The last game of the NFL’s regular season finds the 8-8 Detroit Lions traveling to Lambeau Field Sunday night, taking on the 8-8 Green Bay Packers. Green Bay is listed as a 4½-point favorite (total of 49), according to BetUS sportsbook NFL odds.
This is a game with huge playoff implications. If the Packers win, they’re in. Detroit needs to win, too, but its fate is linked to the Seattle-LA Rams game. Seattle has to lose earlier.
Detroit Lions vs. Green Bay Packers Odds by BetUs
|Lions||+4½ ( -110 )||49 ( -110 )||+185|
|Packers||-4½ ( -110 )||49 ( -110 )||-225|
Lions Late to Party
So, wouldn’t it be fun to see the Detroit Lions in the playoffs? However, after a 1-6 start, Detroit, the parlance of the ponies, may have run out of racetrack, The Lions climbed back to .500 by drilling the toothless Chicago Bears, 41-10, last week. Whether that’s sufficient to wash away the stench of getting overrun by the Carolina Panthers the previous week remains to be seen. That loss, of course, took the baton out of Detroit’s hands, meaning help is needed. (As per NFL playoff odds, Detroit is priced at -1200 to miss the playoffs, +600 to qualify). They’ve defeated the Pack this season, a 15-9 defensive throwback game the first week of November which included three Aaron Rodgers interceptions, two of them in the end zone.
Quarterback Jared Goff (4,214 passing yards, 29 touchdowns, seven interceptions) has not thrown a pick of his own since that meeting, eight games ago, Try 15 touchdown passes during that stretch, three in each of his last two games. He is leading an offense that’s fourth in the league (27.1 points per game). It’s the defense, having surrendered a league-worst 398.7 yards/game, that has some issues.
There’s the balance, with running back Jamal Williams within six yards of 1,000 on the season (22 carries, 144 yards against Chicago last week), while Amon-Ra St. Brown has an even 100 receptions (1,112 yards, six touchdowns) to date.
Detroit has made a lot of people a lot of money this season. It’s an incredible 11-5 against the spread, 10-6 on the over/under. The Lions have covered in eight of their last nine. Detroit did cover the spread in its earlier win against Green Bay, as under hit.
Packers Exhumed Themselves
A lost season in Green Bay, until it wasn’t one. How else would one describe a year in which the Pack suffered a five-game losing streak, then turned it around by winning its last four? It doesn’t seem right watching the playoffs without Rodgers. He will try to ensure that’s not happening..
As previously mentioned, Green Bay was a 15-9 loser at Detroit in early November, the last of its five-game skid. However, an overtime win against the Dallas Cowboys seemed to be the team’s light-bulb moment of the season. It lost its next couple, but then reeled off four consecutive wins. In last week’s 41-17 rout of the NFC Central division champ Minnesota Vikings, Green Bay scored via a 105-yard Keisean Nixon kickoff return (first by Packers since 2011), and a 75-yard Darnell Savage interception return. Rodgers won’t win a third consecutive MVP, but his seasonal numbers (3,490 passing yards, 25 touchdowns, 11 interceptions) have kept the Pack in contention.
Green Bay is 8-8 against the spread, 8-8 on the over/under. They have covered in each of the four latest wins.
Pack in Playoffs
Are the Lions in with a shot, or just playing the role of spoilers? That’s the question here, and those who wager need to wait. It’s been a fun season with the Lions, but this is probably not their time. Take away that 15-9 win over Green Bay and a few other rare exceptions, and the Detroit defense has generally been an ugly unit. Pack will win, covering the -4½ spread.
Avoid the (49-point) over/under, and just ride the hot Packers to win.