Packers-Lions Betting Preview: How to Find Value in This Pick ‘Em
USA Today Sports. Pictured: Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford
Betting odds: Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions
- Spread: PK
- Over/Under: 51
- Time: 1 p.m. ET
- TV channel: FOX
>> All odds as of Friday morning. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NFL odds and track your bets
Betting market: With bettors having to lay nothing to back Aaron Rodgers vs. Matthew Stafford, you better believe they’ve done so.
Nearly 70% of bets are on the Packers as of writing (see live data here), but the line is frozen at PK, where it opened, indicating that bookmakers think sharp money might be waiting if it moves to Lions +1. — Mark Gallant
Trends to know: Matthew Stafford is 2-9 against the spread in his career against Aaron Rodgers — his least-profitable opposing QB by far (-7.2 units). But when you look at the cover differential, the numbers are a bit deceiving.
Stafford is covering 48.2% of his starts against everyone but Rodgers, failing to cover the spread by 0.4 points per game. Against Rodgers, he is covering 18.2% of games, but is failing to cover the spread by only 0.7 points per game. — Evan Abrams
No quarterback has been more profitable against his division rivals than Rodgers since he entered the league in 2008. He’s 36-19 (66%) ATS when playing the NFC North. — John Ewing
Metrics that matter: This game might come down to red-zone production. I don’t think either team will have trouble moving the ball, but the Lions have been atrocious once they get inside the 20-yard line with a league-low 33.3% touchdown percentage. — Stuckey
Which team is healthier? Draw
The Lions secondary is in shambles. Cornerbacks Tracy Walker (back) and Quandre Diggs (hand) joined safety Tavon Wilson (back) in failing to get in a full practice to start the week. Detroit also has concerns at the line of scrimmage, with defensive end Ezekiel Ansah (shoulder) questionable.
Packers left tackle Bryan Bulaga (back) and right guard Justin McCray (shoulder) failed to get in a full practice to open the week. The biggest concern for Green Bay is the status of starting cornerback Kevin King (groin) and its starting receivers; Davante Adams (calf), Geronimo Allison (concussion) and Randall Cobb (hamstring) all missed practice on Thursday.
Matchup to watch: Packers running backs vs. Lions defense
The Lions’ run defense has been absolutely horrific to start the season. Detroit has given up an average of 157.8 yards per game on the ground (worst in the league) and 5.3 yards per carry (30th in NFL).
To further illustrate this point, the Lions’ previous four opponents have averaged 157.8 yards per game on the ground against them. Those same four teams have only averaged 108.6 yards per game on the ground in their 12 other games combined — a 31.2% production decrease. — Stuckey
Biggest mismatch: Lions wide receivers vs. Packers secondary
The Lions have one of the best receiving trios in the league, and they match up well with a Packers secondary that could be without No. 2 cornerback Kevin King.
Golden Tate has run 73.0% of his routes out of the slot this season. A shifty technician and after-the-catch master, he’s facing a talented-but-raw rookie in slot corner Jaire Alexander.
Marvin Jones is a speedy big-play specialist, and he’ll run many of his routes at right cornerback Tramon Williams, who is 35 years old and lacks the speed (4.59-second 40-yard dash) to keep up with Jones (4.46-second 40).
Meanwhile, Kenny Golladay is likely to face rookie second-rounder Josh Jackson, who will find himself at a size disadvantage (6-foot vs. 6-foot-4).
With advantages at each receiver spot, the Lions could have a big passing day. — Matthew Freedman
DFS edge: Stafford is one of 12 quarterbacks who is averaging at least 300 passing yards per game this season (minimum two starts).
The Lions have heavily involved each of their top three receivers. Tate (26%) leads Golladay (20%) and Jones (17%) in overall target share, but the reverse order holds true in air-yard market share, as Jones (33%) and Golladay (32%) have been featured downfield more than Tate (24%).
History is also on the Lions’ side, as Stafford has thrown multiple touchdowns in six consecutive starts against the Packers, who have also allowed an additional 7.6 points per game on the road since 2015. — Hartitz
Bet to watch: Lions PK
There is plenty in the trenches that I love about the Lions over the Packers.
Detroit’s offensive line ranks second in adjusted sack rate, which should limit Green Bay’s defense from getting to Stafford. Conversely, the Packers’ offensive line is 25th in adjusted sack rate while the Lions defensive line is second.
In other words: A gimpy Rodgers will be under pressure for the entire game.
Football Outsiders also has a metric called “power success,” which measures runs on third or fourth down with a couple of yards to go. Detroit has heavy advantages on both sides of the ball in that metric.
Finally, there’s adjusted net yards per play, which takes a look at the differential of your offensive and defensive net yards per play without the garbage yards from sacks.
Detroit ranks in the top 10 at +0.4, while Green Bay is in the middle of the league at +0.1. — Collin Wilson
Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.