Green Bay Packers vs. Detroit Lions
Date and Time: Sunday, December 31, 2017, 1 p.m. ET
Location: Ford Field, Detroit, MI
Opening NFL Odds: Lions -7.5
Lions vs. Packers TV Coverage: FOX
There are a lot of moving parts to work through in Detroit for Week 17. Could Jim Caldwell be fired before this game? Or will it be known that he's a lame duck coming into work on New Year's Day? Is Matthew Stafford going to be sat down after struggling against Cincinnati last week?
Those two factors are going to go a long way towards shifting this betting line.
Stafford has already reached 4,000 passing yards and really doesn't have any other milestones coming up. He hasn't looked right for a few weeks and seems to have a hand injury. It might be time to see what Jake Rudock can do as his backup against Green Bay.
We already know that the Packers have thrown up the white flag. They played Aaron Rodgers for one game, then stuck him back on injured reserve thanks to his collarbone injury. This is an opportunity for Brett Hundley to show what he can do, but he hasn't exactly proven himself to be a legitimate commodity.
In effectively nine and a half games, Hundley has thrown for 1,664 yards and rushed for 255 yards. He has eight passing touchdowns against 10 picks, literally half the touchdowns and almost double the picks that Rodgers had playing in effectively just 6.5 games this year. If you don't think that Rodgers is the most valuable player in this league on the internet sportsbook level, you're crazy.
One man who we know is going to get a lot of run in this game is Tion Green. The rookie from Cincinnati has only played in four games. He only has two rushing attempts that have covered more than seven yards in his career, but Caldwell keeps throwing him out there to see what he can do.
With Ameer Abdullah effectively falling out of favor and Theo Riddick certainly nothing more than a receiving back and a good blocker, Green will have his opportunity in this one. He should end up with a career-high in touches, and what he does with those carries might determine whether he has a future with the Lions or not.
Green Bay's rush defense didn't show itself poorly against Minnesota in last week's 16-0 loss. That said, the club still only ranks No. 20 against the run and has generally struggled all season long in that department.
Packers vs. Lions Free Picks
Just the possibility that this game could feature Rudock for an extended period of time makes us want to take the points with the Packers.
Green Bay has been a wreck for the most part, but Rudock would easily be the worst quarterback it has faced over the course of the entire season, even worse than DeShone Kizer in Week 14.
The Packers played a strong enough game defensively against Minnesota to make us believe they might have a pulse in Week 17. We're not sure we can say the same about the Lions.
If Detroit dropped down to a pick 'em or so, we would have to consider playing it, even with Rudock out there since the Packers look like they've given up. That said, even with the whole organization seemingly incredibly upset with the Rodgers situation and the way things were handled, we have no choice but to hold our collective breath and pinch our noses shut, taking the dive into the Green Bay pool in Week 17.
NFL ATS Pick: Packers +7.5 at BookMaker.eu
NFL Score Prediction: Lions 20, Packers 17