'It makes no sense to bet on the Packers right now.' How national writers and oddsmakers are picking the Packers-Saints game
It is the first chapter of the mystery known as the 2021 Green Bay Packers.
And the mystery of the New Orleans Saints.
Questions abound about both teams heading into Sunday's 3:25 p.m. opener in Jacksonville.
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Will Aaron Rodgers, who didn't play in the exhibition games, be rustier than the Tin Man?
Do the Saints have anyone who an play quarterback?
Here's what the oddsmakers and writers say about the opener.
They like the Packers by 4.
Vinnie Iyer wrote: "The Packers know they will have Aaron Rodgers starting another season. The Saints know that Drew Brees has played his last season for them. Green Bay's offense is the more reliable machine here with the blocking and skill principals Davante Adams and Aaron Jones. New Orleans is a wild card between Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill with no Michael Thomas in the lineup and will be too Alvin Kamara-dependent at home. Brees and the dome was often automatic, but Rodgers and the road is the better bet here." Packers 30, Saints 24.
International Business Times
Anthony Riccobono wrote: "It makes no sense to bet on the Packers right now."
Brian Sausa said: "There are still some question marks surrounding this matchup. It does appear that Green Bay will have Aaron Rodgers in uniform this season, as well as Davante Adams, so that’s good news. And it’s also the reason why the opening line of Saints -3 has flipped the other way. But exactly how the future Hall of Fame QB and Matt LaFleur get past last year’s NFC title game is a question woth asking. There are plenty of unknowns on the other side as well, with Jameis Winston replacing Drew Brees under center for New Orleans and any impact it can have on the overall productivity of the offense."
The site's Football Power Index gives the Saints a 51.8% chance to beat the Packers in Week 1 of the NFL season.
Packers 30, Saints 28
Pro Football Network
Ben Rolfe said "This is a hugely emotional game for the Saints, and that makes this one hard to predict. The emotion could spill over into mistakes, or it could make them play above expectations. Thrown into the mix is the disjointed offseason of the Packers. However, Green Bay should have too much talent for a Saints team that had major turnover this offseason. Packers 27, Saints 21."
The Big Lead
Kyler Koster and Liam McKeone wrote: "Aaron Rodgers will ball the hell out in Week 1. Coming off an MVP season and an offseason dispute with the front office, he will be out to make everyone remember why he’s so damn good and why Green Bay should be loathe to ever lose him. The line is surprisingly favorable to the Saints but will undoubtedly change once Sean Payton officially declares a starting quarterback. It won’t matter. Green Bay will dominate and put themselves ahead of the Super Bowl contender pack in the early goings of the season. Packers 38, Saints 20."