The final regular-season game of the 2016 will determine the NFC North Division champion but both combatants — the host Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers — could be assured of playoff berths before kickoff on Sunday night. The surging Packers have ripped off five consecutive victories to move into a tie atop the division with Detroit, which is trying to avoid a third straight defeat.
Both teams will get into the postseason if the Washington Redskins lose at home to the New York Giants, otherwise there are myriad playoff possibilities. The Lions, who have been dominated in back-to-back losses to the Giants and Dallas, have an outside chance to earn a first-round bye while Green Bay cannot finish higher than the No. 3 seed in the NFC. Detroit needs to find a way to contain Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who threw four touchdowns in a 34-27 win in Week 3 and was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week after tossing four scoring passes in a 38-25 victory over Minnesota. “He plays the game in a unique way, probably different than any quarterback in the league,” Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford said of Rodgers, who threw a 61-yard Hail Mary pass on the final play of the game to shock Detroit in his last appearance at Ford Field.
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, NBC.
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Packers (-3) – Lions (0.5) + home field (-3) = Lions -0.5
LINE HISTORY: The Lions opened as 3.5-point home dogs and that number has faded half-point to a field goal. The total opened at 48 and has been bet up 1.5 points to the current number of 49.5. Check out the complete history here.
WEATHER REPORT: Dome
WHAT BOOKS SAY: “We opened the Packers as 3 point favs heading
into this matchup early this week and took heavy public action on that
number forcing us to move up to -3.5 where we took some sharp action on
the Lions to cover the +3.5, that pushed as back down Packers -3. We
have since moved back to Packers -3.5 with over 70% of the action on the
Packers to cover.” – Michael Stewart from CarbonGaming.ag.
Green Bay – QB Aaron Rodgers (probable, neck), G T.J. Lang (questionable, foot), CB Damarious Randall (questionable, shoulder), LB Joe Thomas (questionable, back), C JC Tretter (questionable, knee), LB Jayrone Elliott (questionable, hand), WR Randall Cobb (questionable, ankle), CB Ladarius Gunter (questionable, elbow), OT Bryan Bulaga (questionable, shoulder), RB James Starks (doubtful, concussion)
Detroit – QB Matthew Stafford (probable, finger), WR Anquan Boldin (probable, finger), WR Andre Roberts (questionable, shoulder), LB DeAndre Levy (questionable, knee), C Travis Swanson (questionable, concussion), CB Darius Slay (questionable, hamstring), RB Theo Riddick (out, wrist), DT Stefan Charles (IR, knee), RB Ameer Abdullah (questionable, foot)
ABOUT THE PACKERS (9-6 SU, 8-6-1 ATS, 9-6 OU): Rodgers is making good on his proclamation the Green Bay could run the table after a four-game skid left the Packers sitting at 4-6, and he’s done his best to make it happen with 11 scoring passes and zero interceptions during the winning streak. Rodgers has an NFL-high 36 touchdown passes and 14 of them have gone to Jordy Nelson, who is coming off a monster performance with nine catches for 154 yards and a pair of scores against Minnesota and also went over 100 yards and two TDs versus Detroit in Week 3. Converted running back Ty Montgomery has boosted the ground game but the key could be the defense. The Packers rank 29th against the pass at 265.1 yards per game.
ABOUT THE LIONS (9-6 SU, 8-7 ATS, 5-10 OU): Stafford has posted three of his four lowest passer ratings over the past three games, tossing four interceptions against one touchdown since injuring the middle finger on his throwing hand, but he blamed the miscues more on poor decision-making than the injury. Running back Theo Riddick (wrist) has missed the past three games and did not practice Thursday, but Zach Zenner provided a spark to the running game with 67 yards and two touchdowns on 12 rushes last week. Top cornerback Darius Slay (hamstring) missed last week’s game but practiced on a
* Packers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall
* Lions are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 home games.
* Over is 5-1 in Packers last 6 vs. NFC.
* Over is 4-1 in Lions last 5 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
* Favorite is 8-1 ATS in their last 9 meetings.
For a full list of hot and cold trends click here.
COVERS CONSENSUS: The road favorite Packers are getting 64 percent of the wagers from Covers users and the over is getting 69 percent of the Over/Under action. View full consensus data here.