The (3-4) Detroit Lions are headed to Lambeau Field to take on the (4-3) Green Bay Packers in a Monday night NFL showdown that could have playoff implications (8:30 PM ET).
Currently both the Lions and Packers are on the outside looking in when it comes to the NFC North. The Minnesota Vikings have a two-game lead over the second place Packers and their conference and divisional schedule favors their chances. Essentially, the North is Minnesota’s division to lose.
That doesn’t mean that the postseason is out of question for either team. At least it won’t be for the one who emerges with the victory on Monday night.
Life without Rodgers
Last year when the Packers and Lions met in week 17 of the NFL season, Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers was almost perfect, throwing for 300 yards and four touchdowns in his team’s 31-14 victory. This year however, Rodgers won’t even be on the field to take on one of his favorite opponents and that has been the story for Green Bay over the past few weeks.
Rodgers went down with a collarbone injury in the Packers’ loss against the Vikings and Green Bay hasn’t been the same since. With Brett Hundley as quarterback, the team has struggled to find the same offensive consistency and success that they enjoyed during the Rodgers’ tenure, losing to both the Vikings and New Orleans Saints in Hundley’s first NFL start. Hundley had just 87 yards and one interception in that game.
Without Rodgers, the Packers’ shot at the playoffs is bleak, which is problematic because prior to the season this team was one of the strongest contenders for not just the NFC North title, but the entire conference. Now however, the once 11th ranked offense has been sputtering, failing to find any sort of the rhythm they had when Rodgers was under center.
Rodgers has been one of the most dominant quarterbacks in the NFL but, fortunately for the Packers, he is not the only reason why they have been successful over the years. Lambeau Field, one of the most home-friendly stadiums in the league is the other reason. It has provided an added assistance to the Packers as they have been on top of the NFC for several years.
Lambeau is a tough place for opponents to play ordinarily but when it comes to the Lions, it might be the toughest place to play. Detroit has lost 25 of their last 26 games when playing on the Packers’ home turf and this number dates back to the pre-Rodgers area. In fact, it goes all the way back to 1991, with their only win coming in November of two years ago.
Even without Rodgers under center, it is hard to imagine the Lions picking up a win on Monday night given their Lambeau track record. In addition, Detroit is one of the worst teams in the NFL when it comes to scoring in the red zone. In their last game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Lions ran 16 plays in the red-zone and failed to come away with a touchdown, marking the longest single game stretch of red zone plays without one this season.
Green Bay’s dominance over Detroit is certainly well noted and with neither team looking particularly on the path of success this year, it is pretty safe to assume that the Lambeau advantage should continue to be in Green Bay’s favor.
Stats Worth Noting
- The Packers are 7-1 SU and 6-2 ATS in their last eight games at home as well as 6-1 SU in their last seven games versus divisional opponents.
- The total has played to the under in 12 of Detroit’s last 18 games compared to a total playing to the over in 11 of Green Bay’s last 14 games.
Our Preview’s Lions vs. Packers Pick & Predictions Verdict
It has been a tough go for the Packers as they have tried to adjust to a season without Rodgers at quarterback. Head coach Mike McCarthy is committed to Hundley and believes in the young QB to fill in Rodgers’ absence. The results however have been pretty mixed thus far. That being said, the Packers are still a strong team, with an offense and defense that can hold its own. Add to the fact that this game is being played at Lambeau and at night (the Lions are 3-14 in their last 17 night games) and the formula for victory strongly points to the home team.
- The Lions are favored by 2 to 2.5 points according to most of our top recommended USA offshore sportsbooks. But one of them goes +3pts about the home underdogs, which is too tempting to resist. So our pick is to take the Packers +3pts @ -120 with Bovada.
- As for the total, which is set at 43.5pts, smart money is on a mark just above that so the betting prediction is to bet the over 43.5pts @ best odds of -107 with Bookmaker.