Matchup: Detroit Lions vs. Green Bay Packers
Date/Time: October 6th, 1:00 PM ET
Spread: Green Bay -6.5
Week 5 of the NFL season is here! With all of the games on the docket each and every week, we are going to be zeroing in on just one side or total that we think is the best of the bunch. Join us today, look at the game on Sunday, October 6th between the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers.
We’ll be the first to admit that we didn’t do all that well last week when we picked the Eagles as one of the best plays that we had seen all season long, but we’re out to redeem ourselves for sure after falling to 2-2 ATS in our games of the week! Today, we’re going to take on the ‘total’ in the game between the Packers and the Lions. For as square as it seems, the ‘over’ is definitely the right play to make.
Let’s start with some of the base stats to get those out of the way. The Packers have scored at least 28 points in all three of their games this year, and they have scored at least 21 points in 10 straight games. The Lions have allowed at least 20 points in all four of their games this year, and they have allowed at least 20 in 12 straight dating back to last season. Right there, we have to believe that the Packers are going to get into the 20s in this game at very minimum, though we know that they are probably going to have to get into the high 20s or low 30s to make this one work for us.
Yes, four straight games in this series have failed to reach the number, but it should also help that Green Bay is coming off of its bye week. RB Eddie Lacy is now healthy, and RB Johnathan Franklin proved two weeks ago that he can move the ball on the ground. For as badly as the Packers were castrated earlier this year up front against the San Francisco 49ers, this unit really has turned it around in these last two games and has posted two different 100+ yard rushers, neither of which was Lacy, who was projected to be the workhorse for this backfield this year!
However, what we really like about this game is the nuts and bolts of the matchup itself, especially from the standpoint of the Lions. Detroit is one of these teams that has a lot of ‘over’ tendencies right now, and Green Bay can take advantage of all of those problems.
The Lions have a banged up secondary right now. Both DB Rashean Mathis and DB Chris Houston left last week’s game with various injuries, and even when they were out there, they were getting toasted by QB Jay Cutler. Cutler hooked up with WR Earl Bennett and WR Brandon Marshall a combined 16 times on Sunday on just 18 passing attempts. We know that the Chicago Bears are playing better offensive ball than they have in quite some time, and we know that a lot of that game was playing catch up, but still, 16-of-18 is pretty insane when you’re talking about picking on your two corners.
QB Aaron Rodgers is completing 66.4 percent of his passes this year, and by his own standards, that’s low. He has 1,057 passing yards with eight TDs, and each of his top four receivers (WR Randall Cobb, WR Jordy Nelson, WR James Jones, and TE Jermichael Finley) have found the end zone at least once. Watching out for Cobb, Nelson, and Jones is tough for a team that doesn’t have enough corners to go around, and that could end up being problematic.
On the flip side of the ball though, the Lions are doing everything well offensively. WR Calvin Johnson isn’t quite catching as many passes as we figured that he might, but he does have four TDs and he is still one of the most explosive receivers that the NFL has to offer. QB Matthew Stafford has thrown for seven TDs in four games, and he has two games with at least 350 yards through the air. Last week was the first time that he didn’t get to at least 278.
RB Joique Bell and RB Reggie Bush have combined to touch the ball 118 times in four games, and they have put together 771 yards for their efforts. If these two continue to average around 175 combined yards per game and over six yards per time that they touch the football, that’s going to take a lot of pressure off of Stafford and the offense. What else is helping is the fact that this team has only allowed three sacks all year long, the lowest number in the league. For all of the dumb penalties and all of the times that points were left on the field instead of put on the scoreboard, the Lions are still winning games because of their offensive line and the fact that they are averaging allowing fewer sacks per game (0.75) than rushes of 10+ yards per game (2.5).
In the end, the equation is there for sure for this one to be a barnburner that could go either way. We expect that the Packers are going to come out of the blocks flying to get points on the board, and the end result should see this one into the 70s or even the 80s when it’s all said and done with. This will be your prototypical Green Bay shootout at Lambeau Field. Check on Mother Nature if you’d like to wait on this bet to ensure that the weather is going to be alright in Green Bay, but hit this number as early as you can if you want the best NFL odds possible, as the number is only going to go up as this week goes on in all likelihood.
Week 5 NFL Pick of the Week: Detroit/Green Bay Over 52
Aaron Ryan has been in the sportswriting biz since the late-90s, and he has worked side by side with some of the best and brightest in sports gambling. Always searching for the best trends in sports, Andrew uses his brilliant math mind to his advantage to beat the books.