Packers vs Lions Week 18 Picks and Predictions: Fading the Packers' Playoff Gaze

With the No. 1 seed locked up, the Packers' Week 18 matchup with Detroit is a mere formality. With little motivation and stars on limitations for Green Bay, we're on the Lions to cover Sunday afternoon. Read more in our NFL betting picks below.

Rohit Ponnaiya - Betting Analyst at
Rohit Ponnaiya • Betting Analyst
Jan 8, 2022 • 15:29 ET • 5 min read
Amon-Ra St. Brown Detroit Lions NFL
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions wrap up their regular season with a matchup at Ford Field on Sunday afternoon.

This is a contest between one of the best teams in the league and one of the worst, but NFL betting lines have the Packers as relatively slim 4-point favorites after already locking up first place.

The Packers have the best ATS record in the league but with little to play for on Sunday, will they cover again? We let you know what we think with our best free Packers vs. Lions picks and predictions for Week 18 action on Sunday, January 9.  

Packers vs Lions odds

Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.

The lookahead line for this game had the Packers favored by as many as 11 points but after they clinched first place in the NFC on Sunday, that line shifted as low as Packers -2. With reports surfacing that Green Bay would play starters that line has grown to -4 while the Over/Under has stayed relatively steady at 44.5.

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until kickoff and be sure to check out the full NFL odds before placing your bets.

Packers vs Lions predictions

Predictions made on 1/06/2022 at 12:30 p.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Packers vs Lions game info

Location: Ford Field, Detroit, MI
Date: Sunday, January 9, 2022
Time: 1:00 p.m. ET

Packers at Lions betting preview


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Key injuries

Packers: De'Vondre Campbell LB (Out), Aaron Jones RB (Out), Jaire Alexander CB (Out), Za’Darius Smith ED (Out), Elgton Jenkins G (Out), Robert Tonyan TE (Out), Whitney Mercilus ED (Out).
Lions: Penei Sewell (Out), T.J. Hockenson TE (Out), Amani Oruwariye CB (Out), Frank Ragnow C (Out), Trey Flowers DE (Out), Romeo Okwara DE (Out), Jeff Okudah CB (Out), Quintez Cephus WR (Out), Jerry Jacobs CB (Out).
Find our latest NFL injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Lions are 7-0 ATS in their last seven games following an ATS loss. Find more NFL betting trends for Packers vs. Lions.

Packers vs Lions picks and predictions

Our predictions are compiled from the analysis of the spread and total and are indications of where we are leaning for this game.
Our best bet is the play that we like the most for this game, which we would actually put some of our bankroll behind.

The Packers have cruised to the league's best overall record (13-3 SU) and ATS record (12-4) this season and are coming off a 37-10 beatdown of the Vikings. After clinching first place in the NFC with that victory, it might have seemed obvious that the Packers would rest some key starters including MVP favorite Aaron Rodgers. 

Not so fast according to Packers head coach Matt LaFleur, who has said that he's "not comfortable having essentially a three-week layoff" and will look to avoid rust setting in. That said, we'd be surprised if  Rodgers or All-Pro wideout Davante Adams stayed in the game for very long. Especially when you consider that Green Bay has already lost five Pro Bowlers, Jaire Alexander, David Bakhtiari, Za’Darius Smith, Elton Jenkins, and Robert Tonyan for significant portions of the year.

Alexander and Bakhtiari could actually both see the field this week after lengthy stints on the IR but even if they did play it would likely be in a limited capacity. 

As for the Lions, they have the worst record in the conference at 2-13-1 and are coming off an ugly 51-29 loss to the Seahawks. The Lions haven't had much to play for all season but they've still played hard and despite their pathetic record are 10-6 ATS. 

This is a scrappy Detroit squad and with so many young players eager to make an impact in recent weeks, the Lions have shown a lot of fight. It's also worth noting that every time they have lost by more than two touchdowns this season, they have bounced back in their next contest. 

In Week 2 they lost to the Packers by 18 points but fell to the Ravens on a last-second field goal in the following week. Lost by 23 to the Bengals in October and then had a lead heading into the fourth quarter against the Rams the next week. Got hammered 44-6 by the Eagles on Halloween and bounced back with a tie against the Steelers. Were crushed 38-10 by the Broncos in Week 14 and then won outright as 13-point dogs against the Cards a week later.

You get the drift: this is a team that won't give up. With Green Bay likely to pack it in during the second half, we're leaning towards the home side with the points. 

Prediction: Lions +4 (-110)

The Lions have enjoyed breakout performances from young wide receivers like Amon-Ra St. Brown in recent weeks and have a pair of productive running backs in D'Andre Swift and former Packer Jamaal Williams that are finally both healthy. 

Quarterback Jared Goff is listed as questionable after missing Detroit's last two games but he had been very sharp before landing on the reserve/COVID-19 list just before Week 16. The veteran QB had completed nearly 70% of his passes for 898 yards with nine touchdowns and only two interceptions in his previous four starts.

As for the Packers, we know what they can do on offense after scoring more than 30 points in five of their last six games. Even if Rodgers and Adams don't play for long, we could see LaFleur let last year's first-round selection Jordan Love loose against a Detroit defense that ranks 31st in the league in weighted DVOA according to Football Outsiders. 

With the Over going 5-1 in the Packers' last six games and the Lions coming off an 80-point shootout against the Seahawks, we're leaning towards the Over although we'd recommend waiting until closer to kickoff to see Goff's status.

Prediction: Over 44.5 (-110)

Green Bay has a tendency to get off to quick starts, especially in recent weeks. The Packers are averaging 19.3 points per game during the first half in their last five games, scoring a whopping 12 first-half touchdowns during that span.

The Lions are brutal defensively in the early going, surrendering 14.1 ppg during the first half. They also have the third-worst red zone defense in the league, allowing opponents to score a TD on 70.2% of trips inside their 20-yard line. 

We know LaFleur plans to play his starters at least in the early going, which should mean Rodgers & Co. strike first before heading to the bench. 

Pick: First score method Packers touchdown (+170)

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