By: Jason Green
Green Bay Packers (7-6 SU 7-6 ATS) vs. Carolina Panthers (9-4 SU 8-5 ATS)
He’s baaaaack! Aaron Rodgers is back after being out for a couple of months with an injury, but is he in time? The Packers are sitting at 7-6 and they may need to win out to make the playoffs. Green Bay has won two in a row in OT, but both teams they beat were well under .500 and now they face the Panthers, who are coming off a big win over the Minnesota Vikings.
At 5 dimes sportsbook the Panthers are the 2.5-point favorite with a total of 47.
Carolina has won five of their last six Games and they are tied with the New Orleans Saints atop the NFC South. The Division is close and the Panthers still have to face the Falcons in the last Game of the season. Cam Newton has a tall task in the last few Games and the team has to ride their rushing Game and play solid D in the home stretch to make the post-season.
These teams have not met since the 2015 season.
The home team is 4-1 ATS in the last five Games between these teams.
The Packers dodged a bullet in their last Game beating the winless Cleveland Browns 27-21 in OT. Green Bay outscored Cleveland 14-0 in the 4th quarter and they won even though they were out-GAined 345-341. Brett Hundley was up and down in Rodgers’ abseNCe, passing for 265 yards with 3 TD and 0 INT in the Cleveland Game, and the team is hoping their leader is not too rusty. He has the targets and Jamaal Williams is now the lead back, but he did not have a good Game facing the Browns in the OT win only rushing for 49 yards averaging 3.3 yards per carry.
Rodgers and company will be up against a Carolina defense that ranks 7th in the league defending the pass and 3rd defending the run. One group that has a lot of pressure on them in this Game is the Green Bay offensive line that has to keep Rodgers off his butt as well as open up holes for Williams, so Rodgers does not have to do it all.
In their last Game the Panthers beat the Minnesota Vikings 31-24 where they had 11 fewer overall yards (356-345), but their D came up with three turnovers and they only committed one. Newton passed for only 137 yards with a TD and an INT, but the team rushed for 216 yards. Jonathan Stewart rushed for 103 yards with three TD iNCluding a 60-yard scoring run and Newton chimed in for 70 rushing yards. Carolina has to have a good ground Game in this NFC contest and they face a Green Bay run D that ranks 18th in the league and GAve up 136 rushing yards in their win over the Browns.
The Packers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 road Games, 4-1 ATS in their last 5 Games, and in their last 21 road Games they have an Over record of 16-5.
The Panthers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 Games, 5-0 ATS in their last 5 Games after ACCumulating less than 150 yards passing in their previous Game, and in their last 4 Games they have an Over record of 4-0.
Jason’s Pick: I am going to jump on the Rodgers bandwagon in this one, as I think he will come back storming and have a big return Game. He will have a great first start since his injury and Green Bay will not only cover the spread, but get the W as well.