The Detroit Lions were on the fast track to oblivion before ending a 24-year drought with a shocking victory at the Green Bay Packers in Week 10. That sparked a three-game winning streak for the Lions, who suddenly find themselves harboring postseason aspirations as they prepare to host the skidding Packers in Sunday’s rematch.
Detroit had one victory through eight games, beating NFC North rival Chicago in overtime, before stunning the Packers 18-16 with its first victory at Green Bay since December 1991. “Our guys have been battling and getting better every week and that’s what we have to do again this week,” Lions coach Jim Caldwell said. The loss to Detroit was the third in a row for the Packers, who appeared to get back on track with a 30-13 romp at division-leading Minnesota in Week 11. The momentum was short-lived, however, as Green Bay dropped a 17-13 decision to visiting Chicago on Thanksgiving.
TV: 8:25 p.m. ET, CBS, NFL Network.
LINE HISTORY: The Lions opened as 5.5-point home dogs and have been bet up to +3. The total has been bet down from its opening number of 47.5 to 46.5.
Packers – WR J. Abbrederis (questionable Thursday, ribs), B M. Hyde (questionable Thursday, hip), C C. Linsley (questionable Thursday, ankle), T B. Bulaga (questionable, ankle), CB D. Randall (questionable Thursday, knee), G T. Lang (questionable Thursday), WR T. Montgomery (doubtful Thursday, ankle).
Lions – WR G. Tate (probable Thursday, calf), WR C. Johnson (probable Thursday, ankle), DT C. Reid (questionable Thursday, undisclosed), K M. Prater (questionable Thursday, undisclosed), S G. Quinn (questionable Thursday, ankle), G L. Warford (questionable Thursday, concussion), T C. Robinson (questionable Thursday, ankle), DT G. Wright (questionable Thursday, ankle), WR L. Moore (doubtful Thursday, ankle).
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Packers (-3) – Lions (+2) + home field (-3) = Lions +2
WHAT BOOKS SAY:
WHAT CAPPERS SAY: “Aaron Rodgers in 2014: 65.6 completion percentage, 8.4 yards per pass attempt. In 2015? 60.5 percent completions and only 6.9 yards per pass attempt. That?s what happens with no WR?s! Meanwhile, a month ago, I had the Lions ranked dead last in my power ratings. A vastly improved defensive mindset has made all the difference, holding each of their last three foes to 16 points or less.” – Covers Expert Teddy Covers.
ABOUT THE PACKERS (7-4, 6-5 ATS, 3-8 O/U): Reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers, normally among the league’s most accurate passers, has failed to post a completion percentage better than 57.4 percent over his last four games, even though he has nine touchdowns versus two interceptions in that span. One of the few positives during Green Bay’s skid has been the re-emergence of running back Eddie Lacy, who has registered back-to-back 100-yard games since the Packers were held to 47 yards on the ground by the Lions. Tied for fifth in the league with 30 sacks, Green Bay has yielded 48 points over the past three games.
ABOUT THE LIONS (4-7, 4-7 ATS, 6-5 O/U): Defense has fueled the turnaround by Detroit – after surrendering a shade over 30 points during the ugly 1-7 start, the Lions have held their last three opponents to an average of 13.4 points. Detroit also is coming off its best offensive performance as Matthew Stafford threw for five touchdowns and 337 yards in a 45-14 demolition of Philadelphia on Thanksgiving Day. Wideout Calvin Johnson latched onto three of those scoring passes to end a four-game drought while running back Theo Riddick has 10 receptions for 134 yards and a score in his last two contests.
* Favorite is 6-1 ATS in the last seven meetings.
* Under is 5-1 in the last six meetings in Detroit.
* Home team is 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings.
* Under is 5-2 in the last seven meetings.
COVERS CONSENSUS: The public is siding with the Packers in this NFC North showdown, with 61 percent of wagers on Green Bay. They also love the over in the matchup, with 69 percent of wagers on the over.