The Green Bay Packers defeated the Minnesota Vikings 23-10 in week 16 to ascend the NFC North throne, sit lotus atop the field behind their best regular season record since 2014 — and they’re not done yet. One last lap remains before the curtain comes down on the 100th NFL season, and in Green Bay’s case it’s a final divisional date with the woeful Detroit Lions at Ford Field where a victory would not only underscore Green Bay’s dominance over the NFC North but also – potentially – make a case for the No.1 seed in the NFC Conference.
Will the Packers beat the Detroit Lions again or will Matt Patricia’s downtrodden cubs somehow trip up Aaron Rodgers and company to send seismic shockwaves through the NFC Conference and sports betting markets that have the Green Bay Packers considerably favored to win this last contest?
As it stands, bookmakers corner this game in Green Bay’s camp wholeheartedly. Depending on your choice of sportsbook, the Packers are laying a bucketload of points, anywhere between 12 to 13.5 points.
Even with Aaron Rodgers not playing at a lofty level, the Packers managed to come up ahead at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis last week against a highly fancied Vikings side. It’s not often Green Bay is tipped at the disadvantage in a game – let alone a divisional game – but Matt LaFleur’s side put money on their underdog NFL odds nevertheless in the sensational victory.
It wasn’t a memorable Aaron Rodgers performance as the much loved signal caller went 26 of 40 for 216 passing yards with zero touchdowns and one interception. Auspiciously, another Aaron on Green Bay’s roster had a whale of a time shredding the vaunted Vikings defense on the ground. Aaron Jones tore through the flanks for 154 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
The last time the Packers met the Lions it was week 6 of the season, a time of optimism and hope when there was a lot to play for and everything yet to be decided. The Lions were 2-2-1 SU on the season while the Packers were a nigh perfect 5-1 SU. Now, on the cusp of week 17, the Lions are left with nothing save pride to play for in a second consecutive disappointing season under Matt Patricia. Matthew Stafford is side-lined with a back injury while undrafted rookie David Blough is directing traffic.
The Lions know only too well what a threat Rodgers can be in the pocket. The last meeting was a right cracker that ended in a narrow 23-22 win for Green Bay at Lambeau Field. Rodgers went 24 of 39 for 283 passing yards and 2 touchdowns but not before Matthew Stafford led the Lions to a considerable 10-0 lead in the first quarter, using trick plays with great awe-and-shock effect.
It’s easy to forget the last time the Lions won a game. More than eight weeks ago against the NY Giants at Ford Field. Since then, it’s been one loss after another both home and away resulting in an eight-game losing streak which stands as the worst run of form currently active in the league.
Naturally, the Packers can’t take anything for granted when they descend on Ford Field. San Francisco 49ers, New Orleans Saints, and Green Bay Packers are mired in a three-way tie on win-loss records this season. The Niners are in the driver’s seat and in pole position to clinch the top seed but with a much tougher prospect in Seattle on Sunday; Matt LaFleur’s side has room for optimism to leapfrog San Francisco in the standings. With a win over Detroit and a loss by the Niners to Seattle, the Packers would clinch the top seed. Thanks to a 9-2 SU record in the conference, the Packers have the edge over New Orleans should it come down to the pair. (Worse-case scenario, the Packers can finish no worse than the No.2 seed.)
The opportunity to play spoilsport may be tempting for Detroit in principle. However, it’s one thing to want to pull off the feat and another to actually do so. The Lions have gone from good to bad to worse in a hurry with each passing month in 2019. The last few games have been absolute blowouts with the Lions losing in double-digits, including a 27-17 loss to the rookie-inspired Denver Broncos at Mile High in week 16. If Drew Lock, who was playing in only his fourth NFL game, can deal the Lions a 10-point defeat in Denver, surely Aaron Rodgers and the Packers can crush the Lions by considerably more. Definitely by more than the current point spread that is on offer at sports betting exchanges.