Get Cowboys vs. Packers NFL first touchdown best bets for their (1/14/24) matchup.
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This year’s edition should be no exception to the classic battle that often ensues between these two powerhouses. In a matchup that has all the makings of a high-paced shootout, getting on the board first and setting the pace will be a high priority for both sides. Let’s get into some NFL Wild Card first touchdown picks for this Packers vs. Cowboys matchup, where we’ll look at key players like CeeDee Lamb, Aaron Jones, and more.
Packers vs Cowboys First Touchdown Picks
Both of these teams are expected to take a decidedly pass-first approach. Let’s see how that could affect their first scorer, and how Dallas might attack the end zone early on.
CeeDee Lamb First Touchdown (+500)
Lamb is more or less the co-favorite across books, and for good reason. His production has been somewhat overshadowed by that of Miami WR Tyreek Hill, but he’s had a historic season in his own right, almost matching Hill’s production. Lamb has secured 135 catches for 1,749 yards and 12 scores as the centerpiece of the Dallas air offense and the main beneficiary of Dak Prescott’s serious leap in level of play this season.
The Packers are not a particularly good pass defense, ranking 26th in DVOA on opponent dropbacks this season. They’ve been particularly bad down the stretch, after making the regrettable choice to trade away star corner Rasul Douglas, who, in turn, has elevated the Buffalo secondary. Jaire Alexander, Green Bay’s top defensive back, is in the lineup for this one. Having struggled all season with injuries, he has not been as good as he’s been in years past.
Simply put, the Packers have no answer for the Dallas passing game, especially Lamb. The Cowboys should be throwing early and often, which more often than not means that Lamb will be heavily featured in their game plan, especially around the end zone.
Aaron Jones First Touchdown (+900)
This is a really interesting prop, because Jones has the shortest odds of any Packers player on the board at most books, despite only scoring three touchdowns in 11 appearances this year. He’s dealt with some injuries which have hampered his production, but should be good to go for this clash. This creates the perfect storm for us to buy relatively low on someone who realistically has to be a big part of the Packers’ plans.
He’s been playing some awesome football of late, as he’s accumulated at least 130 scrimmage yards and 21 touches in each of his past three games. He hasn’t scored since early November in a game against the Rams, but the recent production shows us that he’s being ramped back up to workhorse back status, especially with AJ Dillon initially playing horribly and now injured.
I do see this as a pass-first game for the Packers as well, but +900 odds on a team’s clear lead back is simply eye-catching. The Packers could very well move all the way down the field by throwing the ball, but if they have a snap inside the five-yard line, Jones will be a top consideration. What’s more is that Jones himself is a capable receiver, and if he finds space, could be the beneficiary of a big throw from Jordan Love.
Jake Ferguson First Touchdown (+1200)
Ferguson is another player who hasn’t done much scoring lately, but is certainly capable of changing that. Around midseason, he was one of Prescott’s favorite end zone targets, but he hasn’t scored since the end of November against the Seahawks. His total volume hasn’t been harmed at all, as he’s still averaging five catches per game over that span, higher than his overall season average. So, it seems like poor luck more than anything that has kept him off of the scoreboard.
As we’ve already discussed, the Green Bay pass defense is nothing to write home about, but it’s been especially rough against tight ends, who have scored nearly half a touchdown per game against the Packers. The Packers’ red zone defense has been pretty solid, the league’s ninth best in terms of touchdown percentage allowed, but the numbers are very different on the road.
42.31% of visitors’ drives inside the 20 at Lambeau Field turn into touchdowns, but that number swells to 58.06% on the road. This could be big for Ferguson, who has a very good chance to be the first Cowboy to find the end zone in this game, which will take place in Dallas.
Jayden Reed First Touchdown (+1400)
Considering our projected pass-first script for Green Bay in this one, these are some pretty phenomenal odds for their best receiver. Reed has scored three touchdowns in his past three games, and has set receiving yardage career highs in each of his past two. As the season has progressed, he has adjusted really well to the league and blossomed into Green Bay’s top option, especially as other receivers have dealt with injuries.
The Cowboys’ pass defense grades well over the course of the full season, but a long, challenging schedule has taken its toll. Since week 12, the Cowboys rank just 22nd in the NFL in EPA against the pass, so there could be plenty of opportunities for Jordan Love to slice and dice. Lately, that’s mostly meant good things for Reed, so backing him at these odds could pay off in a big way.