Pro Football Picks – Packers may find some room vs. Lions
The playoff chances of the Green Bay Packers are not looking very good right now. And Aaron Rodgers is looking more like one of those veteran quarterbacks who has hit the wall.
The Pack has lost four straight games. But is there light at the end of the tunnel?
If there is, it will have to start showing itself this Sunday. Green Bay (3-5 both SU and ATS) has a very beatable opponent in front of it in the Detroit Lions. And regardless of who is available, they had better be in a position to exploit Detroit’s huge weaknesses.
This game is taking place at Ford Field, slated for 1 PM ET.
The Packers’ fourth straight defeat took place at the hands of the Buffalo Bills last Sunday night. The good news in the 27-17 loss was (a) that they got the cover, and (b) they decided to run the ball.
The Lions (1-6 SU, 3-3-1 ATS) got by on enthusiasm in the early going. But you’ve got to start winning some games in this business. And this team hasn’t figured that out yet. Last week they got off to a two-touchdown lead against the Miami Dolphins. But then reality set in, and Miami came back to win a 31-27 decision.
We’ll be realistic; the Packers don’t have the kind of receiving talent Miami has. But Detroit’s secondary has underperformed to the extent that it may not matter. And with a 1-6 record, you’d have to wonder whether coach Dan Campbell might be on the hot seat.
Pro Football Picks Packers vs. Lions
In the odds on this game that are posted by the guys at BetOnline, the Packers are favorites on the road, despite their losing streak:
|Packers||-3½ ( -110 )||49½ ( -110 )||-190|
|Lions||+3½ ( -110 )||49½ ( -110 )||+160|
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Pro Football Picks – About the Detroit Lions
Jared Goff thrived for a while under Sean McVay. But that wore off, and he’s struggled with the talent he has around him. One thing about him is that he has operated rather successfully while working off of play-action. In fact, he averages ten yards per attempt in play action, and that’s very high.
But when you do that you have to have a ground attack that poses a threat. That is one of the things Campbell pledged to have when he took the job. And that meant something because for many years the Lions just couldn’t run. The guy who bothers defenses most is D’Andre Swift, who had just six rushing yards upon his return from injury. That has to improve.
The Lions have allowed 8.1 yards per pass attempt, and 69.2% completions. Both of those figures are last in the NFL. Last week they were no match for Miami’s duo of Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, who combined for 294 yards.
Pro Football Picks – About the Green Bay Packers
The Packers actually outgained the Bills in Sunday night’s effort. So what happened? Well, they decided to be more balanced on offense. Rodgers threw the ball just 30 times, and there were 31 rushes for 208 yards. Aaron Jones, who is averaging 5.9 ypc on the year, had 143.
Why don’t they do this more often? Good question. Rodgers sometimes decides to take all matters into his own hands. And with the departure of both Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling, he’s lacked receivers. Romeo Doubs, a rookie who caught a TD pass against Buffalo, needs seasoning. Another rookie, Christian Watson, has been on and off the injured list. Randall Cobb wound up on IR. Sammy Watkins has sometimes been available. Allen Lazard, who’s been limited in practice, will play, if his shoulder allows.
Green Bay is averaging 18.1 points a game. Rodgers is ninth in the NFL in QB rating, with 13 touchdowns and four INT’s. But he’s averaging only 6.67 yards an attempt.
Pro Football Picks – Our conclusion
If the Lions can’t considerably slow down Jones, this could be a long day. Of course, when we say that, we assume that Green Bay will use the run. After losing four consecutive games, this has to be the game where the Packers make a statement. In this case, that statement is that they are alive in the wild card race.
If the Packers are physically capable of moving it, Detroit will let that happen. We’ll lay the points.
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