Green Bay Packers (3-5) at Detroit Lions (1-6)
The Packers have started 3-5, a year after going 13-4, but their drop off isn’t all that surprising. Despite their record last season, the Packers finished just 10th in point differential and 11th in overall efficiency, despite an MVP season from Aaron Rodgers who, as good as he is, was no guarantee to play at quite the same level in 2022, now in his age 39 season. Add in the loss of by far their top wide receiver Davante Adams this off-season and some regression was to be expected from them, especially on offense.
In many ways, things have gone how you might expect, given the circumstances. The Packers’ defense has remained middling, ranking 17th in defensive efficiency in 2021 and 16th in 2022, but their offense has fallen off significantly, falling from 4th in offensive efficiency a year ago to 15th this season, while their horrendous special teams that ranked dead last efficiency a year ago has only been slightly better this year, ranking 31st. All in all, the Packers rank just 20th in overall efficiency when adjusted for schedule, about 1.5 points below average, and my roster rankings only have them slightly higher, about a half point above average. Despite the big name at quarterback, this team isn’t much more than a slightly above average team any way you look at it.
The Packers get to face the one-win Lions this week, but this isn’t as easy of a matchup as it seems, as the Lions are just 4.5 points behind them in my roster rankings and 2.5 points behind in schedule adjusted efficiency, with four of the Lions’ six losses coming by four points or fewer. Making matters worse, the Packers are on the road and they just haven’t had the same success away from Lambeau in Aaron Rodgers career, in large part due to Aaron Rodgers having a 10 point drop in QB rating on the road in his career, well above average. My calculated line has the Packers favored by one and, while they should still be favored to win this game, they could easily lose and, even if they don’t, about 1 in 4 games are decided by three points or fewer, so we’re getting good line value with the Lions at +3.5. They’re bettable at that number.
Green Bay Packers 31 Detroit Lions 30
Pick against the spread: Detroit +3.5