New York Giants (2-2 SU, 1-3 ATS) vs. Green Bay Packers (2-1 SU, 2-1 ATS)
NFL Week 5
Date/Time: Sunday, October 9 at 8:30pm ET
Where: Lambeau Field
by Evergreen, Expert Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: NYG +7/GB -7
Over/Under Total: 48
They say nothing is better than home cooking in the NFL. We will find out just how good it is for the Green Bay Packers this month as they are currently on a five week home stand and they welcome the New York Giants to Lambeau this week for a Sunday Night tilt. It is a rough part of the schedule for the G-Men as they come off a Monday Night game at Minnesota and it appears as if there are some personality issues floating around the Giants locker room. Getting a win in Lambeau is a tall order under ideal circumstances and it is all but impossible if a team is fighting distraction.
Green Bay is still searching for the their 2011-2014 identity but they are plenty good at home and the online betting sites like them as seven point favorites this week. The Packers are coming off a bye week and that has been good news with a 10-3 ATS record in the last 13 games following a week off. New York is 1-5 against the spread in their last six against the NFC and 1-5 ATS in their last six games overall but have rebounded from a Monday Night game well, going 6-2 against the spread in the last eight games following a MNF appearance.
The cloud hanging over the Giants is the disintegration of Odell Beckhams attitude. The super-talented wide-out has gone five games without a touchdown grab and the word is out that he does not respond well to being taunted. Opposing defenses have trash-talked him into penalties, fines and suspensions to the point where Eli Manning spoke out about Beckhams actions and Beckham himself stated that football isnt fun right now. He might be misunderstood or just prone to impulsive outbursts but any way you cut it, the Giants need OBJ performing at a high level. The New York passing game is ranked 4th with some underwhelming performances from Beckham, imagine where they could go with him at the top of his game. The Giants are dangerous if they get this all under control and likely sunk if they dont.
Even with Beckhams frustrations spilling onto the field, he and the Giants passing game are facing a tasty matchup. The Packers are among the worst when it comes to pass defense, allowing 307 yards per game and no team has given up more 20 yard pass plays than Green Bay. Sam Shields and Morgan Burnett are questionable for the game and CB Damarious Randall has been routinely burned by number one receivers. New York has struggled to score points but they have moved the ball with ease at times, averaging 288 passing yards per game with three receivers seeing success. Sterling Shepard and Victor Cruz join Beckham to make the best 1-2-3 punch in the NFL and all three have caught at least 245 yards worth of passes from Manning. Green Bay leads the NFL in run defense so the pass attempts should be high again for New York.
Aaron Rodgers found his favorite target early and often last week with Jordy Nelson catching two of A-Rods four touchdown passes against the Lions. The Packers leapt out to a big lead and put the cruise control on a bit early perhaps but looked good in beating Detroit 34-27. They passed the eye-test that they had been failing since losing Nelson last season but they arent a finished product yet. Green Bay is averaging just 293 total yards of offense per game, less than 200 yards of that coming through the air and were in the back half of the league in points per game before hanging 34 in their first game at home. Mike McCarthy admitted to taking the long route with Nelsons rehab process so look to see if Green Bay adds some wrinkles now that Jordy should be 100% coming out of the bye week. This game probably falls on Rodgers shoulders as the Giants are top-10 in terms of stopping the run. Eddie Lacy should get on track later if the Packers are running out the clock but the early part of this game should be an air-attack from both sides.
While New York has that solid front seven that limits opponents to 84 rushing yards per game, the defense overall has underwhelmed. The Giants have yet to force a turnover and have recorded just four sacks. Eli Apple and Darian Thompson are questionable for the game, leaving the Giants secondary dangerously thin against the likes of Rodgers and crew. The Green Bay offensive line has not performed well in protecting Rodgers so there is a chance that Giants can have some success in hurrying Rodgers. Pressuring the quarterback is all but necessary if New York wants to do anything in this game as you cant beat Green Bay without disrupting the efficiency of the passing game.
With two top-10 run defenses and two struggling secondaries, this one has shootout written all over it. Green Bay is in better shape coming off the bye but they are still pretty beat up with Datone Jones, Letroy Guion and Clay Matthews all nicked. Rodgers at home is simply too much to overcome for a Giants defense that cannot produce the big play. I think Eli and his receivers will move the ball well, especially over the middle with Shepard out of the slot but the Giants are inefficient in scoring. New York averages 18.2 points per game off of 382 yards. Green Bay nets 25 points per game from 293 total yards on average. That is a pretty telling comparison and the Packers are even better at home. Green Bay should jump out quick like they did in Week 3 and while their struggling defense wont keep New York bottled up, the Pack will play keep away with Lacy in the second half and get a 31-23 win.
Evergreens Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Green Bay
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