NFL Week 3: Packers vs Saints Game Preview

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BetMGM @BETMGM Jun 16, 2021, 2:20 PM
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Through two weeks of games, the NFL betting world has already seen many surprises and upsets. Looking ahead to NFL Week 3, the Sunday night football game between the Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints has the online sports betting community excited. This NFL game preview takes a closer look at the game slated for primetime TV between two hall-of-fame caliber quarterbacks. Aaron Rodgers vs. Drew Brees.

What To Look For

Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers anticipates a play against the New Orleans Saints during the third quarter of a game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on October 26, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

There is a reason this game is scheduled for primetime television. Featuring two legendary quarterbacks with plenty of postseason success, including a Super Bowl win for each team, this game should be incredible.With murmurs of Drew Brees hanging up the cleats after this season, this could be the last duel between the Saints signal caller and longtime NFC rival Aaron Rodgers.

Surprisingly, we expect a lower scoring game between two usually high-powered offenses led by two offensive head coaches. Unfortunately for bettors of the over, it looks like All-Pro wide receiver for the Saints, Michael Thomas, won't be able to play again due to his ankle injury. Ditto for Davante Adams from the Packers with his hamstring injury. Both injuries will greatly impact the passing attack for both teams.

Key Players To Watch

Green Bay Packers

Aaron Jones #33 of the Green Bay Packers runs with the ball in the first quarter against the New Orleans Saints at Lambeau Field on October 22, 2017 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Aaron Rodgers, Quarterback

As one of the most accurate quarterbacks in the league, Aaron Rodgers is off to a great start in what many experts have described as a “screw you” season from one of the league’s most competitive players. The Packers are sitting at 2-0 on the back of some throwback Rodgers moments. After scoring 43 points and 42 points in their first two games, the Packers are the highest-scoring team in the NFL. Rodgers has thrown six touchdown passes for the year!

With 74 passing attempts, the 36-year-old quarterback has yet to throw an interception this season. After only throwing four all of last year, don’t expect him to suddenly start throwing the ball to the other team any time soon.

Expect another strong showing from Rodgers on Sunday night at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.

Aaron Jones, Running Back

Speaking of good starts, Packers tailback Aaron Jones has been phenomenal in the first two weeks. Leading the NFL in rushing yards with 234, he appears set for a career year.

Of course, Jones benefits from defenses struggling to contain the nasty passing combination of Aaron Rodgers throwing to Davante Adams. This week, Adams is fighting an injury so he may not be able to suit up for the game. This could lead to the Packers looking for more out of Jones against the Saints in Week 3.

New Orleans Saints

Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints anticipates a snap during a game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on October 22, 2017 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Drew Brees, Quarterback

Last week, Drew Brees and the Saints got off to a hot start before the Las Vegas Raiders came back to crush their hopes of a 2-0 start. Playing without Michael Thomas due to injury, Brees was without his best wide receiver. It looks like Thomas won’t be able to go again on Sunday, but Brees still has plenty of weapons to work with on offense.

Nine different receivers ended up catching a pass from Brees last week. Expect to see Brees continue to spread the ball around as he tries to find his comfort zone without his top wideout available.

Alvin Kamara, Running Back

Since first stepping onto a football field in the NFL in 2017, Alvin Kamara has been a Pro Bowl running back. By being extremely shifty while running the ball and displaying his ability as a great pass-catcher, Kamara is the perfect fit for the offense in New Orleans.

While he is off to a bit of a slower start running the ball this year, he has made up for it in the passing game. Interestingly, the Pro Bowl running back has caught exactly 81 passes in each of his 3 seasons in the league.

Expect Alvin Kamara to see plenty of touches without Michael Thomas being available against the Packers.

Where Do They Stand?

With two games behind them, the Green Bay Packers are exactly where they want to be, 2-0. This has them tied in first place for the NFC North division lead with the Chicago Bears. Another win this week would go a long way toward keeping that division crown.

The New Orleans Saints of course wanted to win both games, but the Raiders had different plans as they opened their new stadium. After two games played, the Saints are 1-1. Luckily enough, that has them tied with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for first place in the NFC South division. If the Saints get a victory this week, they can stay on top of the division for another week.

Mark Ingram #22 of the New Orleans Saints is brought down by Mike Daniels #76 of the Green Bay Packers during a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on October 26, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Past Historical Matchups Between the Packers and Saints

The Green Bay Packers hold the bragging rights between these two in their history with each other, winning the series 16-9. Both teams have won a Super Bowl in the last decade with their current quarterbacks. Of course, both teams are itching to achieve that ultimate goal once again. This is because it has been since 2010, and 2011, when each team last won the big game.

Surprisingly, these two teams have not faced each other since 2017, when the Saints bested the Packers 26-17 at Lambeau Field, although Aaron Rodgers was out for that one with an injury. You have to go all the way back to 2014 when Rodgers last played the Saints — in that showdown, Rodgers threw two interceptions and they lost 44-23.

This game takes place in New Orleans, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, although fans won’t be present due to COVID-19 restrictions.

NFL Betting Picks and Predictions

Having the slight advantage of playing in their home stadium, sportsbook casino NFL betting lines have the Saints favored to win. NFL odds are expecting this one to come down to the wire. A primetime matchup under the lights could be a potential preview for a playoff matchup between these two talented teams.

Coming off a bitter loss to the Raiders where they got out to an early 10 point lead, the Saints are itching to get another win under their belts. The Packers are off to the hottest start in the league, offensively. Yet many NFL betting odds and picks suggest they may experience some trouble without Davante Adams.

With how the entire offense is rolling right now, it’s going to be tough for anyone to slow down the Packers. Not having Adams to throw to will hurt. It will be interesting to watch how both teams manage without their Pro Bowl wide receivers in the lineup.

It's NFL Week 3, and anything could happen, but we think the Packers will find a way to win a close game over the Saints by a field goal.

Our final score prediction: Saints Win 23-20

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Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.