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Detroit Lions vs. Green Bay Packers Point Spread - Pick

Detroit Lions (3-4 SU, 3-4 ATS) vs. Green Bay Packers (4-3 SU, 3-4 ATS)
Week 9 NFL
Date/Time: Monday Night Football, November 6, 2017 at 8:30PM EST
Where: Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wisconsin
TV: ESPN

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: DET -2/GB +2
Over/Under Total: 43

The Detroit Lions come to Lambeau Field to face the Green Bay Packers in NFC North division action on Monday Night Football. This is really a big game for a Packers team coming off the bye. Without Aaron Rodgers, they looked to be a heavily-depreciated version of their former self in their game before the bye, losing at home to the Saints, 26-17. Still 4-3, they look to salvage things against their division rivals this week on MNF. Detroit, meanwhile, has their own issues coming off their third loss in a row on Sunday, falling to the Steelers on Sunday Night Football, 20-15. At 3-4, the streaky Lions are on a bad roll now and need to reverse inertia before it's too late.

Granted, losing Rodgers could end up being the death-knell for the Packers this season. There are some teams that can make it work without their starting QB, but the Packers don't appear to be one of them—at least not on the surface. And that's not a condemnation of their system, but more a testament to Rodgers' overall excellence and leadership abilities, not to mention his ability to pull a rabbit out of the hat. They now need other parts of their team to step up—namely a defense that has a lot of issues and a run-game that can't be counted on to produce.

One shouldn't be so hard on Brett Hundley, Rodgers' back-up. He only threw for 87 yards against the Saints with a pick and no scores. In the last three games, running back Aaron Jones has run for 297 yards and could help provide relief, with the Packers' ground-game having been half-dead for the past few seasons. And while he didn't show much aptitude aerially in his first start, there are ample weapons for Hundley if he were to get his arm in a groove, with receivers Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams, and Randall Cobb. He has a big dependable tight end at his disposal with Martellus Bennett. And with a healthier line than they've had all this season, the pieces are in place for a back-up like Hundley to make his mark and give his career a boost.

The defense was a big part of keeping Green Bay in the New Orleans game until the fourth quarter. Damarious Randall has been a turnover maven in his last several games, with a nice assist from Davon House. But they stand out as a subpar group, particularly exploitable against the run. The pass-rush has been relatively absent and the number of missed tackles is really beginning to add up. We see star safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix being asked to fulfill a bigger role and he has struggled. With Clay Matthews quiet in a lot of games this season, the Packers really need their stars on defense to flourish.

Over the last several seasons, we've seen Detroit on some big winning streaks, with some losses in bunches along the way. This season they have followed suit, but in the midst of three straight losses and four in their last five games, they need a positive development in a big way. One major order of business is to address their inability to finish drives. Five field goals on Sunday night would attest to their lack of ability to punch it in when close. After faltering the last few weeks, the defense wasn't bad against a powerful Steelers' offense. But the offense needs to be better and far more-consistent. Then again, after not finding many answers after the bye week, where do they turn now?

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With 15 points on Sunday, the Detroit offense wasn't great, but they did move the ball fairly well. Again, it came down to red-zone effectiveness and on Sunday, it just wasn't there for the Lions and Matthew Stafford. And when they had the chance to make a final drive late in the game, Golden Tate coughed the ball up, ending the Lions' chances. Still, even with the one fumble, to not score a TD after putting up nearly 500 yards is pretty atrocious. TJ Jones had a big day with 88 yards receiving, while Marvin Jones was big with 128 yards. Eric Ebron and Tate also had some good production, but they also were part of an offense that extracted the bare minimum out of what was otherwise a successful day on offense. It also doesn't help that the line seemingly gets more banged-up with each passing week.

The Detroit defense hasn't been that great, with some moments of extreme leakiness over the season. They were better on Sunday and after a few more turnovers, they now have 16 on the season. Glover Quin got his third pick of the season. Steelers' star Le'Veon Bell, who had been putting up big numbers lately, was held to 76 yards rushing on 25 carries. Antonio Brown was held to a relatively quiet 70 yards. But a few slip-ups were key, including a 97-yard TD to JuJu Smith-Schuster, who had 193 yards receiving on the day. Still, when you hold the Steelers to 20 points and put up nearly 500 yards of offense, it should be enough.

Both teams are pining hard for a MNF win, as each squad is in many ways playing for their season. Detroit has to put an end to the losing skid before it's too late and Green Bay needs to come off the bye and show they can compete without Rodgers. Something tells me they will manage to be competitive. Detroit's issues on offense aren't helped by either Rodgers being out or having to come to Lambeau on MNF to play. Still, I see Detroit in a good spot to get on the right track against a compromised Packers team.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Detroit Lions minus 2 points. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today and bet the Lions vs. Packers game by signing up at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you'll receive a generous 50% sign-up bonus!

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