Can Aaron Rodgers Beat the Lions in Detroit?
Limping to a 1-3 start, the Lions now must play their first divisional game of 2018 before getting a chance to rest up during their bye week.
The Packers avoided a major injury scare when Aaron Rodgers tweaked his knee in Week 1 and then proceeded to get robbed in Week 2 by a phantom roughing the passer call. They sit at 2-1-1 but feel they should have at least 3 wins.
When these two square off in Detroit neither team seems to gain an advantage. Green Bay and Detroit have split their last 8 meetings in Motown heading back to 2010. This meeting is expected to be close, with Vegas making the Packers 1.5-point favorites.
The Lions have not looked particularly threatening this season but did shock the league as they ran the ball down the throats of the New England Patriots in a convincing, two-touchdown win.
It is definitely less likely that the Lions will replicate this success on the ground against Green Bay as the Packers are in the top-half of the league in rushing defense while the Patriots are bottom-10.
This game is too close to call. That is, unless we invoke the powers of betting trends and statistics. Let’s see what the numbers say.
Bad Teams Are Bad For a Reason
There comes a moment in the NFL season when a team is no longer on a “slow start” and is rather considered a “bad team”. Week 5 just may be that point.
I decided to look at how teams with 1 win or fewer have fared ATS in home divisional games in Week 5 or later. The results are not pretty. Take a look.
|Year||Record ATS / Win %||Average Line|
|2017||0-3-1 / 0%||4.8|
|2016||3-4 / 42.9%||3.2|
|2015||1-5 / 16.7%||-2.2|
|2014||3-6 / 33.3%||2.3|
You can normally get good value on teams the public has given up on but not in this case. Good teams will sometimes overlook or under prepare for a weaker opponents but not in divisional games.
Divisional games bring out the best in teams. When a superior team gives it their best shot, the weaker side is going to have their hands full.
Aaron Rodgers knows how competitive his division is. He understands his team needs to take care of business in as many of these winnable games as possible before their schedule gets tougher and the pressure of the playoff race builds.
Packers-Lions Game Prediction
Over the past two seasons, the average line for the aforementioned home divisional teams has been 3.78. This comfy cushion in the spread has not helped out these clubs as they have played to a 3-7-1 record ATS.
The Lions are receiving 2 less points than this average 2016-17 line, indicating a slight advantage for the Packers.
This one is supposed to be close, but if either side is going to bust it open I would put my money on the Packers all day. The Lions are a bad team – bet the Pack.