After squeaking out a win on Monday night, the Green Bay Packers will try to improve on their 5-1 record when they host the Oakland Raiders in Week 7. The action gets underway at 1:00 EST on Sunday, October 20 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin. A majority of the country will be able to watch the game on CBS.
The Packers are currently listed as 5.5-point favorites at home with an over/under of 47 points. Be sure to check out all of this week’s NFL betting odds.
It hasn’t always been easy or nice to look at in Green Bay this year, but the Packers are arguably the class of the NFC right now with a 5-1 record. Last week was a perfect example of how Green Bay keeps finding ways to win. The Packers turned it over three times despite out-gaining the Lions by nearly 150 yards. But Aaron Rodgers came up big in crunch time, helping the Packers overcome a 9-point deficit in the fourth quarter and win on a last-second field goal, albeit with some beneficial calls.
Green Bay’s 5-1 record keeps them at the top of the NFC North. However, they remain just a game ahead of the Vikings with the Bears and Lions not far behind. All three teams behind Green Bay look like playoff contenders, so the Packers need to keep winning if they want to remain in first place. They surely can’t afford a letdown at home this week with road games against the Chiefs and Chargers in the weeks to come.
As for the Raiders, they have quietly started the year 3-2 before getting last week off following their trip to London. Oakland has won back-to-back games against the Colts and Bears, both teams with winning records. With Kansas City slipping up the past couple of weeks, the Raiders are tied with the Chiefs in the loss column and just one game back in the win column.
However, there doesn’t appear to be any let-up in the difficulty of Oakland’s schedule. Coming back from their bye, the Raiders face back-to-back road games against the Packers and Texans. If they’re going to continue to put pressure on the Chiefs and become a serious challenger in the AFC West, the Raiders will have to be able to win games on the road.
Nobody’s more surprised at Oakland’s success this year than me. I’ll admit that they made me think about this one for a little bit. However, I think last week’s bye would slow down some of Oakland’s momentum. Plus, Green Bay has plenty of momentum themselves after stealing a win on Monday. After a sluggish start and a close call against the Lions, I think the Packers will get a more comfortable win this week, knocking off the Raiders by at least a touchdown to cover.
A big part of Oakland’s success this season has been a much-improved running game. Rookie Josh Jacobs has proven himself to be a capable workhorse back who can carry the Raiders on the ground. However, the Oakland passing attack is still lacking. Derek Carr has completed over 73% of his passes, but he’s only averaging a little over 200 yards passing per game with just six touchdown passes in five games.
Moreover, tight end Darren Waller remains the team’s leading receiver by a wide margin, which says a lot about their passing game. The Raiders traded for Zay Jones during their bye week in hopes that he can pair with Tyrell Williams to give them a formidable receiving duo. But Jones has struggled with drops throughout his career and isn’t exactly an established receiver, so I’m not sure how much he’ll help.
Odds are, the Raiders are going to need a potent passing attack to keep up with Rodgers and the Packers. Rodgers was amazing last week, throwing for 283 yards and two touchdowns with Davante Adams sitting out and several other Green Bay receivers struggling to play through injuries. Players even Packers fans have never heard of before caught key passes to help Rodgers lead the comeback. Clearly, receivers like Adams are just a luxury for Rodgers rather than a necessity.
If the Packers hadn’t turned the ball over three times last week, the win would have been by a more comfortable margin. I’m expecting that to be less of an issue this week against the Oakland defense, which is below average. Keep in mind that the Packers have a nice rushing attack to help support Rodgers. Even with Aaron Jones struggling last week, Jamaal Williams stepped and ran for over 100 yards. That balance should be too much for the Raiders, even if Rodgers doesn’t have his full complement of receivers available to him.
I don’t want to insult the Raiders by discounting their recent wins. But they came against teams playing Jacoby Brissett and Chase Daniel at quarterback. Those two guys were both backups just a couple of months ago. It’ll be a little different when they have to face Rodgers this week. Over 60 minutes, I don’t think Oakland will keep up on either side of the ball, which is why I like the Packers to cover.