Detroit Lions (+7.5)* at Green Bay Packers
Certain teams appeared on a collision course for months, but perhaps no two more than the Packers and Lions. Going on their own runs of impressive wins at different points in the season – Green Bay had a stretch of utter dominance while Detroit simply refused to lose, despite requiring one fourth-quarter comeback after another – the two NFC North powerhouse will meet to decide which team gets a bye week while the other has to travel to play a Wild Card game.
The matchup of division rivals isn’t just desirable because of what’s at stake. Rather, the two teams tout herculean strength on opposite sides of the ball. When the league’s second-best scoring offense is on the field for Green Bay, Detroit will counter with the second-best scoring defense, pitting an unstoppable force against an immovable object.
Detroit shines when playing ‘catch-up,’ utilizing a fourth-quarter comeback in five of its eleven wins. In that regard, no game ever appears out of reach for the Lions, and their offense, ranked in the bottom half, at least has the weapons to put points on the scoreboard. More importantly, while Green Bay has won six of its last seven games, three of their last four wins have been by less than a touchdown. With a Packers team that has failed to put people away with ease as of late – even Tampa Bay trailed by only a touchdown in the fourth quarter of their Week 16 game – and a Lions team that never appears to be ‘too far gone,’ Detroit won’t need to chase Green Bay for too long.
In fact, with a quarterback capable of not only winning games, but doing so under high-leverage situations, the Lions will make their move when their offense squares off against Green Bay’s beatable defense. And, since the Packers ‘never lose at home,’ they will, as all trends come to an end.
Detroit wins by four and beats the spread.