TNF Arizona Cardinals vs. Green Bay Packers: Top Anytime TD Scorer Bets
Sports betting can be a roller coaster! We enjoyed some insane highs from Week 6 and we just experienced some of the lowest of lows in Week 7. We're looking to get things back on track here to kick off Week 8 with our anytime touchdown picks. This game tonight was one I had circled for weeks now but unfortunately, we're all still living in the age of Covid and we won't be awarded with both of these teams' best tonight.
The Packers and Cardinals come into Week 8 on torrid runs to start 2021. Green Bay (6-1) and Arizona (7-0), was set to be a battle for the number 1 seed in the NFC nearly halfway through the season. Kyler Murray is the favorite to win MVP and Aaron Rodgers the reigning MVP is playing like he wants more than just an MVP award this season.
If you haven't heard yet Packers star wide receiver Davante Adams is going to miss this game as well as wide receiver Allen Lazard due to Covid-19 rules. It won't be the first time the Packers and Aaron Rodgers will be without his top two targets as they are 6-0 in the last six games without Adams. But this Cardinals defense has been one of the best in the NFL to this point. So even Rodgers who has thrown 15 touchdowns and just 1 interception may have his struggles tonight.
This is a weird game where there should be no shortage of scoring but with so many unknowns with the Packers right now due to Covid and the Cardinals having an insane stable of weapons it's tough to decipher. The good news is I've done the research so you don't have to for tonight's game!
Let's get to the best anytime touchdown picks for Thursday night! Best of luck if you tail!
Cardinals vs. Packers Top Anytime TD Scorer Bets
AJ Green (+225)
Up until last week, Green Bay had allowed a touchdown on all 15 red zone trips against it. They have really been beaten by wide receivers in this area. There are a TON of weapons that the Cardinals deploy so to get some clarity I've broken down the snap and route counts over the past three weeks for the Arizona wide receivers not named Deandre Hopkins:
Total pass snaps: Green 88, Kirk 69, Moore 53
Pass snaps from the slot: Kirk 58, Moore 41, Green 9
Vertical routes: Green 27, Kirk 26, Moore 19
In Zach Ertz's debut last week these were the routes run: DeAndre Hopkins: 31, AJ Green: 27, Christian Kirk: 24, Chase Edmonds: 22, Zach Ertz: 19, Rondale Moore: 14. In other words, A.J. Green is being treated as the true number 2 wideout right now. He is being utilized on downfield throws, so he is the one of the three that has the highest likelihood of finding the end zone. Green has 8 red-zone targets which are tied for the 6th most in the NFL. That’s three more than the next closest Cardinal player.
Kyler Murray (+265)
Kyler started the season with a rushing touchdown in the first three weeks. He’s hasn’t scored since but he has a great opportunity to get his fourth touchdown on the season Thursday night. The Packers have allowed the second-most rushing yards to opposing quarterbacks. Quarterbacks are averaging a league-high 7.21 yards per carry against Green Bay. Last week they allowed Taylor Heinicke to rush for 95 yards and he had a rushing touchdown overturned on one of the weirdest calls we’ll see all season. Kyler is second on the Cardinals in rushing attempts inside the 5-yard line. James Conner has over a 50 percent share of those attempts but Kyler comes in ahead of Chase Edmunds in this category. I got these odds on Tuesday and most books have this down below +200 now. I like this number anywhere above +150.
Marquez-Valdes Sacantling (+255)- UPDATE: MVS IS OUT
UPDATE: MVS IS OUT
UPDATED PLAY: Malik Taylor (+1100)
With MVS, Lazard, and Adams out, Taylor is my next pick. A lot of this has to do with the price on Taylor here as the other Packers wide receivers who also have not done much are nowhere near these longshot odds. Taylor is coming off the Covid-19 list and is in his second pro season. Taylor could easily find himself somewhere between second and fourth on the depth chart at wide receiver behind veteran Randall Cobb. Taylor suited up in each of the Packers' first five games, but he saw more snaps on special teams (77) than offense (24). Over his two NFL seasons, Taylor has put together a 7-80-1 receiving line on nine targets. Last year in a game without Lazard or Aaron Jones, Taylor scored. He is the only active Packers receiver with a red zone target this season besides Cobb as he received two looks back in Week 1. His snap count when active has nearly been equal to rookie Amari Rodgers so I'll opt to pick the longshot here with more experience and longer odds!
I'm banking on the fact the MVS returns off IR before tonight's game. He's missed the last few weeks with a hamstring injury but he traveled with the team and we will have clarity on his status by 4:00 PM ET.
In two games in 2020 without Davante Adams, Aaron Rodgers threw 7 touchdowns. In the first game, Allen Lazard led the way with 6 grabs for 146 yards and a score, and tight ends Robert Tonyan and Marcedes Lewis also scored. The following week Rodgers was without Adams and Lazard just as he will be Thursday. He went on to throw four touchdowns, three to Tonyan on 6 targets but wide receiver Marquez-Valdes Scantling led the way in targets with 8 in that game. He played 61 of 62 possible snaps. Due to the past success passing to his tight ends in these situations you'll see a lot of Tonyan picks out here but the Cardinals have been the number one defense in the NFL in every category defending tight ends. The advantage against the Cardinals is on the outside. Now MVS is coming off a hamstring injury so there is always the possibility of reinjury. I said this a couple of weeks ago when we hit on Allen Lazard, if the books price Aaron Rodgers de-facto number 1 wide receiver at these odds we can’t pass this up. I’ll also note, that one game was against the Falcons terrible defense in 2020 but the point is Rodgers has proven he doesn’t necessarily need Adams or Lazard in the game to produce scoring opportunities. Because well, he’s a bad man. If MVS is ruled out I'll have a pivot play that I will share on my Twitter. You can follow me there - @Tom_Viera