The Green Bay Packers (3-2 straight up, 2-3 against the spread) are now favored by over a touchdown against the New York Jets (3-2 SU, 2-3 ATS). Sure, the Jets have been somewhat fortunate to be sitting at 3-2, and would actually qualify for the playoffs if the season today ( it doesn’t end today, I just checked). They needed a miracle to beat the Browns, and then scored victories against Kenny Pickett and Skylar Thompson. But make no mistake, the talent level on this roster is drastically improved. Rookie skill position players Breece Hall and Garrett Wilson added to wide receiver Elijah Moore give the Jets some real juice on offense, an element of explosiveness they haven’t had in years. Fellow rookie Ahmed “Sauce” Gardner is living up to his pre-draft hype and looks to be on track to be one of the best corners in football. For a team who was lined at 5.5 in the season wins market, 3-2 is a big deal, as they look like they will sail over that number. They are undoubtedly improved.
I mention their improvement and performance relative to the market because over the summer, this Jets/ Packers game was lined at 9. For it to be 7.5 is not adjusting enough based on the improvement of the Jets, and the poor performance relative to expectations of the Packers. Losing straight up last week to the other NY team in a game where they closed as double-digit favorites, the Packers clearly miss Davante Adams in Green Bay (although I’m sure the cameramen feel safer). Randall Cobb and Marcedes Lewis playing a prominent role in a 2022 offense simply proves that there is not elite-level talent for a team who hopes to contend. Also, Football Outsiders has the Packers as the 23rd ranked defense, evidence that this team has issues on both sides of the ball. They are allowing 126 rushing yards per game, at nearly 5 yards per carry. Outside of reigning back to back MVP Aaron Rodgers, the Packers are bereft of talent in nearly every key area.
Furthermore, I eluded the to their loss last week-that defeat came in London, and they will not have a week off in between games to readjust their body clocks for this week’s game. For a game that was lined 9 all spring and all summer once the schedule was released, adjusting this game only 1.5 points is light based on what we’ve seen from these two teams though the first five weeks. This is always a dangerous sentence to utter out loud, but perhaps that danger is subsiding with their rapid improvement- Give me the Jets!