After the Minnesota Vikings’ victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, the NFC North picture got just a little bit more contested. Looking to keep their spot at the top of the division today, the Green Bay Packers host the Detroit Lions, who need a win themselves to keep their hopes of winning the NFC North alive (8:15 PM ET Monday).
Opening the season on the road against the Arizona Cardinals, the Detroit Lions ended up with a result that no one really wants, a tie. After leading 17-3 at the half and 17-6 after the third quarter, the Lions seemingly grasped defeat from the jaws of victory, allowing that lead to vanish as the Cardinals scored 18 points in the game’s final quarter. Only it wasn’t the final quarter because the Cardinals and Lions were knotted up at 24 so things went to overtime. The teams traded field goals and both had opportunities to win but fell short. So after 70-odd minutes of football, the Lions opened their year with a tie. One that could very well hurt or help them depending on how the rest of the season goes for the Packers and Vikings.
Weeks two and three worked out much better for the Lions as they defeated the Los Angeles Chargers at home and narrowly avoided defeat in Philadelphia against the Eagles. Offensively, Detroit was led by Marvin Jones Jr., who accounted for over 50 percent of Matthew Stafford’s total passing yards, and caught the QB’s only touchdown. The Lions were also bolstered by their special teams unit, which kicked off scoring for the team when Jamal Agnew ran back a 100-yard kickoff for a touchdown. The Eagles notched their first touchdown just a few plays later, but after that, it was all Detroit in the second quarter. The Lions took a 20-10 lead into the half and held on to it thanks to a strong defensive stand to end the game. Much was the case the following week against the Chargers, where Stafford, despite two interceptions, led the Lions to a fourth quarter lead before their defense stepped up to close things out. Darius Slay, in the closing moments of the game, picked off Philip Rivers to seal things for the Lions.
From there, the Lions, who had yet to record a loss, faced the tough task of the then-undefeated Kansas City Chiefs. To Detroit’s credit, they played Kansas City extremely well. In a game where Stafford tossed just under 300 yards and three touchdowns, the Lions kept pace with the Chiefs all game long, even leading Kansas City 10-0 after the first quarter and 23-20 after the third quarter. Similar to the Lions’ collapse against the Cardinals in week one, they faltered in the fourth, allowing the Chiefs 14 points including the go-ahead score which came as the clock nearly expired.
Coming off a bye which helped both Green Bay and Minnesota gain a win over them in the standings, the Lions will look to a big time matchup against the Packers at Lambeau Field. It is their chance to separate themselves as contenders not pretenders. It will make the NFC North the division to watch over the next few months as a Lions’ win puts them right back in contention for the NFC North crown.
The Road So Far – Green Bay Packers
As crazy as it may sound, this was expected by many to be an off year for the Green Bay Packers. Seems that no one told Aaron Rodgers or new head coach Matt LaFleur. For the second year in a row, Green Bay opened their season against the Chicago Bears. For the second year in a row, Rodgers did his part to rip out the hearts of Bears’ fans. The Packers defense kept Mitch Trubisky out of the end zone in a game that played to a final of just 10-3. The following week, Green Bay took down another NFC North opponent when they defeated the Vikings at home. The same result held in week three as the Packers defeated the Denver Broncos.
While Green Bay played like the better team early on, with Rodgers throwing for over 400 yards, 180 of which went to Davante Adams, it came down to a final play where Green Bay’s star quarterback did not deliver. With his team in great position to win the game, Rodgers, without his top target in Adams, who left injured and didn’t return, threw his first interception of the season. It just came at the least opportune and most costly time.
The Packers didn’t stay in the loser’s column for long however as the following week, they traveled to Dallas to face the Cowboys. Both teams were coming off losses and it was the Packers who got the better of the matchup. Green Bay played another tight game as Rodgers continued his dominance in Big D, and their defense forced three interceptions from Dak Prescott. Though, they did allow Dallas a 200+ yard receiver and 463 passing yards.
Riding high right now, the Packers will look to keep the winning ways going, and they will need to do so to keep their spot on top. They won’t have it easy against the Lions, a team that also only has one loss on the season so far.
Our Preview’s Detroit Lions vs Green Bay Packers Picks & Betting Predictions Verdict
The one blemish on Rodgers’ season is the one blemish on Green Bay’s as well, and it likely wouldn’t have happened if not for Adams’ injury. Adams is still out but the Packers adjusted to life without him with a 34-point total last week. Taking that into account and the fact that Detroit’s top defender, Darius Slay, is listed as questionable, we like Green Bay to beat the spread with the offshore sports betting sites for this Monday night NFC North showdown. So these are our Detroit Lions vs Green Bay Packers predictions for this preview:
- Take the Packers -3.5pts to prevail @ +100 (evens) with Intertops. It is -3pts @ -126 with Bookmaker, -3.5pts @ -102 with BetOnline and -4pts @ -105 with Bovada.
- When it comes to our pick for the total points to be scored, go over 45.5pts @ -110 with Intertops or BetOnline.
Marilee writes on NFL, MLB, NBA & tennis for USA Betting. Another area of her sporting journalistic expertise is pro wrestling. A native of Philadelphia and a big Eagles fan, she has been a sports writer for many major websites including Bleacher Report and Rant Sports. She started her journalistic career early, as sports editor for her college newspaper.