Welcome to the Monday Night Football betting breakdown, where I’ll provide a betting overview of the upcoming MNF game utilizing moneyline, points spread, and projected total odds from DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook. Additionally, I’ll hone in on at least one player or game prop each week that I feel has profit potential at one of those three sportsbooks.
All betting takes will be classified as either a “lean” or a “pick.” A lean is a wager that we have a determined degree of certainty. However, it’s one that still falls somewhere short of a high-confidence selection. A pick carries an additional degree of confidence based on a variety of factors. These include relevant injuries, the past track records for certain conditions and bet types, and team performances leading up to the game.
For more detailed information on this week’s matchup, including further game analysis, betting trends breakdown, betting tips specific to MNF, and a synopsis of the history of the line movement for the game, please see our Monday Night Football Betting Preview over at TheLines.
Lions at Packers, Monday, Oct. 14, 8:15 p.m. ET
This shapes up as an intriguing matchup of a battle-tested team in the rhythm of having played five straight games to open the season in the Packers and a well-rested Lions squad coming out of its bye week. It will also be interesting to see if Green Bay’s momentum from a big road win over the Cowboys results in an even more confident team or if the Pack has a bit of a letdown.
For their part, the Lions achieved some important and much-needed balance in their offense in a Week 4 loss to the Chiefs. Kerryon Johnson garnered a season-high 125 rushing yards after not having totaled more than 49 in any of his three previous games. The ability of Johnson to contribute in similar fashion at Lambeau will be critical to keeping the Packers’ defense honest. There is some reason for optimism in that regard against Green Bay. The Packers have a No. 26 ranking against the run, allowing 138.2 rushing yards per contest.
If Johnson can keep the chains moving, it would set Matthew Stafford up to take advantage of what could be an injury-hampered Green Bay secondary. Rookie free safety Darnell Savage (ankle) and backup Will Redmond (shoulder) are both questionable heading into the final day of practice Saturday, as is starting cornerback Kevin King (knee/groin). An explosive duo like Marvin Jones and Kenny Golladay are certainly capable of exploiting potential absences by these players, or capitalizing on any physical limitations they may experience if they suit up. Stafford may also be getting Danny Amendola and rookie tight end T.J. Hockenson back from a chest injury and concussion, respectively.
The getting may also be good for Aaron Rodgers, however. The Lions also have a pair of key secondary players on their injury report. Cornerback Darius Slay and safety Quandre Diggs are both trying to overcome hamstring issues. It increasingly appears Davante Adams may not be able to take advantage of these possible absences due to the lingering effects of his toe injury. Rodgers will have several other weapons, including Aaron Jones, who has 13 receptions out of the backfield over the last two games alone in addition to five rushing touchdowns over that span.
Ultimately, this seems to have the makings of a back-and-forth tussle between to rivals who will be pretty evenly matched, especially if Adams misses a second straight game. It does seem unlikely they’ll lose a second straight game at Lambeau with the quality of team they’re fielding this season. But, there are enough injury concerns for Green Bay to make this more of a lean than a pick for me.
The line has held steady in favor of the Packers since the open at FanDuel Sportsbook. Green Bay has certainly earned respect with its 4-1 record and impressive wins over the Bears, Vikings and Cowboys. However, the combination of key health question marks for Green Bay and Detroit’s rest advantage leave open the possibility this might be too big a number.
The Lions are 3-1 (75.0 percent) against the spread this season. That includes a 1-1 mark as an away team specifically. Detroit is also 2-4 (33.3 percent) ATS in NFC North matchups since the start of the 2018 season. The Lions are also 7-3 (70.0 percent) ATS coming out of a bye in the Matthew Stafford era (2009-present).
Then, the Packers are 4-1 (80.0 percent) versus the number in 2019. That includes an 2-1 (66.7 percent) tally as a home team. Green Bay is 3-5 (37.5 percent) ATS in NFC North matchups since the start of the 2018 season, including 2-0 this season.
Green Bay’s homefield advantage is a difficult one to overcome. However, Stafford is 3-1 straight up at Lambeau over his last four games there and the Lions have won four straight in the series. Therefore, I’m leaning toward Detroit sliding in under the current number, at minimum.
The Lean: Lions +4.5 (FanDuel Sportsbook)
Both teams have been involved in some higher-scoring matchups, as their Over/Under records cited below show. The Lions have allowed between 24 and 34 points in three of their first four games. Then, the Packers began the season allowing just a combined 35 points over their first three games. However, they’ve subsequently yielded 34 and 24 points in their last two games, respectively.
The Over is 3-1 (75.0 percent) in the Lions’ games this season, including 2-0 in their away games. In turn, the Over is 3-2 (60.0 percent) in the Packers’ games this season, including 2-1 (66.7 percent) in their home games.
With both teams having key injuries on defense and already having allowed their fair share of scoring, I see this game going at least slightly over a manageable total.
The Lean: Over 45.0 (DraftKings Sportsbook)
Best Prop Bet
Spread/Total Points Parlay: Lions +4.5 and Over 46.5 points (+270 at FanDuel Sportsbook)
In conjunction with my belief the Lions will manage at least a cover in a game with a fair share of points, I’m highlighting this prop parlay. In addition to the reasons already cited, it’s worth noting from a longer-term view that factoring out last season’s Week 17 encounter between the two where Rodgers exited the game in the first quarter, the prior five contests in the series dating back to Dec. 2015 have finished with totals of 50, 61, 55, 47, 46 and 54 points.