Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions Pick 12/13/20
Green Bay Packers (9-3 SU, 8-4 ATS) v. Detroit Lions (5-7 SU, 5-7 ATS)
NFL Week 14
When: Sunday, December 13 at 4:25pm ET
Where: Ford Field - Detroit, Michigan
Point Spread: GB -7.5/DET +7.5 (Bookmaker - One of the two oldest sportsbooks on the web! Online since the 90’s! Security matters in today’s climate!)
Over/Under: Total: 55
With only two NFL teams officially in the playoffs, the 2020 race to the postseason is going to be fantastic sports theater. Green Bay is sitting just one game back of the top spot in the NFC and is in a good spot to overtake New Orleans if the Saints stumble down the stretch but a win this week against Detroit is the first order of business for the Packers. The Lions responded immediately to Darrell Bevell being named head coach and pulled out a come-from-behind last week to remain in the playoff hunt. Green Bay may have more high-profile rivalries with Minnesota and Chicago but the Lions have beat the Packers in four of the last seven games, going 6-1 against the spread over that span, so Detroit has to be given some respect as an upset candidate this weekend.
Green Bay has been one of the better ATS teams over the last two seasons so there are numerous positive betting trends on their side including a 7-2 ATS mark in their last nine against the NFC and a 7-3 ATS in their last ten as the favorite. Detroit is firmly on the other side of the coin with a 7-16 ATS record in their last 23 games overall, going 1-4 against the spread in their last five at Ford Field. The OVER has hit in five of the last seven when Green Bay is on the road and is 4-0 when Green Bay played inside the division this season. The OVER is also 4-0 when Detroit plays an NFC North opponent with an 11-1 mark when the Lions are the home team. Recent head-to-head results show Detroit with a 5-2 ATS record at home and the OVER has hit in seven of ten when these teams have squared off. Through the midweek betting, Green Bay is seeing about 63% of public bets, which is actually a bit lower than what they normally see in a given week and roughly 70% of the action is coming in on the OVER.
A Look Back
These teams met back in Week 2 and it looked like Detroit was ready to roll after jumping out to a 14-3 lead in the first quarter but Green Bay reeled off 31 unanswered points to come out on the right side of a 42-21 score. Aaron Rodgers was rather average with 240 yards and two touchdowns but Green Bay dominated on the ground with 259 rushing yards as a team and 26 first downs. Aaron Jones racked up 168 yards with two scores and added another receiving touchdown while TE Robert Tonyan was the recipient of the other Rodgers passing score. The Packers defense notched four sacks and picked off Matthew Stafford once while holding the Lions to 307 total yards of offense. Kenny Golladay missed that contest and will not be available this week as he is out with a hip injury. D’Andre Swift (concussion, illness) is questionable for Sunday and the Lions DL is banged-up with Da’Shawn Hand and Austin Bryant both questionable. Green Bay is relatively healthy amongst the top of the depth chart with center Corey Linsley as the only starter not available ahead of this game.
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Cruise Control in Green Bay
It has been relatively easy for the Packers for much of this season, especially when playing a lesser opponent and the offense has mostly overwhelmed the competition, ranking 5th in passing, 2nd in total yards and 1st in scoring at 31.6 points per game. Rodgers is in a battle with Patrick Mahomes for MVP with the former completing 69% of his passes this season with a 36-to-4 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Aaron Jones is averaging 5.2 yards per carry to spur the 8th best rushing attack in the league and Davante Adams crossed the 1,000 yards mark last week and is tied for the NFL lead in touchdowns with thirteen. Beyond those standouts, Robert Tonyan has solidified himself as a potential Pro Bowl TE with eight receiving touchdowns and Marques Valdes-Scantling can take the top-off the defense with his 20.7 yards per reception average. Za’Darius Smith leads the 11th ranked passing defense with 10.5 sacks as Rashan Gary and Kingsley Kike have chipped in four each. Darnell Savage leads the team with three interceptions as this secondary has developed into one of the best in the game when healthy.
Nowhere to Go but Up?
The string of blown leads with Matt Patricia at the helm led to a sense of inevitability for Detroit on a near weekly basis where fans would watch the Lions jump out to a lead before all manners of disaster would follow, as would another loss. I’m not sure Darrell Bevell is the cure-all but his focus on team effort and energy through the remainder of this season could boost a club that has some nice pieces on an offense that ranks 12th in passing. Matt Stafford threw for 402 yards and three scores last week to bring his total to 21 touchdown passes on the season. He has battled a partially-torn thumb ligament in recent weeks but maintains a 94.4 QB rating and remains one of the best deep-ball passers in the league. Detroit has struggled on the ground, ranking 28th in rushing yards per game with Adrian Peterson leading the team at 501 yards. AP can still do the short yardage thing and leads the team with six scores. Marvin Jones leads the team with 619 receiving yards and six touchdowns while TE T.J. Hockenson has grabbed the team lead in receptions. Rookie Quintez Cephus has started on the outside with Golladay out and caught the first TD of his career last week. Cephus has just 14 receptions in nine games but his 16.9 yards per catch average leads the team in that category. The defense has been a trouble spot all season with bottom-five ranks in passing, rushing and total yards allowed with the second-worst scoring mark, allowing 29.8 points per game. Romeo Okwara and Everson Griffen have combined for 12 sacks but the team has just 18 overall and allows opposing QBs to average a 104.4 passer rating.
Lay the Points and take the Pack
Green Bay has some flaws that have been exposed by good teams but Jacksonville has been the only “bad” team to push the Packers. Philadelphia was within a score of Green Bay late last week but it took a punt return score to get the Eagles that close before they wound up on the wrong side of a 30-16 score. I called for a 31-20 finish to that game and have a similar feeling about this one in terms of margin but I think it is more like 35-23 Green Bay. Allen Lazard returning to the lineup gives Green Bay the edge in playmaking depth across the board and this offense is simply too much for a Detroit defense that has proven to be soft. Mitchell Trubisky completed 74% of his passes against the Lions and I think Aaron Roders is going to have a field day against the 27th ranked passing defense. I wouldn’t be surprised with an early back-and-forth contest as Detroit should bring some energy over from last week but Green Bay eventually out-punches Detroit and gets the win and cover.
Ted Walker’s Pick to Cover the Spread: Green Bay. Bet this game at a sportsbook that offers something most bettors have no idea about! —> -105 reduced odds sports betting! It’s amazing!
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