When the Packers (7-1) face the Chiefs (4-4) in “America’s Game of the Week” in Week 9 (4:25 p.m. ET, Fox), they will be without quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Instead, with Rodgers on the COVID-19 list, second-year first-rounder Jordan Love will start at quarterback opposite Patrick Mahomes.
Green Bay has won seven consecutive games since losing badly to New Orleans in Jacksonville in Week 1, but that streak is in serious jeopardy now. Kansas City fought to get back to .500 and wants to stick with its winning ways, so it should welcome the break.
While the Chiefs try to clean things up after a messy first half, the Packers want to overcome more adversity — like they did in Week 8 at Arizona without wide receivers Davante Adams and Allen Lazard — to maintain momentum for the second half.
Here’s everything to know about betting on Packers vs. Chiefs on Sunday, including updated odds, trends and our prediction for the NFL Week 9 game.
Packers vs. Chiefs odds
- Spread: Chiefs by 7.5
- Over/under: 47.5
- Moneyine: Packers +280, Chiefs -350
The Packers were only 2.5-point underdogs early in the week when Rodgers wasn’t ruled out. So his absence changed things a lot, with five more points tipping toward the Chiefs with the adjusted over/under to match.
(betting odds per FanDuel Sportsbook)
Packers vs. Chiefs all-time series
The teams have met only 13 times. The Chiefs hold the lead, 7-5-1. The Packers have won the past two meetings. In 2011, Chiefs beat the Packers in December to keep them from a perfect regular season. The Packers have won three of four. Before then, the Chiefs rode a five-game winning streak.
Three trends to know
—88 percent of spread bettors think the Chiefs will cover their touchdown and extra point-plus number with Love making his first start in a hostile environment.
—76 percent of over/under bettors want to take advantage of the lowered point total and think the game will still play into the 50s.
—The Packers are 8-2 against the spread and 8-2 straight up in their past 10 games, including playoffs. Only four of those games went over. The Chiefs are only 3-7 ATS and 5-5 SU in their past 10 games, including playoffs. Half of those games went over.
Three things to watch
What about Love?
The Packers adjusted well to a heavy dose of the running game with their wide receiver limitations against the Cardinals. Figure they will do the same to take pressure off Love, using a good mix of Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon again. That also will set up favorable play-action passing, given Adams and Lazard will be back to help stretch the field. Jones can also be dangerous as an outlet receiver. The Packers also need to make up for the loss of tight end Robert Tonyan with a committee of youngster Josiah Deguara and ageless Marcedes Lewis. The bottom line, Love has plenty of support to lift him against a shaky defense.
What about Mahomes?
Mahomes has struggled with interceptions and his two go-to guys, wide receiver Tyreek Hill and tight end Travis Kelce, have contributed to the uncharacteristic giveaways in key situations. The Chiefs need to be more patient, multiple and versatile, and also a little more balanced. The Packers are shorthanded defensively and will play bend-but-don’t break again, looking to force long drives and hope to create some more Mahomes mistakes.
The teams have two money kickers in Mason Crosby and Harrison Butker. The Packers got a spark in sudden change when they took advantage of a muffed punt return last week. The Chiefs are always dangerous with Mecole Hardman and Byron Pringle in their return game. The Packers have dynamic rookie Amari Rodgers. Green Bay could especially use a boost and edge here to help even the game with no Rodgers.
Stat that matters
121.8. That’s how many average rushing yards the Chiefs are giving up this season. That puts them No. 22 in the NFL. They also give up a healthy 4.6 yards per carry. The Packers exploited the Cardinals on the ground and there’s no doubt they will try to shorten and win the game with Jones and Dillon until the Chiefs prove they can stop it.
Packers vs. Chiefs prediction
The Packers are a very talented offense around the quarterback and that will be evident as Love benefits from a strong system. Jones and Dillon wil be a load for the Chiefs and they also don’t have anyone to cover Adams anywhere. The weapons and balance will allow Love to hold his own opposite Mahomes. But in the end, the Packers have too many defensive injuries, led by no Za’Darius Smith and Jaire Alexander, to daunt Mahomes. The Chiefs also will do a little more running to stay on track.
Chiefs 31, Packers 24