It was a 1-1 day for myself on Thanksgiving Thursday to kick off Week 13. The Lions, as predicted, stomped a hapless Bears squad. Detroit looks poised for a playoff run. Although in the second game, the Cowboys turned in a surprisingly flat home-field performance against the rival Eagles. It was expected to be a competitive game, but Chip Kelly’s offense was just too much for a Dallas defense that looks like it is finally coming back to Earth. Thursday was just the appetizer though, as today there’s a full slate of NFL action and we’ll start with one of the most anticipated regular season games in some time. Tom Brady and the New England Patriots will travel to Lambeau to take on Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. Remarkably, this is the first time ever Rodgers and Brady have squared off and this could represent a potential Super Bowl preview come February. Read on below for the game breakdown and our official wager for this coveted match-up.
Patriots vs. Packers Betting Odds:
New England Patriots +3 (-120)
@ Green Bay Packers -3 (+100)
Over 58 (-110)
Under 58 (-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
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Patriots vs. Packers Pick:
It seems like a while back now from when everyone who had an opinion was writing off the New England Patriots. Coach Belichick had lost his magic, Tom Brady was washed up, and Rob Gronkowski would never be the same. Right? Well those fortunes ultimately proved to be fruitless as New England has been the best team in football over the past two months. After an iffy September, they’ve looked great in all aspects of the game, overcoming key defensive injuries, and putting up points on whatever defense stands in their way. They’ve been a juggernaut of late and I’m not sure anybody can stop them, including a fairly pedestrian Green Bay defensive unit. While Green Bay possesses some talented personnel, the Patriots can beat defenses in a variety of different ways. In their past seven straight wins, they’ve disposed of competent defenses many times, and Green Bay will likely be no different. Brady through to the air to Gronkowski is unstoppable. Defenses need to overcompensate for that connection, leaving the likes of Julian Edelman and Brandon LaFell wide open. They create matchup nightmares all over the field. On the ground, LeGarrette Blount is back in blue for New England and will be a beast against the 20th ranked run defense. While the Packers might be able to blitz against Brady, it won’t be consistent enough to disrupt their current flow on offense. Look for New England to continue with where they left off, and put up another big total tonight.
For Green Bay, they too possess a pretty prolific and high-octane attack, though New England will make them work. Despite the Packers impressive overall record, you have to question their strength of schedule. They’ve faced nobody near the level of New England and they could struggle as a result. As it stands right now, it really seems like New England has the best secondary in all of football (yes, that includes Seattle’s). The dynamic duo of Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner have shut down many high-profile receivers of late, so Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson might be in for a bit of a down day. Even on the ground, New England remains stout, only conceding 3.4 yards per carry to opponents over their past four contests. The Pats are just a great football team. About as complete as it gets. Dynamic on offense and rock-solid on defense, they’ll be tough to crack tonight.
It’s unfathomable right now to consider going against New England, so I won’t. The Pats are the top team in the NFL and nobody is better at devising game-plans for big games like this than Bill Belichick. He’ll have his guys fully prepared to put on yet another show at Lambeau. New England have been underdogs four times this year, and they’ve won those games by a combined 83 points. Belichick is 41-21 against the number as an underdog, and you can bet that mark improves tonight. New England is a machine and look for them to leave Wisconsin with yet another impressive road victory. Look for the Pats to easily cover in this one.
PICK = Patriots +3 (-120)