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NFL Football Betting: Packers Want Top Seed in NFC

Sunday Night NFL Picks Week 17 – Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions

The Green Bay Packers got to the NFC title game last year and lost to San Francisco. Maybe they can take the next step, if they can get home-field advantage. With only one bye available in the conference, it’s critical they keep winning.

Focus should not be an issue when they host the Carolina Panthers on Saturday night at Lambeau Field. Kickoff is at 8:15 PM ET. BetOnline has live betting available for this game, along with more props than you can imagine.

Where they stand

The Packers are tied for the best record in the NFC, at 10-3. They are also 8-5 against the spread. And what they have in their back pocket is a tie-breaker advantage over New Orleans. That comes by virtue of a 37-30 victory over the Saints on September 27.

The Panthers have a 4-9 record, but they have played better than that. And this has actually been a season of encouragement under first-year head coach Matt Rhule. Carolina is 7-6 against the number. And even though they have lost seven of their last eight, they’ve been pretty solid on one side of the ball. Offensively they can move it, and Teddy Bridgewater has proven to be a pretty good free-agent pickup. On defense they have been found wanting a little too much, though.

What happened last time out

The Packers faced a feisty Detroit Lions team last Sunday. They got 290 passing yards out of Aaron Rodgers but could only muster a 31-24 victory, which was not a cover. Davante Adams had seven catches for 115 yards, including a 56-yard TD reception.

The Panthers were a four-point home favorite against the Denver Broncos on Sunday. And even though they didn’t turn the ball over, they lost a 32-27 decision. Bridgewater completed 30 of 40 for 283 yards, and Robby Anderson, who’s been a revelation since coming over from the Jets, had 84 of those yards.

Here are the numbers

In the NFL football betting odds that have been posted on this game by the people at BetOnline, the Packers are laying some points:

Panthers+8½ (-110)51½ (-110)+324
Packers-8½ (-110)51½ (-110)-410
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The McCaffrey issue

For almost all of the season the Panthers have had to go without Christian McCaffrey. And that is significant because McCaffrey is among the most valuable players in the NFL because of his dual capabilities out of the backfield.

He sat out last week’s game against Denver and is not expected to be in the lineup against Green Bay. How much does that affect things?

Well, Carolina is fifth in the NFL in yards gained per drive, and that has happened almost completely without McCaffrey. And a lot of that credit has to go to the guy calling the plays.

The Joe Brady Factor

One of the bold moves Rhule made for his staff was to bring Joe Brady on as offensive coordinator. Brady, who is only 31 years old, is the “guru” who helped lead Joe Burrow to a Heisman Trophy and LSU to a national title last year.

He’s been able to build an offense with Bridgewater (who worked with him back in New Orleans). And the Panthers have been able to put up some numbers with McCaffrey. Brady actually came under criticism for ignoring him in the season opener against the Raiders until it was too late.

We’re not sure Brady won’t be moving on again after this season, if a vacancy comes in Cincinnati. Zac Taylor is said to have created a poor atmosphere with the Bengals. And Brady could get reunited with Burrow, he is out for this season with a knee injury.


We know we haven’t looked at this much from the Packers’ perspective. But we know what they can do. And yes, we know this is important to them for that #1 seed.

But consider that Carolina has covered its last five on the road and seven of its last eight as a dog. And seven of their last nine losses have been with a margin of one possession or less. So have no doubt about the fact that the Panthers, as they have done against the Saints and Chiefs, can stay competitive here. As such, we take the points.

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