New York Giants
(9-5, 7-7 ATS)
Green Bay Packers
(8-6, 8-6 ATS)
The final playoff spot in the NFC could be handed out on Sunday afternoon at Lambeau Field in the featured NFL betting affair of the day, as the New York Giants take on the Green Bay Packers. Should New York win this game, a playoff spot will be clinched. The Packers would put themselves in the driver’s seat at 9-6, knowing that a win next week would get the job done to get them into the second season.
The Giants still have to be stunned after that shocking loss to the Philadelphia Eagles last week. The defense and special teams have been rocked to the core, and it is going to take a fantastic coaching job by Head Coach Tom Coughlin to get this team back on track once again. All the pressure in the world is on the right arm of QB Eli Manning. Manning has taken every single snap this year, and by the time this one is over with, he will have put the pill in the air over 500 times. Manning has the most picks in the NFL with 20, a very dubious distinction, but he has a chance to lead the league in passing TDs as well. Throwing 28 in 14 games is an amazing number. Manning also has 3,458 yards to show for his work in spite of the fact that he hasn’t had all of his receiving weapons intact all season. WR Hakeem Nicks wants to nail down a spot in the Pro Bowl, and he is very likely to do so this year. He has 75 catches for 959 yards and 11 TDs to lead the team in that category. On the ground, we know that both RB Ahmad Bradshaw and RB Brandon Jacobs are going to be faced with a lot of work. The two have combined for 1,909 yards this season, and both have found the end zone eight times.
Green Bay has the added pressure in this one of knowing that it is eliminated from postseason contention with a loss, really making this a playoff game. The last time there was a playoff game at Lambeau Field, the Packers, being led by a wily old veteran named QB Brett Favre, were beaten by these Giants in overtime in the NFC Championship Game. Now, the job belongs to QB Aaron Rodgers, and he’ll look to do what his predecessor couldn’t in his final years in Title Town. This is likely to be the first time in his career that he doesn’t throw for 4,000 yards, but there is absolutely no shame in the fact that Rodgers has thrown for 3,289 yards and 23 scores on the year. The defense really let down the offense last week against the New England Patriots, but at least this unit still ranks No. 2 in the league in scoring at 15.7 points per game, and LB Clay Matthews is still leading the way with 12.5 sacks.
You know what they say payback is… Let’s just say it’s not fun. Green Bay badly wants to get it, and it’s hard to see after the Giants were shaken so badly last year, how they can rebound in one of the toughest venues to play in the league. The Pack are back, and they’re going to move within one win of the playoffs and put the G-Men on the verge of extinction.
Pro Football Free Pick: Green Bay Packers -3