The New England Patriots may be many people’s favourites to win Super Bowl LI in Houston next month, but as we head into the thrills and spills of playoff season, the real value looks to be in backing the 9/1 Green Bay Packers for another dose of Super Bowl glory.
Mike McCarthy’s side have been in blistering form of late, winning their last six games to top a highly competitive NFC North division.
That run has been due largely to a series of sensational attacking displays. The 38 points notched up against Seattle was the equal highest total the Seahawks have shipped in their last 25 games.
And Green Bay also scored the same number past Minnesota Vikings. And no other side has scored more than that against the Minneapolis side since way back in December 2013.
Not that the Vikings are any pushovers these days. Their Quarterback Sam Bradford boasted the best completion rate in a single season in NFL history in 2016, while fellow divisional rivals Detroit Lions have been in fine form this season.
For Green Bay to finish top of that division has been a huge achievement – and if they do end up meeting the Lions again in the NFC Championship game, the Pack will do so having already swept them aside twice in this campaign.
Cheeseheads will also have been impressed by the way the side’s running game has developed in the latter part of the season. Ty Montgomery has been converted from wide receiver to running back with great success – but the Packers can mix it up on that front.
Each of Montgomery, Rodgers and Eddie Lacy have averaged better than five yards per carry this term, with the trio having run the ball well over 200 times combined.
But it’s their passing game which is the biggest threat to opponents. While the more cautious Bradford was the NFC North quarterback breaking the record, it’s Rodgers’ whose long-range launches make him arguably the finest anywhere.
The 33-year-old threw for a whopping 4428 yards this season – an average of 241.6 per game, in case you were wondering. And it appears he’s going from strength-to-strength as we head into the playoffs, throwing for 300 yards and four touchdowns in Detroit on New Year’s Day.
As for the Pack’s defence, while they’re perhaps not the strongest in the playoffs, they gave up just 13 points against the Houston Texans last month, while Seattle also managed just 10 points at Lambeau Field in December.
Talking of Lambeau, that’s where the Packers’ first post-season game is. They welcome a New York Giants’ side who have already lost in Wisconsin this season, with the hosts having triumphed 23-16 in week five.
With Rodgers having already collected a Super Bowl ring back 2011 when the Packers overcame Pittsburgh Steelers, they have an experienced head at the heart of their offense as the 13-time league champions look to secure another memorable triumph.
And you can expect that 9/1 for glory in Houston to tumble after the visit of NY Giants to Lambeau this weekend.
In the Money Line, the Packers are 1/2 to win, with 4/1 for them to beat the Giants within the 7-12 point margin again this time out.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing