At the base, this game is a showdown between the team that won the NFC last year and the team that should have won it. It’s also a chance for the Packers to avenge the ugly loss that cost them their shot at the Super Bowl that virtually everyone thought that they would win. More significantly for now and beyond, it’s a contest between two teams very capable of winning the NFC this year, and it will therefore be a good measuring stick of where both teams are at and what we might expect in the last five weeks of the season.
The first thing you need to do when evaluating this contest is to decide how you feel about momentum. Does it exist in the NFL? If so, is it a major factor? Unquestionably, the Packers are the ones with the momentum. They have won five straight games to turn around a sluggish start, and they are now tied for the lead in their division. The Giants lead their division too, but mostly because the NFC East is totally incompetent this year. The Giants are 6-4, but they have lost two in a row and much of the swagger they had earlier in the year has evaporated. Critics could suggest that it’s almost as if the dreaded Super Bowl hangover is catching up to the defending champs.
Packers at Giants Betting Storylines
Eli Manning has two Super Bowl wins, but he’s one of the most divisive quarterbacks in the league. Few would disagree that Aaron Rodgers is among the very best in the league, but you’d get more much argument surrounding Manning even though he has much more hardware. I am decidedly not a Manning advocate, and a statistical comparison between the two quarterbacks this year certainly justifies the opinion that Manning isn’t at the level of Rodgers — in the regular season, at least. Rodgers is completing 67.2 percent of his passes compared to 61.3 for Manning. Eli’s passer rating of 81.1 is in a different class than the 107.3 of Rodgers, and Manning’s 12-11 TD-to-Int ratio is embarrassing next to Rodgers’ 27-6 ratio. So far in November, Manning has competed 55.7 percent of his passes with three interceptions, no touchdowns, and a pathetic 4.86 yards per attempt. Over the same period Rodgers has a 7.97 YPA, and a 6-2 TD-to-Int ratio. In short, coming into this game Rodgers is the far easier quarterback to trust — and the edge is far more significant than a lot of people would assume.
Not only does Rodgers come into this one in solid form, but he’s up against a defense that isn’t in strong form. The Giants are allowing 21.6 points per game — a respectable 12th in the league. The problem, though, is that they have allowed more than that in each of the last four games, including 31 to the Bengals in their last game. They sit 25th in the league in passing yards allowed, and Andy Dalton had a very efficient day against the Giants. Rodgers is well poised to succeed on Sunday night.
All is not rosy for the Packers despite what we have seen so far. Of biggest concern are the injuries they have been hit hard with. The number of not only starters but major contributors that are out of action are a major concern — Charles Woodson, Clay Matthews, Bryan Bulaga, Greg Jennings. That’s a formidable group of guys. They have won five in a row, and they have missed Jennings for all five of those games and the rest for at least one game, so the losses aren’t immediately fatal. Big hits to depth and character like that, though, have a way of sneaking up on a team and becoming a much bigger issue with time.
Packers at Giants NFL Odds and Betting Trends
The game opened with the Giants favored by 2.5 points. That has since moved to three points in many spots. A strong majority of bets have been placed on the Packers, so this movement is an indicator that smart money is on the Giants much more than the Packers. The total opened at 49 points and is now relatively stable at 49.5.
The Giants have covered the last two meetings between the squads, though they were underdogs both times and won only one game. The last five meetings have gone “over” the total. The road team is 5-2 ATS in the last seven meetings.
NFL Predictions: Packers at Giants Betting Picks
Given what I have already written, it comes as no surprise that I like the Packers. I think taking three points and the Packers is a steal in this spot. I just don’t trust the Giants, and I am not convinced that the bye week did enough to solve the issues they have had recently. I also lean towards the over. I’m on the public side in both cases, but sometimes that’s the way to go.
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