Packers Lions Spread Line and Predictions NFL Week 14 Picks

Green Bay are in an interesting position where they are still many pundits’ pick to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl, and yet if the playoffs started today, they would be on the outside looking in. Sitting at 8-4, the Packers are 1 game behind the surprising Bears for the NFC North crown, and are tied with the Giants for the 2nd wildcard spot (although would lose on the tiebreak to them). Couple that with the fact that the Packers have an incredibly difficult schedule after this week, and this is an absolute must win for them if they hope to maintain their playoff hopes. They got back on track with an impressive 34-16 win against the 49ers, as Aaron Rodgers made a couple of big throws, and Donald Driver scored one of the more impressive ‘yards after the catch’ touchdowns all season. Perhaps most importantly for the Pack was the emergence of James Starks, who rushed for 73 yards in his first NFL game. If Starks can provide a bit of a spark to the running game that has been stuck in neutral with Brandon Jackson, than this could be the help the Packers need in having a more balanced offensive approach. Yes, the focus will remain on Rodgers and the passing game, but if Starks can prove to be a capable runner, defenses will need to commit guys to stopping him, allowing for more space when Rodgers does heave it. Wide receiver Greg Jennings is having a monster season, and his chemistry with Rodgers is pretty scary for opposing teams right now. Throw in up-and-comers Jordy Nelson and James Jones, along with Ol’ Reliable himself Donald Driver, and the Packers have one of the fiercest offenses in football. What often gets overlooked because of that though, is their defense, who have allowed the fewest points in the entire league, giving up a mere 182 points through 12 games. The rest of the NFC better hope the Pack flounder down the stretch, because nobody will want to be facing these guys come January.

The Detroit Lions are not a good team by any stretch of the imagination, but one can’t help but feel that they deserve a better fate than their 2-10 record currently suggests. Without even mentioning the game that got stolen from them back in week 1, the Lions have been plagued by heartbreaking losses, with 8 of their 10 losses coming by 1 score or less. They looked good again last week, facing Chicago with their 3rd string quarterback Drew Stanton, and managed to put up a decent offensive effort, but ultimately came up just a little short, which should be the tagline for the Lions’ season thus far. Detroit has also been unlucky on the quarterback front, having Matthew Stafford hurt in the first week, then Shaun Hill filling in and doing admirably in his place. Stafford then returned briefly but got hurt again, and then two weeks ago Hill suffered a broken finger, leaving it up to Stanton. While it is hard to expect too much from him, he at least has one of the best weapons in the league at his disposal in Calvin Johnson. Johnson has 12 touchdowns on the year, and has scored in each of his last 4 games. In addition, rookie defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh looks like the real deal, and someone to build the rest of the defense around for years to come. The Lions’ other 1st round pick last year, running back Jahvid Best, has been far less impressive, as he has failed to crack 80 rushing yards in any game this season, and hasn’t reached the endzone since week 2. Going forward, the Lions are going to need Best to live up to his pre-draft hype if they hope to move out of the NFC North basement any time soon.

The Packers are in a must-win situation here, and while they should expect to win, they can’t afford to discount the Lions. Detroit hasn’t rolled over to anyone this year, and are usually pretty competitive throughout the game. When these teams met back in week 4, Green Bay eked out a 28-26 win, so they know that this is no gimme. With that said, the Packers have looked terrific recently, even in their loss to the Falcons a couple of weeks ago. The Pack are only allowing 205 passing yards per game, while also accumulating 35 sacks, so Drew Stanton can expect pressure to be coming all day. Conversely, Rodgers gets a relatively friendly matchup against Detroit, who, while improving, are still vulnerable in their secondary. Its also a good matchup for Starks, who faces a Lions defense that is giving up 127.4 rushing yards per game, as well as 15 touchdowns on the ground, which is the 2nd most in the entire league.

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Packers vs Lions Spread, Line and Betting Odds:

Spread:

Green Bay Packers -6.5
@ Detroit Lions +6.5

Game Total:

Over (-110)
47
Under (-110)

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Packers vs Lions Betting Predictions/Picks for Week 14

Spread Prediction (TOP PLAY): While the Lions have indeed played teams close this year, the fact remains they are starting their 3rd string quarterback against the league’s best defense. In addition, the Packers boast one of the most fearsome offenses in the league, and while the Lions aren’t the walkover on defense they once were, they still have a lot of improving to do. The Pack are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 as a favorite, and 5-1 ATS in their last 6 overall. Meanwhile, Detroit is 6-15 ATS when they are an underdog of 3.5 – 10 points. This one is a bargain at under a touchdown, book Green Bay to win comfortably in this one.

Pick (TOP PLAY): Packers -6.5

Game Total Prediction: This number seems to not be fully considering the strength of the Packers’ defense. While Detroit is capable of scoring points, Stanton is not Matthew Stafford, nor is he even Shaun Hill. Without much of a run game to worry about, the Packers can make it very difficult for Stanton to find much daylight downfield. Conversely, while Rodgers will undoubtedly get his usual 30 attempts, establishing the running game is an absolute necessity for Green Bay this week, as they prepare for a difficult final 3 weeks. In their last 6 on the road, the Under has hit for the Packers every time. Its also turned out Under 6 of the last 7 times the Packers have won a game. Look for this one to slide in just beneath the game total.

Pick: Under 47

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