Though it looked like this season was quickly slipping away from Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers, full kudos to the group for sticking together and rallying to win the NFC North. They ran the table from the mid-way point of their season, finishing with a stellar 11-5 record, capping off the division by beating the Lions last week in Detroit. Perhaps no team in football right now enters the playoffs on a higher note than Green Bay, and they’ll look to keep the momentum going as they welcome the 10-6 New York Giants to Lambeau Field. In a wild-card weekend filled with back-up quarterbacks, and some games with some true blowout potential, it’s nice to see two successful franchises, led by Manning and Rodgers going at it. It should provide good drama to end off an always exciting weekend. Read on below for a betting selection and full analysis of the Giants and Packers wild-card showdown.
Giants vs. Packers Betting Odds:
New York Giants +5 (-110)
@ Green Bay Packers -5 (-110)
Over 44.5 (-110)
Under 44.5 (-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Giants vs. Packers Pick:
It surely has to be comforting for Green Bay to enter the NFL post-season on such a roll. They look around and they see a bunch of their opponents having difficulty with their QB, well that’s certainly not the case at Lambeau. Aaron Rodgers has led his team on a red-hot finish and looks to be playing some of his best football in recent memory. He has thrown a remarkable 18 touchdowns with zero interceptions over the past seven games, and is finally looking healthy once again.
While the Giants do some things well within their defense, you have to wonder if there’s any way to limit the Packers’ attack right now. Rodgers dominated Seattle’s highly-touted stop unit in Week 14, and if he puts up a similar performance, he should also have his way with the Giants on Sunday afternoon. One big area of concern for New York in this game will be the lack of pressure they’ll likely mount on Rodgers. The Green Bay offensive line is one of the best in the NFL, and without Jason Pierre-Paul, it’s solely going to be up to Olivier Vernon to have an impact in disrupting Rodgers. That’s a tall order, as the Packers’ offensive front has the ability to give Rodgers a ton of time and space in the pocket to torch opposing secondaries. Even though the G-Men have some talented personnel in their secondary, giving Aaron Rodgers lots of room won’t bode well for New York. Expect Rodgers to again be in fine form, hitting his receivers downfield with precision, and keeping the chains moving throughout this game.
And while Green Bay too has struggles of their own in the secondary, you have to wonder if New York is well-equipped this week to try and exploit them. Eli Manning has struggled of late, and much of that can be attributed to the play of a poor offensive line in front of him. Both Nick Perry and Julius Peppers of the Packers should be able to apply heavy pressure in the Giants’ backfield and disrupt Manning throughout. We’ve seen Manning make some critical errors in big spots before, and don’t be surprised to see some turnovers out of him again on Sunday.
Look for the Packers to use their recent form and match-up advantages to throttle the Giants. New York has been feasting on a soft schedule and beating poor teams all season long, and they’ll run into a red-hot Green Bay team that is awfully tough to contend with on home turf. When New York has run into a real team with a legitimate offense, it hasn’t been pretty – and look for another beatdown on Sunday. Expect Rodgers and his Packers to keep it rolling and easily cover the number against New York.
PICK = Packers -5 (-110)