Last Updated: 2018-01-05
The Green Bay Packers’ playoff hopes went down the toilet a couple of weeks ago with a loss to Carolina. They followed that up by getting shut out at the hands of the Vikings in Week 16 and they now sit 7-8 and will fall at least two games shy of their predicted season wins total. It will be the first time that they have failed to land a postseason berth since 2008 when they went 6-10. It’s safe to say that the injury to Aaron Rodgers severely hampered their chances in the NFC North especially in light of the rise of Minnesota. It’s hard to see this team being overly motivated in Week 17 but they should be interested in finishing the campaign on a positive note against a division rival and finish at 8-8.
The Detroit Lions desperately needed a third straight win in Cincinnati last week to keep their playoff hopes alive but the Bengals rallied in the fourth quarter and sent Detroit packing. By no means was Week 16 game a good one for Stafford and company. They got just 15 first downs, got nailed with costly penalties, and were outmatched in nearly every offensive and defensive category although they did manage to do a good job holding Cincinnati at bay in the red zone. This squad is deflated but will be motivated for the same reasons their opponents are. On top of that, the Lions also have a shot at the season sweep of Green Bay which they haven’t pulled off since, well, it’s been a heck of a long time. It would be reasonable to expect that this game won’t be a shootout but these two teams have a recent history of lining Over bettors’ pockets when they face each other.
Packers at Lions
Spread: Green Bay Packers +7.5 (-140), Detroit Lions -7.5 (+120) at 5Dimes Sportsbook
Moneyline: Green Bay Packers +250, Detroit Lions -300
Total: Over 43.5 (-110), Under 43.5 (-110)
The Packers offense didn’t play a very inspired game against the Vikes in Week 16. They managed just 12 first downs and were 0-2 in the red zone. Hundley had a miserable outing against Minny’s stout defense completing just 17 of 40 passes for 130 yards and no touchdowns while tossing 2 picks. He was actually fairly well protected but his throws were off and no receiver accounted for more than a lousy 36 yards. They rushed the ball just 24 times for 113 yards led by Jamaal Williams’ 58 yards on 15 carries. Williams was also targeted 3 times but failed to record a reception.
Things should be a lot easier for the Packers’ offense this week but one really has to wonder about the level of effort that we’ll see. Detroit gives up a lot of yards through the air and on the ground. On the defensive side of things, Green Bay actually played a solid game against Minnesota in Week 16 but they are still a defense that can be exploited. They should be able to contain Detroit’s running game but if Stafford and his receivers show up, they will be difficult to stop.
D. Adams (Concussion), N. Perry (Ankle), C. Matthews (Hamstring), J. Evans (Knee), D. Randall (Knee), J. Spriggs (Knee), J. Nelson (Shoulder), and A. Jones (Knee) are questionable.
It definitely wasn’t a terrible game for Matt Stafford in Week 16 but it was absolutely a sub-par performance. He connected on 19 of 35 passes for 203 yards and a touchdown as well as tossing a pick. The thing is that his TD pass to Eric Ebron came in the first quarter and he just couldn’t get the job done after that. Cincinnati’s defense deserves a bit of credit for raising their game and frustrating the Lions’ attack. Nonetheless, Stafford has been one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL this season and he will likely be driven to have a bounce-back game in front of his home crowd. Green Bay has given up an average of 7.7 yards per completion this year which is far from great and quarterbacks average a 99.7 QB rating.
Green Bay’s rushing defense has been middle of the pack this season. They give up 116 yards per game on the ground but their 4.0 yards per carry against is a smidgen above average. This should prove to be a challenge for Detroit which has the league’s worst running game with just 78 yards per game and a lowly 3.4 yards per carry. Expect the Lions to rely on the air attack as usual.
D. Washington (Hip), R. Wagner (Ankle), T. Swanson (Concussion), and T. Lang (Foot) are questionable.
Packers at Lions Betting Lines
This matchup opened at Detroit -312ish and it now sits anywhere between -290 and -320 depending on where you look. Let’s face it, neither of these teams are easy to back in this spot. Detroit opened as a 9-point favorite and, as could be expected, early money has driven the line down to Detroit -7 for even money at most books. This is one of those games where punters should be able to have their pick of lines anywhere between 6.5 and 7.5 come kickoff. The total opened up at 42.5 but has crept up to 43 at most books.
It’s hard to imagine Hundley and the Pack scoring an awful lot of points and Detroit hasn’t exactly been lighting up the scoreboards recently. I believe that the Lions will prevail but 7 points just seems a little much in this scenario.
My Pick: Green Bay +7.5 (-140)
Total: Under 43.5 (-110)
<< Previous PostNext Post >>