I’ve never agreed with the Las Vegas standard of adding a handful of points to a host-NFL team automatically. I know it’s more complicated than that, but even to *begin* with a standard “4.5 points” or something and then work from there is a bizarre way to handicap home-field advantage.
Teams like the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets are probably just as disadvantaged playing at home as on the road by now. A pessimistic Big Blue crowd didn’t give the Giants a whole lot of emotional support as the club’s OL was completely broken-down by Arizona’s (sometimes) modest pass rush a few weeks ago. If you hadn’t known better, you’d have thought the Cardinals were the home team and it was the Giants’ offensive line which couldn’t hear the snap count and had to delay for a moment before engaging in blocks. Or…attempted blocks.
Packers-at-Chargers is a Week 9 NFL scrum in which gamblers and bookmakers may be reading too much into the Bolts’ home-field advantage…otherwise, the odds wouldn’t look so tight.
Who: Green Bay Packers at Los Angeles Chargers
When: Sunday, November 3rd, 4:25 PM EST
Where: Dignity Health Sports Park, Carson, CA
Lines: GB (-4) at LAC (+4) / O/U Total: (49)
Green Bay continues to win football games, and the 7-1 Packers will likely bring a gaggle of Cheeseheads with them to Dignity Health Sports Park to face the 3-5 Los Angeles Chargers. The Pack lost WR Davante Adams to a turf toe injury in Green Bay’s only loss of the season in Week 4, but QB Aaron Rodgers is leading an offense without a proven #1 WR with a lot of success.
Over the last 2 contests, Rodgers has amassed 734 passing yards with 8 TD’s and 0 INT’s. The veteran is getting a huge boost from former UTEP star RB Aaron Jones, who had a huge 60 minutes catching passes in last week’s 31-24 win at Arrowhead. The 24-year-old 5th-round pick from 2017 caught 7 throws on 8 targets, and got loose for 159 yards while finding pay dirt twice.
Meanwhile, Adams was seen leapfrogging teammates at practice this week, and looks on pace to return soon:
Green Bay Packers receiver Davante Adams, outfitted with a vintage pair of shoes that he says he thinks will accommodate his turf toe injury, practiced Wednesday for the first time since spraining the ligaments in his right big toe on Sept. 26. Although it was an abbreviated practice (without even helmets) that Packers coach Matt LaFleur called a walkthrough, it was the biggest sign of progress for Adams since his injury in Week 4 against the Philadelphia Eagles.
As long as Adams gets through this week without an increase in pain, the Packers think he has a good chance to play Sunday at the Los Angeles Chargers. When asked what needs to happen between now and being officially cleared to return, Adams said: “Just the feedback I get from the docs. I feel good. I know you guys got a chance to see a little bit today. I feel like I’m in a spot where I can make that call for myself. But I’ve got to [collaborate] with them and see how they’re feeling and look at it one more time and then we’ll make that call.” He said last week that he settled on a pair of Nike Vapor Untouchables — shoes that he wore during the 2017 season — and might have to wear some protection inside his right shoe. But it sounds as if he finally feels comfortable pushing off on his right foot. “It’s huge, because once you can push off and get out of your stance, you can stride out and really run the way you could when you were healthy,” Adams said. “That’s how I’m feeling now.”
LaFleur’s official stance was that Adams is day-to-day.
It’s no shocker that the Chargers are a (+165) underdog for the late-afternoon kickoff, even if Green Bay’s fine record wasn’t a factor. L.A. has suffered costly injuries since before the season began.
The loss of emerging safety Derwin James was a huge blow, and rookie safety Nasir Adderly is also ailing. Offensively, the OL took a hit when veteran Russell Okung was forced to miss time with blood clots, and while he is set to return this week, the Bolts lost another huge cog in center Mike Pouncey who landed on IR this week.
Last week’s defeat of Chicago was a sloppy affair, as the Chargers converted just 2-of-10 on 3rd down, and only gained 231 yards of offense.
But the defense was able to sack Mitchell Trubisky 4 times and snag an interception, setting up Philip Rivers and the Bolts’ offense to do just enough to win.
Handicappers have weighted home-field too liberally for the scrum in SoCal. The Pack should be a bigger favorite.
Take the Pack to prevail (-4).