Aaron Rodgers typically provides the Green Bay Packers with a decided edge at quarterback, but that won’t be the case when Tom Brady and the surging New England Patriots invade Lambeau Field on Sunday in a marquee matchup between the NFL’s two highest-scoring teams. Rodgers has put up video game-type numbers in guiding the Packers to seven wins in eight games and into first place in the NFC North. Brady, meanwhile, has led New England to seven consecutive victories and the best overall record in the AFC.
Green Bay has been a juggernaut at home, winning all five matchups while averaging an eye-popping 43.8 points, including back-to-back 50-point outbursts in its last two at Lambeau. “We’re playing Green Bay in Green Bay,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. “That’s where they’ve been very dominant, really, in terms of getting ahead and playing from ahead, first quarter. The numbers are staggering.” New England has been just as explosive, averaging 39.6 points during its current winning streak and capturing five of those games by at least 22 points.
TV: 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS.
LINE HISTORY: Since opening, the spread has not shifted from Green Bay -3. The total, which opened at 58, jumped to 59 quickly after opening before dropping down to 57.5. The line has rested at the original 58.
INJURY REPORT: Patriots – CB Kyle Arrington (Ques-Neck), DT Dominique Easley (Ques-Knee), OL Cameron Fleming (Ques-Ankle) Packers – WR Davante Adams (Prob-Heel), LB Nick Perry (Ques-Shoulder), CB Jarrett Bush)
WEATHER FORECAST: A cold and windy affair is expected at Lambeau. Temperatures during game time will hover just below freezing with winds blowing northwest at 11 mph.
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Patriots (-8.25) + Packers (-4.5) + home field (-3.0) = Patriots -0.75
WHAT CAPPERS SAY: “The two Super Bowl favorites face off on Sunday afternoon in basically a national TV matchup as 90%+ of the nation will see this game. This is currently the most likely Super Bowl XLIX matchup according to sportsbook odds (+650). The Over/Under line is high for this game, but for good reason as these are two explosive offenses. Green Bay is averaging 32.2 points per game this season, while New England is averaging 32.5 ppg. However, both offenses have been even stronger during the past two months with the Packers averaging 37.4 points and the Patriots averaging 39.6 during their past seven games in October and November.” – Covers Expert Steve Merril
WHAT BOOKS SAY: “A bit surprising that we’ve had almost three quarters of our action on the Patriots. Most of the bets are from the public and the few sharps that are playing this one are split pretty evenly. I don’t foresee much movement in the spread between now and kickoff. The total hasn’t jumped drastically because we’ve got some serious smart money on the under.” – John Lester, Senior Lines Manager at Bookmaker.eu
ABOUT THE PATRIOTS (9-2 SU, 7-4 ATS, 8-3 O/U): New England is playing its fourth straight division leader, having dispatched Denver, Indianapolis and Detroit by a combined 119-50 score to become the sixth team in league history to post 14 consecutive winning seasons. Although Brady has been picked off four times in the last three games, he has 26 scoring passes versus six interceptions and has the luxury of throwing to the league’s toughest matchup in tight end Rob Gronkowski, who has 45 receptions and six of his nine touchdown catches during the seven-game run. The Patriots also have leaned on Jonas Gray and newly signed LeGarrette Blount over the past two games to provide a bruising running game, while the tandem of cornerbacks Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner will be a key matchup against Green Bay’s superb wideouts.
ABOUT THE PACKERS (8-3 SU, 6-4-1 ATS, 9-2 O/U): Rodgers has thrown 30 touchdowns and been intercepted only three times, and his numbers at home – 29 scoring passes with zero picks – have helped Green Bay overtake Detroit for the division lead. Jordy Nelson has been Rodgers’ favorite target with 68 catches for 1,066 yards and nine touchdowns, while fellow wide receiver Randall Cobb has 10 scores among his 58 receptions. The Packers have their own battering ram at running back in Eddie Lacy, who rushed for a season-high 125 yards in last week’s 24-21 victory at Minnesota and has multiple TDs in each of his last two games. The Packers can be exploited by the run, ranking 30th in the league by allowing an average of 136.7 yards, but fast starts by Rodgers and Co. usually force opponents to the air to play catch-up.
*Patriots are 6-0 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
*Packers are 5-0-1 ATS in their last 6 home games.
*Over is 8-2 in Patriots last 10 games in November.
*Over is 7-1 in Packers last 8 games overall.
COVERS CONSENSUS: 52.29 percent of Covers users are backing the Patriots +3 with 59.9 percent on the over.