Week 18 is finally here and it features some of the best rivalries in football.
This Packers-Lions matchup is technically a “rivalry" game, but Green Bay has owned this series since Aaron Rodgers became the starter. Rodgers is 18-5 in his career against Detroit.
Green Bay doesn’t have anything to play for after it locked up the top spot in the NFC this past Sunday against Minnesota.
That means the Packers get a first-round bye in the playoffs and can simply not play their starters for this game if they elect to go that route. Seemingly, that would be very beneficial to Rodgers as he’s been playing with a broken toe for the last month.
As for the Lions, they’re still in the running for the top pick in the 2022 NFL Draft and are coming off a 51-29 blowout loss to the Seahawks.
Who will win this duel between two NFC North rivals?
Let’s dive in with our Packers vs Lions predictions and best bets to determine which team will emerge victorious in the latest installment of our NFL pick of the day series.
Please note that all NFL gameday odds and lines are current as of 1:30 p.m. ET on Friday, January 7.
Packers vs Lions Prediction
This is such a hard game to predict due to the amount of uncertainties. That said, right now the Green Bay starters are planning to play and are treating this as if it’s any other game.
Rodgers could get a quarter or a full half of play in before backup quarterback Jordan Love gets some reps. It would be beneficial for Love to play a bit as he could be the Green Bay starter next season if Rodgers doesn’t come back.
Love has appeared in three games this season and has 277 yards passing with one touchdown and one interception.
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It’s also unclear what the Lions will be doing at quarterback for this contest. Tim Boyle has started the last two games in place of Jared Goff as the latter has been dealing with a knee injury.
Goff is hoping to be out there for the game on Sunday after he had a good workout on Tuesday morning testing out the knee.
Before Goff got hurt, he had his best game of the season against the Cardinals on Dec. 19, throwing for 216 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions.
The Lions defense will have to be up to the task while the Packers starters are in but with how their defense has played this season, that may be too much to ask for.
Detroit has given up 27.3 points per game to its opponents, the third most in the NFL.
This is going to be closer than some think, but I still have the Packers taking it and getting to 14-3.
Prediction: Packers 27, Lions 20
Packers vs Lions Best Bets
Best Bet: Packers -3 (-115) at Caesars
Wager: 1 Unit
I had to do a bit of a double-take when I saw this line. Usually, it would be double digits but I’m guessing Caesars thinks the starters will be rested for the full game.
That said, this looks to be a slam dunk since the Packers’ backups should be able to get the job done in the second half if head coach Matt LaFleur decides to put them in.
Detroit’s defense can’t stop anyone this year and the offense isn’t much better. The Lions have only averaged 18 points per game all year, which ranks in the bottom-five of the NFL.
The Lions do have some playmakers in Amon-Ra St. Brown, T.J. Hockensen, D’Andre Swift, and Jamaal Williams but I’m skeptical of how much damage they’ll do against a defense that only gives up 21 points per game.
Could an upset happen? Absolutely, especially considering the ones we’ve seen around the league this year. However, I’m going with the hotter team here.
Best Bet: Over 44.5 Total Points (-110) at Caesars
Wager: 1 Unit
With how bad the Lions’ defense was this past week, I like the Over to hit here. The Packers are coming off a 37-point performance against the Vikings on Sunday Night Football and have scored 30+ points in five of their last six games.
If Goff plays, Detroit should still be able to score just enough to where this over hits, even with Green Bay having a stout overall defense.
Take the Over for this one and make it your NFL bet of the day.
Thank you for reading our NFL Week 18 Packers vs Lions Predictions! For more NFL betting tips, check out our NFL Week 18 Parlays.