Expert NFL Picks: New York Giants at Green Bay Packers Odds and Predictions
by Alan Matthews - 1/5/2017
You may want to go bet on whichever team you think wins this game to win Super Bowl LI. Why? Sunday's NFC wild-card game at Lambeau between the NFC's fifth-seeded New York Giants and NFC North champion Green Bay Packers is the eighth postseason meeting between the flagship franchises. The winner of the previous seven won the NFL championship or Super Bowl. How's that for a trend!
As soon as this Giants-Packers matchup was finalized last Sunday night, I knew it was going to be in the coveted late Sunday afternoon window (on Fox) before even announced as it's easily the marquee matchup of the wild-card weekend. The Packers (10-6) are probably the third-most popular team in the NFL behind the Cowboys and Patriots, and Green Bay is taking the most action in Vegas currently to win Super Bowl LI. At BetOnline , the Pack are down to +650 to win it. It's the eighth consecutive year the Packers have made the playoffs, tied for the longest current streak in the NFL with New England.
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The Giants (11-5) are, well, the Giants and in the massive New York market so TV always loves them. They were good enough this season to probably win every division in football other than the two East Divisions. New York pushed Coach Tom Coughlin out the door following last season's 6-10 record, the franchise's fourth straight year missing the playoffs. I'd say Coach Ben McAdoo, Coughlin's former offensive coordinator, has done a great job and I'm sure he has. But the offense is actually much worse than last year and coordinator Steve Spagnuolo's defense is leaps and bounds better.
I feel obligated to mention something that's making the rounds in the New York tabloids this week about how some Giants players were caught on social media partying it up in Miami after their Week 17 win. So what? Players can do what they want on their Monday off day and all the guys were back on Tuesday. That's just those New York papers trying to drum up controversy to sell more copies.
Giants at Packers Betting Story Lines
Both teams won in Week 17 under very different circumstances. The Giants went to Washington with absolutely nothing to play for, while a Redskins win got them in the postseason for the second year in a row. Everyone expected McAdoo to rest his starters, and thus I happen to know for a fact that the Giants ruined more than a few Survivor and Confidence Pools with their 19-10 upset. For the most part, all the New York starters played the whole way. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie picked off a late fourth-quarter pass by Kirk Cousins to clinch it as Washington was somewhat driving. Then the Giants added a garbage TD on a Redskins lateral play.
That game really summarized New York's season. Eli Manning was just OK, throwing for 180 yards with no TDs, but the defense was tremendous in holding the Redskins to 284 yards and forcing three turnovers. The Giants allowed less than 20 points eight times this season, their highest number since also eight in 2008. New York was 8-0 in those games and also won the lone game it allowed exactly 20. On the flip side, the Giants scored fewer than 20 points nine times and were 5-4 in those. There was one huge offensive bright spot vs. Washington as rookie running back Paul Perkins had 102 yards rushing on 21 carries. It was the team's best rushing performance of the season, and Perkins is now likely to start over Rashad Jennings.
Green Bay benefitted from the Giants' win in Washington as the Packers knew they would have been at least a wild-card team with a loss in Detroit on Sunday night. But Aaron Rodgers continued his ridiculous hot streak by throwing for 400 yards and four touchdowns in a 31-24 victory that really wasn't that close. So instead of heading to Seattle on wild-card weekend, the Packers get this home game. Rodgers has thrust himself into the MVP conversation with 15 TDs and no picks, three 300-yard games and a 121.5 passer rating in Green Bay's six-game winning streak.
The Packers have three injury concerns: running back James Starks (concussion), receiver Randall Cobb (ankle) and cornerback Quinten Rollins (concussion). Starks won't play and the other two are questionable. If there's one major weak point on the Green Bay defense, it's a secondary that has lost a handful of guys to season-ending injuries.
Giants at Packers Betting Odds and Trends
At 5Dimes , Green Bay is a 4.5-point favorite (-110) with a total of 44.5. On the moneyline, the Packers are -210 and the Giants +175. There are many alternate lines. Some interesting ones: Packers -3.5 (-125), -3 (-151) and -2.5 (-173); Giants +7 (-160) and +7.5 (-178) and +9 (-218). The Giants were 9-6-1 against the spread (4-3-1 on road) and 4-12 "over/under" (1-7 on road). The Packers were 9-6-1 ATS (5-2-1 at home) and 10-6 O/U (4-4 at home).
New York is an incredible 9-0 ATS in its past nine playoff road games. The Giants are 5-1-1 ATS in their past seven vs. teams with a winning record. New York is 1-8-2 ATS in its past 11 road games vs. teams with a winning home record. The Packers are 4-0 ATS in their past four wild-card games. They are 4-1 ATS in their past four vs. teams with a winning record. The under is 7-1 in New York's past eight games. The over is 4-0 in Green Bay's past four. The home team is 4-1-1 ATS in the past six meetings.
Giants at Packers Betting Prediction
The last two times the Giants went to Lambeau as a wild-card playoff underdog, they pulled upsets following the 2007 & 2011 seasons and went on to upset New England to win the Super Bowl. It sure seems like things might be setting up like that again. You know the Giants wouldn't fear playing most likely in Dallas next week considering they are 2-0 vs. the Cowboys this season. Manning is 8-1 in his playoff career.
That said, I can't bet against Green Bay right now the way things are humming even if McAdoo might know some secrets about Rodgers as he was the Packers QBs coach from 2012-13. Green Bay already beat New York 23-16 at Lambeau in Week 5. I could see a similar score but I'll give those 2.5 points to be safe and go under the total.
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Read more articles by Alan Matthews
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