Odds Against Packers, Adams Likely Out

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Davante Adams Packers 49ers
Davante Adams #17 of the Green Bay Packers runs after making a reception during the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium on Jan. 19, 2020, in Santa Clara, California.

“Thursday Night Football” was supposed to feature the best matchup of NFL Week 8. The contest between the Green Bay Packers and Arizona Cardinals isn’t expected to be as competitive now that one of the game’s best players likely won’t play.

Davante Adams was added to the reserve/COVID-19 list Monday, joining Green Bay defensive coordinator Joe Barry. With the star wide receiver and defensive coach almost certain to miss Thursday’s game in Arizona, the Packers have become sizable underdogs. 

The point spread is up to six points in favor of the Cardinals, according to the latest betting odds at FanDuel Sportsbook. Arizona opened up as a 3.5-point favorite, but the line has nearly doubled since key members of Green Bay have tested positive for COVID-19.

The over/under has moved from 53 to 51.5. 

Thursday’s game could play a major role in determining the NFC’s No. 1 seed. Arizona is the league’s lone remaining undefeated team, off to a 7-0 start in the 2021 season. Green Bay is only a game behind the Cardinals in the race for a first-round playoff bye with a 6-1 record.

The Packers’ one loss seems like a lifetime ago. Green Bay was stunned with a 38-3 loss against the New Orleans Saints in Week 1. In their last six games, the Packers have looked like the team that is coming off back-to-back NFC Championship Game appearances.

Since the inexplicable Week 1 loss, in which Aaron Rodgers played one of his worst games, the reigning NFL MVP has 15 touchdown passes. Kyler Murray is among this year’s MVP favorites, leading all quarterbacks who have started every game with a 116.8 passer rating.

Adams is the most important playmaker on either team. His 744 receiving yards rank third in the NFL. Adams is the only Packer with more than 186 receiving yards, and he has nearly three times as many targets as any other player on the team. 

Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Green Bay’s second-leading receiver in 2020, has missed four straight weeks with a hamstring injury. There’s a good chance he’ll return in Week 8.

Green Bay managed to go 3-0 in games that Adams missed last season. The Packers averaged 34.0 points in those wins.

The Cardinals have avoided losing this season, despite COVID issues of their own. Without star pass rusher Chandler Jones, head coach Kliff Kingsbury and quarterback coach Cam Turner, Arizona beat the Cleveland Browns 37-14 in Week 6. 

A healthier Cardinals team should find a way to win at home, but Rodgers and an underrated defense give the Packers a chance to potentially pull off the upset. 

Prediction: Arizona over Green Bay, 27-24


Davante Adams Packers 49ers

Photo: Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

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