Packers vs. Lions: NFL Week 18 betting odds, preview, and pick

Profile Picture: Robert Criscola

January 5th, 2022

Bettors are presented with a handicapping conundrum this Sunday, as the Green Bay Packers play the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. The Packers clinched the No. 1 seed in the NFC – and the all-important postseason bye – but head coach Matt LaFleur may play his starters anyway, albeit not for the entire game.

“We’re going to play our guys and we’re going to approach it like every other game,” LaFleur told reporters on Monday.

But the Lions – underdogs all season long and catching less than a field goal for just the second time – would clinch the No. 1 overall draft pick for the Jacksonville Jaguars with a win in this spot, and only have two wins this year for a reason.

Let’s dive into the matchup and try to come up with the right play.

Green Bay Packers (13-3) at Detroit Lions (2-13-1), 1:00 p.m. ET, FOX

Sun, January 9 2022, 6:00 PM

DET Lions






O 42.5

GB Packers






U 42.5

Don’t count on Packers playing starters in second half

Despite LaFleur’s statement that Sunday will be business as usual, bettors should expect Aaron Rodgers – among others – to hit the bench regardless of the game score by the time the third quarter begins, much like in a final preseason tune-up game. That will probably be enough to take the “rust” factor out of the equation for his club’s first playoff game of 2022.

But even Green Bay’s reserves are the envy of teams like Detroit. Jordan Love is a promising passer drafted in the first round in 2020 that could give the Lions’ 28th-ranked defense headaches, whether wide-out Davante Adams sees his regular workload or not. If Adams sits, expect Allen Lazard (six touchdowns in his last nine games) to pick up the slack.

AJ Dillon is not to be taken lightly in the backfield if Aaron Jones hits the bench. He has nearly as many rushing yards as Jones this season (trailing 799 to 740), and one additional touchdown (five to four).

Lions offense firing on all cylinders

Jared Goff and company are blossoming into a legitimate threat, averaging 344.2 yards per game over their last five tilts (2-3 record). They’ll face a Packers defense that allowed 374 yards per game over a five-game span prior to facing a Kirk Cousins-less Minnesota Vikings squad last Sunday night.

Amon-Ra St. Brown is the target that Green Bay must be wary of, as he has eight or more receptions in each of his last five tilts. He has 451 receiving yards and four touchdowns in that span.

St. Brown is in line for a big game regardless of who the Packers put on the field this Sunday.

Packers vs. Lions injury report

Packers and Lions betting trends

  • The Packers are 9-1 ATS in their last 10 games against NFC opponents
  • The Packers are 2-7 ATS in their last nine meetings with the Lions
  • The Lions are 7-0 ATS in their last seven games following an ATS loss
  • The Over is 11-1 in the Packers’ last 12 games in January
  • The Over is 15-7 in the Lions’ last 22 home games

The verdict

Don’t be shocked if this one turns into a shootout. Neither defense is playing well right now, and the offenses are both clicking. The Packers’ offensive reserves should see significant action, but are more than capable.

Score prediction: Lions 27, Packers 23

NFL pick: Over 42.5

Packers vs. Lions pick powered by The Quant Edge

Our predictive engine is calling for the Packers to win, and the game to go Over the projected total.