Monday Night Breakdown: Packers Hold the Winning Cards, but They Aren't What You Think

Matthew Malec

Two teams that have exceeded expectations to date meet at Lambeau Field in a game with serious NFC North implications. The division looks like one of football's best and the winner of this one will be in the driver's seat, though there is obviously plenty of season left.

Detroit Lions @ Green Bay Packers (-3.5)

Packers Offense vs Lions Defense

It's been a bizarro kind of year in Green Bay as Aaron Rodgers sits just 16th in Real Passing Yards per Attempt ... but Green Bay still have some things going for them. They place ninth in Scoreability though red zone monster Davante Adams remains out with turf toe. Additionally, despite a 16th place showing in the Offensive Hog Index they are just sixth in negative pass play percentage because Rodgers does not throw interceptions and David Bakhtiari and Brian Bulaga are still elite pass protecting tackles.

Detroit has made some improvements this season, ranking 11th in Bendability and 15th in Defensive Real Passing Yards per Attempt. However, they are second to last in the Defensive Hog Index and come into this one a little beat up on defense. The edge here sits with Green Bay, especially in the trenches, and do we really think Rodgers won't improve on his league average standing? 

Lions Offense vs Packers Defense

Detroit have done some good things on offense this year, finally unleashing Kerryon Johnson and allowing Matthew Stafford to push the ball down the field, but they still rank just 18th in Scoreability, despite Stafford placing fifth in Real Passing Yards per Attempt. They are in the middle of the pack on the offensive line though and that will be an issue against a vicious Packers front. Stafford will need to hit some deep balls against a Green Bay defense that tends to dare you to beat them underneath, and in a strength-on-strength matchup down the field Detroit will need to make some plays to win.

The aforementioned Green Bay defense has finally figured it out. Jaire Alexander is a budding star and their pass rush has them up to sixth in Negative Pass Play Percentage, despite a middle of the pack placement in the hog index due to a weakness against the run. Green Bay are also fourth in Defensive Real Quarterback Rating as well as Bendability. This unit is for real.

BETS TO WATCH

Side: This line seems a little strange; our stats show Green Bay as better on both sides of the ball, and the line implies they are only about a point better than Detroit on a neutral field. Hold out for a 3, but Green Bay -3.5 is playable as well. 

Total: With Green Bay's offense laboring a tad and Detroit pushing the ball right into the teeth of Green Bay's new look secondary we lean to the under 46.5 here, but wait until right before the game to let the public keep hitting this one up.

Prop: Aaron Rodgers under 265.5 passing yards is a great value. The public does not seem to have caught up with the fact that Rodgers has not been a top-tier passer this season, and with Darius Slay trending towards playing, the under holds nice value here.