A pair of NFC North rivals will play in Week 17 with nothing on the line but pride when the Green Bay Packers visit the Detroit Lions. Game time is set for 1:00 EST on Sunday, December 31 at Ford Field in Detroit. Fans in local markets can watch the game on Fox.
Oddsmakers list the Lions as 7-point favorites at home. However, that line has come down a little after Detroit opened as 8.5-point favorites. The over/under is set at 43.5 points. Click here to check out a full list of the Week 17 betting odds and links to more game previews.
Lions vs Packers Vegas Preview & Game Predictions
The Lions have not doubt spent the week kicking themselves. Detroit lost a road game to the Bengals last week, dropping them to 8-7 and taking them out of playoff contention. Being knocked out could impact their level of motivation heading into Week 17, especially after such an up and down season. There’s also a chance that Jim Caldwell could be coaching his last game in Detroit, which could also affect how motivated the Lions are to play this week.
Green Bay, on the other hand, was knocked out of the playoff picture two weeks ago. Aaron Rodgers has since returned to IR with Brett Hundley reassuming the role of starting quarterback. That was the setup last week when the Packers were shutout by the Vikings 16-0. Hundley was dreadful in that game, going 17 for 40 for just 130 yards and two interceptions. Of course, after a performance like that, he has nowhere to go but up.
These two teams met back in Week 9, with the Lions winning at Lambeau Field 30-17. In that game, Detroit out-gained the Packers by over 100 yards and controlled the game from start to finish.
Free Pro Football Pick Against The Spread: Packers +7
I’m going to go against my instincts and lean toward the Packers in this game. For whatever reason, I think the Lions will be too disappointed after last week’s loss to play their best game. Meanwhile, I think Hundley and the Packers will want to play hard and improve, especially after a lopsided loss to the Lions earlier this year. I’ll take my chances on the Packers at least keeping this game close.
It’s pertinent to mention that the Lions are just 3-4 at home this season. Two of those wins have come against the Browns and Bears, so they’ve not been the most impressive home team this season. With the disappointment of the season and the recent weather in Detroit, I don’t see the home crowd giving the Lions much of a boost this week.
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Meanwhile, Hundley has actually played better on the road than at home. With Hundley as the starter, the Packers are 2-1 on the road. To be fair, those wins came against the Bears and Browns, so I don’t want to overreact too much. But Green Bay’s one road loss under Hundley came against the Steelers in a 3-point game the Packers could have won.
For whatever reason, Hundley seems to play better on the road. It may be a little tougher for him this week with Jordy Nelson and Davante Adams likely to miss the game due to injuries. But it’s not as if the Lions have a strong defensive team. Detroit is in the bottom-third of the league in points allowed. Perhaps more importantly, Hundley is unlikely to relax on his preparation heading into Week 17, even in a meaningless game. He’ll want to finish the season on a positive note.
For the record, I think the Lions are the better team in this game. But motivation should play a huge role in this meaningless Week 17 matchup. In that sense, the Packers have the edge. Considering Hundley’s propensity for playing better on the road, I think Green Bay can at least keep this game within a touchdown.