The Patriots have won their last 13 games against NFC North opponents since losing to the Packers in 2002, and they are 4-0 straight up and against the spread in their past four as underdogs.
For totals bettors, this game could end up being one of the highest over-under numbers of all time. Only a few games have closed higher than 59, and, interestingly, many of them went over the total.
Point spread: The Packers opened as four-point favorites, but it was at minus-three Wednesday; the total was 59 early in the week, according to sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark (line updates and matchup report).
NFL pick, via Odds Shark computer: 41.3-39.8 Patriots
Why the Patriots can cover the spread
No team in the league has been better than New England over the past two months. The Patriots are riding an NFL-best seven-game winning streak into Green Bay, and they have gone an impressive 6-1 ATS during that stretch.
While future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady has been outstanding in leading this team forward after a mediocre 2-2 start, the defense has played at another level and has been able to shut down some high-scoring opponents.
It is crazy to think that the New York Jets have scored more points than any other foe during the winning streak, but they were also the only team to cover the spread over that period. However, the Jets are AFC East rivals, and the Packers are not.
New England is 9-3 ATS in its last 12 against NFC North foes.
Why the Packers can cover the spread
Green Bay has been an equally good team, particularly at home. The Packers are 4-0 versus the line in their past four games as home favorites, winning by an average of nearly 32 points.
Those blowouts have also given quarterback Aaron Rodgers some extra rest and kept him healthy for a possible Super Bowl run. Rodgers is the only signal-caller in the league who has thrown for more than 13 touchdowns with fewer than four interceptions, totaling 30 and three, respectively.
Those are ridiculous numbers, especially considering two of the picks came in one game, a 44-23 loss to the New Orleans Saints back in Week 8 as two-point road underdogs. Green Bay has not lost since then, outscoring three opponents by a 132-55 margin.
The winner will likely sit atop the Super Bowl futures ladder by Monday.
It does not get much better than this game during the regular season, with two of the NFL’s top QBs gunning to be the best and trying to outplay each other en route to a victory. But the defenses figure to play an equal, if not more important, role because they are the ones responsible for stopping Brady and Rodgers in this one.
New England has a decided edge there, mainly due to a strong, physical secondary and the fact that Green Bay is among the worst teams in the NFL when it comes to giving up rushing yards.
The Patriots have a power running game again, regardless of whether it’s Jonas Gray or LeGarrette Blount getting the ball.
And they will run over the Packers for another underdog win.
- New England is 1-5-1 ATS in its last seven games when playing Green Bay.
- The total has gone under in four of Green Bay’s last six games when playing New England.
- The Pats have won and covered four straight as underdogs, while the Packers have done the same as home favorites.