NFL Week 3 Picks: Green Bay Packers vs. New Orleans Saints

September 27, 8:20 PM EDT

Betting Odds

Point Spread: 
GB +3/NO -3

The Green Bay Packers come to the Superdome on Sunday to take on the New Orleans Saints. Things have looked really good for the Packers, one of the more impressive teams through two weeks in the new NFL season. On Sunday, they beat the Lions, 42-21, which followed a 43-34 win over Green Bay. They look to keep the offense flowing against a Saints team coming off the short week after suffering an MNF loss to the Raiders in their debut at their new stadium in Vegas. The Saints look for better this week as they return to their stomping grounds in the Superdome. Who will cover the spread this week?

Packers as Good as They Look?

This is the game where we will see if the Packers can make all this work against a fellow conference playoff team in the Saints. Things look pretty good thus far, but in beating the Lions and Vikings, they have beaten two teams that haven’t come out of the gate quickly, where it’s possible that that they were made to look a little better than really are. Still, their offense looks like it's on-point, and after watching the Raiders getting it done on the ground and through the air against this Saints' defense, the Packers are hoping their newfound balance on offense will pay off.

With six TDs and no picks, Aaron Rodgers has been looking good. The possibility of a compromised Davante Adams (check status), who hurt his hamstring on Sunday, isn’t good, but they’ve been getting a lot of help. Aaron Jones was huge on Sunday with 168 yards and two touchdowns, while pulling in 68 receiving yards and another score. And with Jamaal Williams adding a big punch, they have one of the better run-games they’ve had in recent seasons. They have a lot of different things to throw at opposing defenses.

Daylight for the Saints

It’s hard to get a read on a Green Bay defense when the offense is soaring and putting games out-of-reach. They gave up 21 points to the Lions last week, which followed a 34-point allowance to the Vikings. In giving up 55 points to teams like that, one can reasonably forecast that this is a spot where Drew Brees and Company can get some damage done. The dome setting at home is to their liking, and an offense that fell somewhat flat on MNF should be in better shape this week.

If you look at the Vikings and what they have on offense as they scored 34 against Green Bay, which is a limited cast compared to the Saints, it seems highly doable for New Orleans to hit the scoreboard with some regularity. It didn't work out on Sunday, and maybe they're trying to figure it out without star receiver Michael Thomas, who is missing some time with an ankle. They need Alvin Kamara, Emmanuel Sanders, Tre’Quan Smith, Jared Cook, and all their playmakers to step up and bridge that gap. On MNF, perhaps Thomas’ absence was responsible for Brees being a little off-key and, therefore, making this offense far less-formidable. Still, maybe getting adjusted to the new rotation and being back at home against a Green Bay defense that has been leaky in spots through two weeks will give rise to a better Saints’ offensive output.

Easy to Neglect the Packers

Even after making the NFC title game last season, no one was that keen on the Packers in the offseason, as their name seldom came up when the topic of NFC contenders was being discussed. They were pretty far down the list of NFC teams fancied to win the Super Bowl. But with second-year head coach Matt LaFleur, they are now 15-3 in the regular season going back to last year. It’s easy to see why they get talked about less than some other contending teams, as the star-power drops off considerably after you mention Aaron Rodgers. There just seems to be this thing about the Packers that makes people a little resistant to the idea that they’re one of the very top teams in the NFC.

Green Bay at New Orleans Prediction 9/27/20

I think the Green Bay "D" is better than they've shown in weeks one and two, where the "D" did well when it mattered. Losing Michael Thomas might not be an easy loss for the Saints to camouflage, as he was a valuable tool on this offense in many ways, and without him, the whole dynamic changes. While gifted with a back in Kamara who can do a lot of damage aerially and a good tight end in Jared Cook, they're a little strapped for wide receiver talent with Thomas out of the mix. Green Bay could be in a similar predicament if Adams isn't ready to go. I still see a tight game where taking the points seems like a good idea. I'm taking the Packers.</p>
Free Pick: 
Take the Packers +3