The Green Bay Packers host the New York Giants on Sunday, January 8th in the NFC wild card round. This will be a rematch from October 9th in which the Packers won 23-16 at home as 7-point favorites over the Giants.
Green Bay (10-6) pulled off the improbable by winning its final six games of the season after Aaron Rodgers said they could run the table. The Packers capped off that run with a 31-24 road victory over the Detroit Lions in Week 17, which gave them the NFC North and a home playoff game.
New York (11-5) had a nice bounce-back season in Ben McAdoo’s first season in place of Tom Coughlin. And the Giants even played the role of spoiler very well last week as they topped the Redskins 19-10 on the road as 9.5-point dogs in a game Washington needed to win to get in to the playoffs.
Kickoff inside Lambeau Field is set for 4:40 EST Sunday afternoon with FOX providing the television coverage. Taking a look at the NFL odds, I spot Green Bay as a 4.5-point favorite over New York with a total set of 44.5 points.
This line opened at Packers -6.5 and -7 in most places and has been bet all the way down to 4.5 now. I think there is value to pull the trigger on the Packers here, a team I have been backing religiously down the stretch, and one I’m not about to step in front of with the momentum they are riding right now.
This feels a lot like 2010 when they got hot late amidst a ton of injuries and managed to parlay it into a Super Bowl victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. The reason most the early money is coming in on the Giants is due to injuries in the Packers’ secondary, which was the same thing back then. And at least for this week, those injuries aren’t going to hurt them that much.
After all, the Giants have passed for 192 or fewer yards in five of their last six games overall. They are one of the worst passing teams in the NFL this season. They are averaging a mere 6.7 yards per attempt, which ranks 24th in the league. Eli Manning is not having a good season at all, and he can’t be trusted to go score-for-score with Aaron Rodgers. The Giants also rank 29th in rushing offense at 88.2 yards per game and 3.5 per carry.
The Packers are 6-0 SU & 5-1 ATS in their last six games overall. Their only non-cover came when they blew a 17-point lead late at Chicago as 4.5-point favorites and won by a field goal. The other five wins have all come by a touchdown or more, and three by at least 13 points.
Rodgers is the hottest quarterback in the NFL right now. He has thrown 18 touchdown passes and zero interceptions in his last seven games overall. He threw for 347 yards and four touchdowns against a good Vikings pass D three weeks ago, and he threw four more scoring passes in the 31-24 road win over the Lions last week. He has this Packers offense firing on all cylinders as they’ve scored at least 30 points in four straight.
Green Bay is 11-3 ATS in its last 14 games as a home favorite of 7 points or fewer.
Of course, the reason the Giants are getting so much respect here with this line move is because of their defense. But they lost 16-23 on the road to the Packers in the first meeting this season, and that game wasn’t as close as the final score. The Packers racked up 406 total yards and held the Giants to just 221, outgaining them by 185 yards in the win. Manning went just 18-of-35 passing for 199 yards in the loss with his only scoring pass coming in garbage time in the final few minutes with the game already decided.
The Packers have one of the best home-field advantages in the NFL. They are 6-2 SU & 6-2 ATS at home this season, outscoring opponents by 7.5 points per game on average. The Giants are only mustering 17.7 points and 304.7 total yards per game on the road this season, while the Packers are averaging 27.7 points and 362.5 yards per game at home.
Green Bay is 9-1 ATS in home games off a road win over the last three seasons. The Packers are 10-1 ATS off a division game over the last two years. Green Bay is 11-3 ATS in its last 14 games as a home favorite of 7 points or fewer. The Giants are 1-8-2 ATS in their last 11 road games vs. a team with a winning home record. The home team is 4-1-1 ATS in the last six meetings. The Packers are 4-0 ATS in their last four wild card games.