For their fourth game of the season, the Patriots travel to face the Green Bay Packers after a defeat to the Baltimore Ravens.
The Packers enter this matchup with two victories on the bounce after an abysmal showing in the opening week against the Vikings. I see no value in the side or total for this matchup, especially given the Patriots will likely send out backup quarterback Brian Hoyer.
But, where I do find value is in two specific prop markets for this matchup. Which two? Let’s dive right in to the picks. Odds come courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook and are reflective at time of writing.
Best prop bet No. 1
Aaron Jones over 57.5 rushing yards (-115)
Jones has eclipsed this number in only one game this season, but it came in a comparable matchup.
In Week 2 at home against the Chicago Bears — when the Packers were also sizable home favorites — the UTEP product managed to rack up 132 yards on 8.8 yards per attempt. Now, he gets to face a Patriots rushing defense that is seven spots worse than the Bears in terms of rush defense DVOA (22nd vs. 29th), per footballoutsiders.com.
Additionally, Jones tends to play significantly better at Lambeau Field. In his past five home games in which he’s received at least 10 carries, Jones is 3-2 to the over on this benchmark. He’s also proved profitable against inferior rushing defenses, going 4-2 against this number in his past six games against bottom-half rushing defenses.
If we correctly assume that the Packers are going to cruise as nine-and-a-half-point favorites, that likely means more rushing attempts for Jones as the Packers try to put the game on ice.
As a result, back Jones at this number up to -125.
Best prop bet No. 2
Damien Harris anytime touchdown (+155)
Harris has gotten into the endzone in two straight games and I expect that streak will continue against the Packers.
For all of its recent success, this is still a Packers defense that ranks dead-last in terms of rush defense DVOA. Meanwhile the Patriots are the league’s best offense in terms of rushing DVOA, per footballoutsiders.com.
Additionally, Harris has a stellar touchdown record dating back to the end of last season. Including this season’s results, he’s now scored in seven of his past eight games and has notched at least one touchdown in 13 of his past 18 games, a 72 percent clip.
Further, if you just look at the eight games last season in which Harris faced a bottom-half rushing defense, he managed to score a touchdown in six of those contests.
Without Mac Jones, the Patriots likely will focus their attention more on the run game, leading to increased opportunities for Harris. Bet his anytime TD prop at +135 or better.