Washington is in dire straits just six games into the season, with the 31-13 thrashing at the hands of the Kansas City Chiefs serving as their fourth consecutive defeat. Both sides of the ball played poorly in the loss, and Washington also lost running back Antonio Gibson to a calf injury during the contest.
Quarterback Taylor Heinicke slogged through his most underwhelming performance yet as a starter, throwing for just 182 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Meanwhile, the defense held up well during the first half before succumbing to the Chiefs’ cumulative offensive firepower.
Kansas City ultimately racked up 499 total yards, including a net of 390 through the air.
The Packers notched a solid albeit unremarkable win against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field that was a true team effort. While none of Aaron Rodgers, Aaron Jones, and Davante Adams posted an eye-popping stat line, each made key contributions, and Rodgers finished with three total touchdowns.
Meanwhile, Green Bay’s defense helped the team overcome an early 7-0 deficit and ultimately recorded four sacks and an interception at the expense of rookie quarterback Justin Fields. The victory was the Packers’ fifth straight after a nightmarish 38-3 loss to the New Orleans Saints in Week 1.
Please note all NFL Week 7 odds and lines are current as of 12 PM EST on Friday, October 22.
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Washington vs. Packers Prediction
Washington is reeling at 2-4, and although there are some rumblings Ryan Fitzpatrick could be ready to return from injured reserve, it’s highly speculative, to say the least, that the veteran signal-caller can do much to right the ship.
With Gibson adding his Week 6 calf injury to a stress fracture he’s been playing with in his shin, the promising second-year back appears to have a steep climb to suiting up for Week 7.
If Gibson does suit up, he’ll struggle against a tough Packers defense that’s allowed just 85 rushing yards per contest in its first two home games.
That will shine an even brighter spotlight on Heinicke, who’s completed just 55 percent of his passes and generated a 1:3 TD:INT in his last two contests after an impressive opening three-game stint as a starter. Green Bay is also conceding just 206.5 passing yards per game and has already recorded six picks and 14 sacks.
In fairness, Heinicke has also been playing with less than a full arsenal on offense, and that’s going to persist in Week 7 to some degree.
Not only might Gibson miss the contest, but so could Curtis Samuel (groin), as well as starting offensive linemen Brandon Scherff (knee) and Samuel Cosmi (ankle).
Terry McLaurin is also trying to play through an ailing hamstring, while Logan Thomas (hamstring) is on injured reserve.
On the other side, the stage appears set for Rodgers to enjoy one of his prolific Lambeau performances, especially since Washington’s defense tends to funnel action toward the pass as a result of allowing just over 102 rushing yards per game over the last three contests.
In contrast, Washington has also given up an NFL-high 309.5 passing yards per game, 11.8 yards per completion, and an NFL-high 16 touchdown passes.
Rodgers is averaging 251.5 passing yards through his first two home games while also posting a pristine 6:0 TD:INT at Lambeau. Adams has a 14-185 line on 20 targets through his first pair of home contests and is averaging 7.7 receptions and 111.3 receiving yards per game overall.
The mismatches here are obvious, and it could get even uglier for Washington if Gibson and Samuel miss and if McLaurin continues to be limited. As such, I see a Green Bay pull-away win here.
Prediction: Green Bay Packers 30, Washington 17
Washington vs. Packers Best Bets
Best Bet: Packers -8 (-110) at BetMGM
As already explained, the Packers have more talent on either side of the ball even when both teams are at full health, and especially when Washington has some of its most important skill players banged up or missing altogether.
The Packers have also been the best team in the NFL as a home favorite since Rodgers took over starting quarterback duties at the start of the 2008 season.
Green Bay is 61-37-3 (62.2 percent) against the spread as a favorite at Lambeau over that span, with a net average margin of victory of 10.2 points and a 2.8-point +/- as far as covering spreads.
Washington lost its one road game against a quality team, the Buffalo Bills, by 22 points, and although I don’t see a blowout to that degree here, I’m still in the camp of the Pack covering as our NFL pick of the day.
Best Bet: Under 48.5 (-110) at Caesars
While I have faith Rodgers and his air attack will be able to exploit the Washington secondary with relative ease, the ground attack could have more of an uphill battle, as noted earlier.
Washington’s tough run defense could help lead to at least a stalled drive or two for Green Bay that culminates in a punt or Mason Crosby field goal instead of a touchdown.
Meanwhile, the Packers have allowed just 17 points to their first Lambeau opponents and have given up just 313 yards per game there, a top-5 figure. Washington has also scored just 35 total points in the last two games as defenses have gathered more film on Heinicke.
I think the Pack puts up a nice total here as noted earlier, but I don’t see Washington contributing quite enough to get the final score over the number.
Best Bet: Washington Football Team Under 19.5 (+105) at Caesars
Washington’s struggling offense combined with a Packers defense that rises to the occasion at home constitutes the thinking behind this prediction.
Green Bay has also allowed 21 or fewer points in eight of its last 10 home regular-season games dating back to last season, including 17 or fewer in five straight.