NFL Lines -- Will Packers Survive the Lions' Den on Thanksgiving?
The Green Bay Packers may have found themselves yet another quarterback. They will be cruising to the Motor City on Thursday to play the Detroit Lions in a game that is critical to the NFC North race. KIckoff is scheduled for 12:30 PM ET at Ford Field.
The Lions are currently tied for the lead in the division, with a 6-5 record. The Packers, after a tie with the Minnesota Vikings, are now standing at 5-5-1.
This will be a revenge game for Detroit, which lost - once again - to Green Bay at Lambeau Field by a 22-9 score on October 6.
In the NFL lines that have been posted on this game at BetAnySports, the Lions are the favorites:
Detroit Lions -6.5
Green Bay Packers +6.5
Over 48.5 Points -110
Under 48.5 Points -110
A couple of seasons ago, the Packers were able to overcome a number of injuries to sweep through the playoffs, as a road team, and win the Super Bowl. But though Aaron Rodgers did indeed suffer an injury that year, his absence was very brief. This year he's been out during a critical time when his team is battling for a playoff spot.
In 2011, Rodgers was replaced briefly by Matt Flynn, who started a couple of games and caused something of a sensation when he threw for 480 yards and SIX touchdowns against this very same Lions team. Now, with Rodgers and backup quarterback Seneca Wallace having gotten hurt, and Scott Tolzien still struggling with inconsistency, Flynn is back in action and will be starting the game on Thursday. He helped the Pack come back from a 23-7 deficit against the Vikes.
Those betting against the NFL lines know full well, however, that the key to a Green Bay win may be Eddie Lacy, the rookie running back out of Alabama who topped the century mark last week (110 yards) and has 806 yards on the season. Lacy has to protect Flynn, and that worked pretty well before, as the former LSU quarterback threw the ball 36 times without a sack against Minnesota.
Detroit (the -270 favorite to win outright at BetAnySports) used to have a real home field advantage playing in their home environs on Thanksgiving, but no more. The Lions have dropped nine straight NFL pointspread decisions on the holiday. What can change that? Well, it would help if Matthew Stafford could distribute the ball a little better than he has been.
At the moment Detroit's leading receiver is Calvin Johnson, who has caught 66 passes for 1198 yards. That will get him to the Pro Bowl, undoubtedly. But will it get the Lions to the playoffs if Stafford is not able to bring more people into the mix as far as his receivers are concerned? Johnson missed the previous meeting with Green Bay because of his knee issues. And the short week probably won't be of tremendous help to him.
One thing you can say about the Lions is that they have at least gotten someone this season who can worry teams out f the backfield. Reggie Bush, the former Heisman Trophy winner (did he give that back yet?) has averaged 4.6 yards a carry, which is more than solid, and that has dispelled notions that perhaps he may have been overworked too much in Miami for him to be an effective "every-down" back when he made the move to Detroit.