2012 Green Bay Packers Odds & Preview
2012 Green Bay Packers Betting Preview
The lesson of the 2011 Green Bay Packers is that while you can be the defending Super Bowl champions and you can go 15-1, you may still have deficiencies. Green Bay, like any other team last year, had its weak points, and the Giants exposed them in that NFC divisional-round playoff game at Lambeau Field. So this team has issues that need taking care of. Still, the Packers enter this year as one of the best-coached and most talented teams in the league, and no-doubt Super Bowl contenders.
Last Season in Review
As you might have heard, Green Bay won its first 14 games last year, along the way knocking off the playoff-bound Saints, Broncos, Falcons, Lions and Giants. But with perfection in sight, the Packers finally stumbled at Kansas City in Week 15. They then beat Chicago and Detroit in meaningless games, the latter with their back-up quarterback. Heading into the playoffs back-to-back Super Bowl titles seemed entirely possible for the Titletowners.
But when you throw the ball for a living and you’re playing in Wisconsin in January, you might run into some problems. To wit, the Packers committed four turnovers and their receivers dropped several key passes, and the Packers lost.
So after an incredible start Green Bay’s season ended in incredibly disappointing fashion.
Green Bay ranked third in the league last year in offense at 405 YPG, but just 27th in rushing at 97 YPG, as the Packers occasionally just gave up trying to run, and instead threw the ball for entire drives, even when leading.
On the other side of the ball the Green Bay defense fell from ranking fifth overall two years ago to dead last last year, allowing an alarming 412 YPG, and ranked 14th vs. the run at 112 YPG. This unit also dropped from allowing 15 PPG in 2010 to 22 PPG last year, and they set a new dubious league record by allowing almost 4,800 yards through the air.
Overall the Packers ranked 17th in total yardage at -7 YPG, and 22nd in total rushing at -15 YPG, numbers more indicative of, at best, an 8-8 team. But numbers like this don’t tell the whole story about Green Bay, because they move the ball so well through the air and give up a lot of yardage as other teams are forced to play catch-up.
NFL teams that got outrushed last year covered the spread just 31 percent of the time. But the Packers don’t play by some rules, so they went 11-5 ATS last year. That makes them 51-28-1 ATS over the last five seasons.
Sooner or later, that trend will start reversing itself.
Also, as Packers games averaged a crazy 57 points, they went 11-5 on the totals.
Individually, QB Aaron Rodgers set a new league record last year for passing rating at 122.5, compiling a ridiculous 45/6 TD/INT ratio along the way; WR Jordy Nelson exploded for over 1,200 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns, and 20 different Packers scored TDs.
Over the off-season the Pack parted ways with RB Ryan Grant (although at this writing he’s still unsigned), QB Matt Flynn and two starters from the O line.
Green Bay then didn’t do much in the free-agent market, other than adding veteran C Jeff Saturday and DE Anthony Hargrove, although the latter is slated to serve an eight-game suspension to begin the season.
The Packers then used their first six picks in the draft on defense, taking USC linebacker Nick Perry at No. 28 overall, Michigan State DE Jerel Worthy at No. 51 and Vandy CB Casey Hayward at No. 62. All three of those guys could help right away.
2012 Packers Schedule
Green Bay has just six games this year vs. teams that made the playoffs last year. The Packers open at home with the 49ers and Bears, host the Saints in Week 4, and while they then play three straight road games, two of them are against the Colts and Rams. Later GB has to play back-to-back at the Lions and Giants, but three of its last five games are at Lambeau and they finish at the Vikings. According to last year’s W/L records Green Bay will play the second-easiest schedule in the league this season.
2012 Green Bay Packers Betting Odds and Prediction
Bentonline is chalking the Packers at -250 to win the NFC North this season, 10/3 to win the NFC and 6/1 to win the Super Bowl, while Bookmaker has pegged the Pack with a regular-season wins ‘over/under’ of 12 (O +110/U -140).
Green Bay must address two issues; they’ve got to learn to run the ball better and more often, and they’ve got to improve the pass defense. A healthy James Starks would help, as would input from the new defensive talent.
The Packers’ four toughest road games are at Houston, at Detroit, at the Giants and at the Bears, and GB should at least split those four games. That’s why its not difficult for us to lean toward the ‘over’ 12 wins on the Pack this season.
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