Sunday, January 8, 4.40pm. Lambeau Field, Wisconsin.
Against the spread record:
Points spread market:
Packers -5 at Bovada.lv
THE Giants enter into enemy territory when they take on the streaking Green Bay Packers, a team starting to look like the success many thought they would be this season.
The Packers have won their last six games, which included victories over wildcard teams Houston, Seattle and Detroit. Those wins hold them in good stead for this Wild Card game against the Giants, who have recorded some mixed results of late.
The Giants have, for the most part, looked a playoff team throughout the season, but recent losses to the Steelers and the Redkins – both away from home, have dented confidence levels.
Also putting the dent into the Giant’s confidence levels is the off-field antics by star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jnr, who thought it would be a good idea to party in Miami after the Giant’s win against the Washington Redskins.
Giants’ coach Ben McAdoo has been under pressure throughout the season to bench Beckham Jnr, but the Giants will be needing him to be at his best if they’re looking to get revenge on the Packers which defeated them by 23-16 in Week 4.
Quarterback Eli Manning has had his typical season to date – throwing for 26 touchdowns and looking like one of the premier QB’s in the league, but he also owns 16 intercepts and turnovers are going to cost the Giants against the Packers.
The Giants own the better defense, having given up totals of under 25 points in its last five games, but whether it can keep up offensively is the big question – especially considering Aaron Rodgers has recaptured his MVP form.
The Packers QB didn’t start the season very well and considering the players he had to throw to, that was to be expected, but Rodgers is on a tear and the Packers are benefitting.
Rodgers has thrown for 4428 yards for 40 touchdowns and only seven intercepts. With the Packers offense, Rodgers has put totals of 38, 30, 38 and 31 in their last four games which many believe the Giants won’t be able to keep up with.
The key for the Giants is to limited the Packers to less than 20 points, which will be a tough task, but seeing as the Giants have scored totals of only 14, 10, 17, 19 and 19 in its last five game, it’s something they need to do in order to be successful.
Giants coach Ben McAdoo spent two seasons as Aaron Rodgers’ quarterbacks coach which will help the Giants and the Giants were able to stun Green Bay in 2011 playoffs on-route to the Super Bowl title.
The old adage is that “defense wins championships” and the Giants will be hoping that stays true. Giants general manager Jerry Reese spent a lot of money to acquire the likes of Damon Harrison, Olivier Vernon and Janoris Jenkins – and it’s paying off.
The Giants are allowing only 17.8 points per game and the pass rush has generated eight sacks from the last four games.
This is a classic match-up of offense vs. defense and we would typically favor the defensive outfit, but a confident Aaron Rodgers is a beautiful sight so we’re sticking with the home side.
Our match tip: Packers 28 – Giants 13
NFL Wild-Card parlay odds and tips
Raiders vs. Texans (-4):
The Raiders looked to be cruising into the playoffs, but the serious injury to quarterback Derek Carr has seemingly derailed their Super Bowl dreams.
The Raiders lost to the Denver Broncos 24-6 last Sunday and there wasn’t much to like about the performance. Without Carr at the helm, both the offense and defense looked average.
We find it hard to believe the Raiders will simply give up on their season with the injury to one player, but Brock Osweiler and the Texans should be confident heading into this matchup.
Osweiler is one of those rare quarterbacks who doesn’t get lamented despite his poor throwing statistics. Osweiler has thrown for only 15 touchdowns and 16 intercepts – which would send any other starting QB to the sidelines, but the Texans are persistent.
This isn’t a marquee game this week, but include the Texas (-4) in your parlays.
Lions (+10) vs. Seahawks:
The Seahawks are the overwhelming favourite here and that’s likely due to the home-field advantage, but there’s little between these two sides.
The Hawks scored a narrow win over the Giants on Sunday which wasn’t overly impressive and the week prior it lost to the Cardinals 34-31.
The Lions enter on a three-game losing streak which has hardly been confidence inspiring, but all three losses came to playoff teams and it tested the Packers in its 24-31 loss.
The Seahawks have a 5-9 against the spread record as the favourite and giving away 10 points in a playoff game is a big number.