbacks, which include a couple of rookies, may find the deep Arizona receiving corps a little too much to handle. We would probably look “over” in this game, as conditions will obviously be favorable.
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