The problem for the Green Bay Packers might be the transitive property.
The New Orleans Saints destroyed the Packers 38-3 in Week 1. The Carolina Panthers then blew out the Saints 26-7 in Week 2. So what does that say about the Packers? It's not like the Saints are some instant juggernaut.
We'll see on Monday night. The Packers are 11.5-point favorites over the Detroit Lions at BetMGM. If the Packers struggle and don't cover against the Lions? There will be plenty of hard questions. And look out if they somehow lose.
The easy narrative is that the Packers' offseason drama, which centered around Aaron Rodgers, has a hangover effect. Perhaps that's fair. It's hard to believe a team that went 13-3 each of the past two seasons with trips to the last two NFC championship games became bad at football over the offseason. It's also just a one-game sample. Plenty of teams that were horrible in Week 1 played much, much better in Week 2. Urgency matters and nobody wants to go 0-2.
The Packers are going to look better in Week 2. It's never fun to take double-digit NFL favorites, but the Packers might be ready to beat someone up after Week 1. And it's not like the Lions are very good. The Packers seem to be the right side. And we'll have plenty of skepticism going forward about the Packers if they don't look a lot better.
Here's the first look at the sports betting slate for Monday:
What other bets could we make for Packers-Lions?
Given that it's not a lot of fun to bet on a game in which one team is favored by 11.5, maybe it's a good night to try out some props. Most of my plays will be correlated to the expectation the Packers win big. T.J. Hockenson over 52.5 yards seems to be the right way to go; the Lions might be throwing a lot if they fall behind early and Hockenson is clearly their best pass catcher. Using that same logic, Aaron Jones over 68.5 rushing yards could hit if the Packers are running to protect a lead.
While Aaron Rodgers should bounce back and the Lions aren't great on defense, maybe under 277.5 yards for Rodgers is the way to go. It seems unlikely he's throwing deep into the fourth quarter. I'll also take Robert Tonyan to score the first touchdown at +800 for fun.
What else is there to bet on?
Everything else seems like small potatoes when there's "Monday Night Football," but there are still 12 MLB games. Unfortunately, because so many teams are out of the mix, there aren't many great games. The Toronto Blue Jays' wild-card chase is fun, and they take on the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday night. The Jays are -125 favorites. The Oakland A's and Seattle Mariners are in the AL wild-card race and they meet. Oakland is a -175 favorite. But there's not much reason to flip back and forth between "MNF" and any baseball, even if you're a big baseball fan.
Who cashed tickets this weekend?
In the NFL, the underdogs still have the edge. They were 6-8 going into the Sunday night game. Unders also ruled, with nine of 13 games Sunday going under before the Ravens and Chiefs kicked off.
There wasn't a ton of chaos in the college football world, though Alabama failed to cover against Florida winning 31-29 as 14-point favorites, and Clemson continued to look average (by their standards) in a 14-8 win over Georgia Tech.
What's the best bet?
We'll go with the Blue Jays and their ace, Robbie Ray, over the Rays. But like everyone else, we'll be tuned in to football.