Week 9 in the NFL concludes with an NFC North rivalry game Monday night between the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers at the most storied stadium in the league, Lambeau Field. It opened as a pick’em on the NFL odds.
Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers
When: Monday, 8:30 PM ET Where: Lambeau Field, Green Bay Point Spread: Pick’em
Point Spread and Betting Analysis
There aren’t many sure things in sports, but Detroit losing in Wisconsin is about as close as you can get. I say Wisconsin and not Green Bay because the Packers used to play a couple of games a season in Milwaukee. That ended in 1994. On Dec. 15, 1991, the Lions won at Lambeau Field 21-17. They wouldn’t win in America’s Dairyland again until Nov. 15, 2015. The Lions had that game in hand but nearly blew it and needed a Mason Crosby missed 52-yarder as time expired to hold on, 18-16, to end the 24-game road skid.
Detroit has lost three straight in the series since, including 34-27 at Lambeau early last season. That score is a bit misleading as Green Bay was up 31-3 right before halftime. The two teams also played in Motown to close last regular season. The winner took the NFC North title and the loser was a wild-card team. The Packers prevailed 31-24 behind 300 yards passing and four touchdowns from Aaron Rodgers.
Green Bay has covered seven of the past 10 home meetings in this series.
The Lions (3-4 SU, 3-4 ATS) outgained the visiting Pittsburgh Steelers 482-392 on Sunday night, won the time of possession and turnover battles … and still lost 20-15. That’s because Detroit couldn’t convert for touchdowns on its five trips to the red zone. The team ran 16 red zone plays without scoring a touchdown, the most plays run by any team in the red zone this season in a game without getting a TD.
Matthew Stafford threw for 423 yards. The Lions had first-and-10 at the Pittsburgh 11 with around two minutes remaining but couldn’t score. Stafford surprisingly had No. 1 receiver Golden Tate, who was expected to miss the game with a shoulder injury. He caught seven balls for 86 yards.
Green Bay Packers
The Packers (4-3 SU, 3-4 ATS), who come out of their bye week, were heavy favourites to repeat as NFC North champions until Rodgers went down with a broken collarbone in a 23-10 Week 6 loss at Minnesota. It’s possible Rodgers could return toward the end of the regular season, but if Green Bay isn’t in playoff contention the team won’t push him.
Brett Hundley, a 2015 fifth-round pick out of UCLA, made his first NFL start in Week 7 and was an ugly 12-for-25 for 87 yards with an interception in a 26-17 home loss to the Saints. Green Bay ran an ultra-conservative offense. You can quibble whether or not Rodgers is the best player in the NFL, but he’s easily the most important to his team. The Packers simply aren’t close to the same without him. Now they will have to rely on their ground attack and a mediocre defense to win games.
Lions at Packers Prediction
Green Bay 20, Detroit 17.