Monday Night Football Picks: Green Bay Packers at Philadelphia Eagles Odds & Predictions
by Alan Matthews - 11/24/2016
The last time the Green Bay Packers missed the playoffs was in 2008 when Aaron Rodgers finally replaced Brett Favre as the team's starting quarterback. Rodgers had his first-year starter growing pains but obviously has become one of the best QBs of his era and of all time.
I can say pretty confidently that if the Packers (4-6) don't win Monday night in Philadelphia to conclude Week 12 that they will not be a playoff team in 2016 and that there will be major turnover on the team's coaching staff in the offseason. It's possible highly-successful head coach Mike McCarthy survives, but he probably is forced to make several coaching changes -- starting on the defensive side of the ball. If this were any other team but the Packers and perhaps the Pittsburgh Steelers, two franchises that are fairly conservative in making big changes and reward loyalty, then I think McCarthy would be gone for sure.
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At 2.5 games behind in the NFC North, the Pack aren't winning the division. And the remaining schedule is pretty tough even with three of five at home: vs. Texans, vs. Seahawks, at Bears, vs. Vikings and at Lions. Maybe the Pack can go 4-1 in that stretch, meaning a win Monday would put them at 9-7. Will that be enough for a wild-card spot? Perhaps, with the Pack battling the Giants, Redskins and possibly Bucs outside the NFC North for one of those spots.
At 5-5, the Eagles would be competing for a division title in the AFC North and South and NFC North and South, but they are four games behind Dallas in the NFC East entering Week 12 and in last place. Philly's schedule is easier than Green Bay's the rest of the way: at Bengals (in free-fall), vs. Redskins, at Ravens, vs. Giants, vs. Cowboys. Not impossible to see a 4-1 record there. Thus 10-6 is doable with a win Monday. That probably is enough for a wild-card spot.
Packers at Eagles Betting Story Lines
This concludes Green Bay's first three-game road trip in four years -- back when it started Week 10 in Tennessee I mentioned here at Doc's a Bovada prop on the total Packer wins during it ; I recommended the under 1.5 and that already has hit. The banged-up Packer defense -- totally ravaged in the secondary -- has allowed at least 31 points in each of its four-game losing streak and a total of 89 points the past two weeks in Tennessee and Washington.
The Redskins torched Green Bay for 515 yards last Sunday night in an 18-point victory. There was history made in that game. Washington's Kirk Cousins and Rodgers became only the seventh pair of opposing quarterbacks in NFL history to both throw for at least 350 yards with three or more touchdowns and no interceptions in the same game. Rodgers has been pretty fantastic in the losing streak as the Packers have scored at least 26 points in each. If you can't win scoring that many points, well, you are the Cleveland Browns.
Philadelphia continued its season-long trend of struggling on the road in Week 11, a 26-15 loss in Seattle. Carson Wentz has really gone into a rookie funk and was just 23-for-45 for 218 yards, two touchdowns and two picks. Wentz had a rating north of 100 in three of his first four games. He has been over 90 just once since. It doesn't help that Wentz has no good receivers other than Jordan Matthews, and he's probably not a true No. 1. Wentz is completing 66 percent of his throws to Matthews this season with three touchdowns and no interceptions for a 103.1 quarterback rating. The numbers aren't nearly as good to the other receivers like Nelson Agholor and Dorial Green-Beckham. I expect the Eagles to target one early in the 2017 draft -- they owe the Browns their first-round pick but have the Vikings' first-rounder.
The Eagles are hurting at running back as No. 1 Ryan Mathews and No. 2 Darren Sproles both left the Seahawks game with injuries. It's not clear if either can play yet, but if not then rookie Wendell Smallwood will start. He had 13 carries for 48 yards vs. Seattle. Also hurt last week were top cornerback Leodis McKelvin, who is in the concussion protocol, and rookie starting right tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai, who is out several weeks with a knee injury. Vaitai was starting there because of the 10-game suspension to Lane Johnson.
Packers at Eagles Betting Odds and Trends
At 5Dimes , Philadelphia is a 4-point favorite (-110) with a total of 47. On the moneyline, the Eagles are -205 and the Packers +173. On the alternate lines, the Eagles are -4.5 (-103) and -3.5 (-117). Green Bay is 4-5-1 against the spread (2-3 on road) and 6-4 "over/under" (4-1 on road). Philadelphia is 5-5 ATS (4-0 at home) and 5-5 O/U (0-4 at home).
The Packers are 1-4-1 ATS in their past six after a loss of at least 14 points. They are 0-6 ATS in their past six after allowing at least 30 points in their previous game. The Eagles are 5-1 ATS in their past six on Monday. They are 1-5 ATS in their past six in November. The under is 14-5 in Green Bay's past 20 vs. the NFC. The under is 6-1 in the past seven meetings. The Pack are 4-1 ATS in the past five in the series.
Packers at Eagles Betting Prediction
I don't take much from the last meeting as Wentz was still at North Dakota State, but the Packers blasted the Eagles 53-20 at Lambeau in Week 11 of the 2014 season. That was a stretch where Packers were playing their best football of the past two years. Rodgers passed for 341 yards and three touchdowns. Mark Sanchez was the Philly QB that day, and it being Mark Sanchez you can probably presume how he fared.
This one is tough. Obviously I lean Rodgers and the Packer offense over Wentz and Co. But the Eagles are unbeaten at home and their defense hasn't allowed more than 15 points there (9.6 per game compared to 24.6 on road) despite playing some high-powered offenses like the Steelers and Falcons. I'm going to take the four points, however. Rodgers usually shines on Monday night and has won his past two on MNF. Go under the total.
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