The NFC North heats up on Thursday night when first place in the division is up for grabs when the Packers play host to the Lions.
Not sure when the last time that this happened, but the Lions, who have never won the NFC North, come into this game as a road favorite posted at -1.5 with the total sitting at 45. The public has been backing Green Bay in this game, as they opened as a 2-point underdog and as of Tuesday morning are a 1.5-point dog.
Both the Lions and Packers are 2-1 while the other teams in the division in the Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears are both 0-3.
In their last game the Lions got over their first loss with a 20-6 home win over the Atlanta Falcons. They covered the spread as a 3-point favorite with the total going Under.
The Packers beat the New Orleans Saints 20-6 in their last game where they covered as a 1-point underdog with the total going Under. Green Bay has covered the spread in all three games this season.
Last season the Lions beat the Packers twice, including beating them in the last game of the season at Lambeau to keep Green Bay out of the playoffs.
Little Better Defense
In the 20-6 win over the Falcons the Lions played a tad better on defense than their previous game when they gave up 37 points.
In the win over Atlanta the Lions outgained them 358 yards to 183 yards and they totally stuffed the run only giving up 44 rushing yards. Jared Goff passed for 243 yards with a TD and a pick, rookie Jahmyr Gibbs rushed for 80 yards, and emerging star WR Amon-Ra St. Brown led the way with 102 yards.
Goff leads a balanced offense that ranks seventh in the league in passing yards per game and 11th in rushing yards per game. Gibbs was one of their two first round draft picks and he and may have to shoulder more of the load with fellow back David Montgomery, who missed the last game, listed as questionable.
Goff only has five TD but has only been sacked three times and ranks fourth in the NFL in QBR. If he and Gibbs can find balance the Lions have a great shot to win. Gibbs may be vital in this game facing a Green Bay D that only ranks 27th in the league in run defense while ranking a legit 10th in pass defense.
In their win over the Saints the Packers came back from being down 17-0 at the half and shut the New Orleans’ offense down in the second half.
Green Bay outgained New Orleans 340 yards to 242 yards, held them to 77 yards, and their D had three sacks and knocked starter Derek Carr out of the game.
Jordan Love was much better in the second half of the last game and ended up passing for 259 yards with a TD and a pick and was only sacked once. The run game for GB was not great with Love leading the way with 39 yards while AJ Dillon only rushed for 33 yards averaging three yards per carry. Romeo Doubs led the way with 73 receiving yards and had a score.
Aaron Jones is a huge part of the Packers’ offense but missed the last game and is listed as questionable to face the Lions. The D for Green Bay may have to step up again, as the offense, while good in the second half of last game, still only ranks tied for 18th in passing yards per game and tied for 23rd in rushing yards per game.
Love has to play well in this game, especially if Jones cannot go, and will be facing a Detroit defense that ranks fifth in the NFL against the run and 19th against the pass.
The Lions have covered the spread in four of their last five games facing the Packers including the last three.
In both games between these teams last season the total went Under.
The Lions are 14-5-1 ATS in their last 20 games.