Best Monday Night Football bets: Lions-Packers

By VSiN Staff  (VSiN.com) 

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The Detroit Lions travel to Green Bay to play in the second Monday Night Football game of the 2021-22 NFL season.

Our team of experts at VSiN has the game covered from all angles, with a market report from South Point oddsmaker Chris Andrews, along with a pick on the game from VSiN's Adam Burke and Dave Tuley, and a player prop from Ben Brown of Pro Football Focus.

Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers (-11.5, 48.5)

Market report from Chris Andrews: I opened Green Bay -10.5. Early bets were on the Packers. I knew we’d get to 11 eventually, so I went there quickly. By late week I was getting two-way action with some buy back on the Lions. I expected the line to move higher before kickoff based on public tendencies. That happened over the weekend. I was at 11.5 by midday Sunday. My opening total of 48.5 was initially bet down to 48. I was back up to 48.5 Sunday. Recreational bettors typically play “favorite and Over” in solitary TV games like this.

Tuley: The public is ready to dismiss a lot of teams off one poor Week 1 performance, such as the Jaguars, Titans, Falcons, Vikings and Giants. The Packers’ 38-3 loss to the Saints was the ugliest of all, yet it appears most people are willing to forgive and forget. In fact, the line has actually gone up from -10 on the advance line to -10.5 early in the week and now up to 11.5 at most Las Vegas books (and pretty much across the country) as of Sunday morning. Granted, the Lions were being thoroughly dominated by the 49ers before rallying late to get the back-door cover, but I see that comeback as a great sign that they’ll fight to the end in this game. Besides, are we so sure this isn’t the end of the line for the Aaron Rodgers era that everyone is expecting to end anyway? I’ll take that chance — and the points.

Pick: Lions + 11.5 or better

Burke: Neither the Packers nor the Lions had performances to be happy about in Week 1, but the two teams will look for better showings on Monday Night Football in Week 2. One team should be better-positioned to get off to a good start in this NFC North battle.

Coming off of such a pathetic performance last week, one would think that Green Bay would have a focused game-plan at the start and be able to take the lead. Rodgers, especially, should bounce back after having the second-fewest passing yards in a game with at least 25 pass attempts in his career.

Under Matt LaFleur, the Packers have been a team that has played from in front. Green Bay led the NFL in first half points per game last season with 18.2 and was 13th in 2019 with 11.8, but ranked fifth in first quarter points per game that season with 6.4.

Jared Goff wound up with some decent numbers in Week 1, but he was 19-of-29 for 183 yards in the fourth quarter with the outcome decided. He was 15-of-20 in the first half, but only had 92 yards against the 49ers defense. Game state matters when looking at offensive numbers and the Lions generated very few explosive plays or successful plays in the first half.

There aren’t a lot of people out there that think highly of Dan Campbell and many believe that Detroit’s new offensive coordinator, Anthony Lynn, really held Justin Herbert back last season as the head coach of the Los Angeles Chargers. The Packers have the coaching edge here, to go along with a big QB edge and a team that should be hyper-focused after such an embarrassing game last weekend.

Maybe some shenanigans happen late, much like last week for the Lions, but the Packers should play from in front and cover the first-half spread of -7.

Pick: Green Bay Packers -7 1H

Brown: The likely game script on Monday completely changes for the Packers from Week 1. In that blowout defeat, Aaron Jones played under 50% of the Packers offensive snaps and ran a route on 41.5% of drop backs. Green Bay could be much more of a committee running back than preseason expectations. If Jones plays with a 50% snap percentage, it’s hard to see a high number of routes run or target share that comes close to touching three. Again, this is likely a negative game script for Jones' pass-catching situation, which was the exact opposite of last week.  In an early season spot with the Packers in control early, one of the safest paths is Jones to finish under on his receptions. 

Pick: Aaron Jones under 2.5 receptions (-109)

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