Green Bay Packers(8-5 SU, 7-6 ATS)at New England Patriots (11-2 SU, 8-4-1 ATS), Week 15 NFL, 8:30 p.m. EST, Monday Night Football, December 19, 2010, Gillette Stadium (Natural Grass), Foxborough, Mass., TV: ESPN
byJeff Hochmanof JHSportsline
Betting Odds: GB +14/NE -14
Over/Under Total: 43.5
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Green Bay travels East for a shot at the SuperBowl favorites, as of right now. At press time, we still don’t knowwhich quarterback will be under Center for the Green Bay Packers. If Aaron Rodgers plays I would expect the line to be around a6 pointsfor the home team. If he does not play the line will hold at 13-14 points or even higher.
The New England Patriots are on fire as they are 9-1 straight up in their last 10 games. The offense averages 30.1 points per game while the improving defense surrenders 21.2 points per game. The over is 11-2 in all Patriots’ games this season. Amazing! Last week, they defeated the Bears 36-9 as 3-point road favorites. They out-gained Chicago by 290 yards and looked like a very serious Super Bowl contender. Tom Brady picked apart the league’s third-ranked defense, completing 27 of 40 passes with no interceptions for the eighth straight game. And the Patriots increased their lead in the AFC East to two over the fadingJets.
The Green Bay Packers have lost two out of their last three games, including last week’s 7-3 snoozefest to the home underdog Detroit Lions. The Packers were out-gained in yardage for the first time in their last five games. Detroitsnapped a five-game losing streak overall, a 10-game slide against Green Bay and a 19-game skid against the NFC North. Aaron Rogers was knocked out of the game and his status is still up in the air. He is the one guy who the Packers need to play in the worst way. Matt Flynn threw an interception in the red zone for the Packers, making him 0-for-3 with two interceptions career passing in the red zone. Aaron Rodgers has thrown just one interception in 218 red zone attempts since becoming a full-time starter in 2008.
It would be really hard to bet against the Patriots right now. They have improved their stats across the board in every week since losing to Cleveland on November 7. Green Bay has a long injury list so even if Rogers doesstart it might not matter. The Patriots caused four turnovers last week, and the Packers turned the ball over three times. The Patriots also have a big advantage on special teams were they are ranked No. 2, while Green Bay checks in at No. 14.
Tom Brady is have amagnificent season, throwing for 3,398 yards with 29 touchdowns and only 4 interceptions. His completing 66.8% of his throws and has the league’s best QB rating at 109.9 heading down the stretch run. New England is focused on gaining home field advantage until the Super Bowl so I don’t see any letdown here. Still, it’stough to gage this match-up rightnow. Westill don’tnotknow who will bestarting at quarterback for Green Bay. Myguess is that Aaron Rogers WILL NOT play in this game.
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The Packers are an excellent pass-rushing defense, but TomBrady is a very difficult quarterback to sack. Green Bay’s pass defense has been terrific this season when it brings extra pressure while the Patriots are very good at picking up the blitz. Led by an excellent set of cornerbacks, Tramon Williams and Charles Woodson, the Packers’ defense is among the league’s stingiest against the pass.
The total has gone UNDER in 9 of Green Bay’s last 13 games. The total has gone OVER in 6 of New England’s last 7 games at home. Packers are 6-0 ATS in their lastsix games after allowing more than 150 yards rushing in their previous game. The Patriots are 21-7 ATS in their last 28 games after allowing less than 150 yards passing in their previous game.The Over is 13-3 in Patriots last 16 games overall.
Jeff’sPick to Cover the Point Spread: Pass!
Too many unknown factorsto make a pick right now. There aremuch bettergames this week to wager on.