2020 Green Bay Packers Predictions and Season Win Total Picks
The NFL is a quarterback league. So betting against one of the best signal callers in the sport – an all-time great, first-ballot Hall of Fame quarterback at that – seems like a bit of a dicey proposition.
But that’s exactly that I’ll be looking to do with the Green Bay Packers this season.
After back-to-back losing seasons in 2017 and 2018 forced the ouster of Mike McCarthy, Green Bay turned to rookie head coach Matt LaFleur last season. LaFleur was a revelation, guiding the Packers to 13 wins, a division title, and a spot in the NFC title game.
Aaron Rodgers was his typically brilliant self, throwing for 4,000 yards and 26 touchdowns to just four interceptions. The 35-year-old is still in his prime. And although the Packers didn’t invest in support for Rodgers this offseason, he is still good enough to carry an attack.
Rodgers is a given. What was not a given last year was a massive improvement on defense. Free agent additions Preston Smith, Za’Darius Smith and Amos Adrian helped completely transform the Packers stop unit. They finished No. 9 in the league in points allowed, the team’s best showing since 2010, after three straight years of posting a scoring defense ranked No. 21 or worse.
Last season was a Renaissance year for the Packers. There were no major subtractions this offseason and one would assume that they would be even better in Year 2 in LaFleur’s system.
So why no love for the Packers?
The reasons are three-fold. First, last year’s 13-win campaign was a statistical fluke, and they were big-time overachievers. Second, I think that their division (and several of the teams on their schedule) is vastly improved. And third, I think this team has some negative karma heading into this fall.
I’m not alone in my knowledge that Green Bay was a massive overachiever last year. Why do you think that this team’s season win total has been posted at just 9.0?
Just about every primary statistical indicator points to a significant regression for the Packers this season. Green Bay beat its Pythagorean win total by 3.3 games and outscored its opponents by just 64 total points. They were 7-1 last year in games decided by seven points or less and posted a plus-11 turnover differential. Those are two notoriously variant categories from year to year. Finally, their defensive yards per also point fall in a retrogress range. Add it all up and, the numbers suggest a fall back to reality.
Further, the Packers were one of the most fortunate teams in the NFL in terms of injury luck (especially on defense). This is an extremely young roster. I don’t think that they can withstand any significant injuries on defense or along the offensive line.
Next, Green Bay doesn’t exist in a vacuum. And a lot of the same indicators that tell me to expect Green Bay to take a step back are suggesting that both Chicago and Detroit, two division rivals that represent 25 percent of Green Bay’s schedule, should be much better. The Packers went 6-0 in their division last year. But those wins came by an average of just 6.1 points per game, and four of them were by a touchdown or less. That’s a slim margin of error.
In fact, on the season Green Bay only outscored all opponents by an average of four points per game. That is a far cry from the average margin of victory of nine points per game posted by the last 50 NFL teams to win 13 games during the regular season.
Finally, Green Bay had two choices this offseason: hit free agency and the draft for immediate needs and load up for one more run as Rodgers’ career winds down or start transitioning the roster for a post-Rodgers world. They chose the latter, much to the chagrin of their franchise quarterback.
Let me get on the record as saying that I loved Green Bay’s decision to draft Jordan Love. Besides Joe Burrow, I think Love has the potential to be the second-best quarterback in this draft. And part of what has kept Green Bay relevant and competitive the last 30 years is the stability at quarterback they developed with a smooth transition from Brett Favre to Rodgers. Now they will try to do it again, going from Rodgers to Love.
Over the last 28 years the Packers have won fewer than nine games just seven times. They’ve won exactly nine games, which would be a ‘push’ on this wager, four times. Despite that, I feel strongly that Green Bay is going to take a step back this year. I don’t know if they will fall all the way to .500, and I would’ve loved to get this number at 9.5 or 10.0. But if I’m throwing down on the Packers, I’m taking them to come up short.
Take Green Bay Packers ‘Under’ 9.0 Wins.
Robert Ferringo has been the top football handicapper in the country the past 10 years, earning nearly $40,000 in total football profit (average profit: +$3,800). He has also posted 8 of 10 winning seasons (including four straight winning years) and produced an amazing 53 of 82 winning football months over the past 13 years. Robert has hit at nearly 60 percent winners over his last 1,000 totals picks and has posted 12 of 14 winning Super Bowls. Robert is looking for a fifth straight winning football year and wants more profit this fall. SIGN UP HERE TODAY AND TAKE ADVANTAGE OF OUR 3-FOR-1 FOOTBALL SPECIALS!
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