Well, it appeared to be a tale of two seasons for the Green Bay Packers. In the “first” season, they went 4-6 and looked like they could not stop any team on the face of this earth. But then, as many teams in the past who have become accustomed to going to the playoffs have done, they regrouped and rallied, winning their last six games and riding into the playoffs as the NFC North champions. They will be playing host to the New York Giants, the second-place team in the NFC East, in the NFC wild-card game, which begins on Sunday at 4:40 PM ET at Lambeau Field. Fox Network will televise this game live, and BetAnySports patrons will have the opportunity to place wagers in real time as they access the superior software of Live Betting Ultra.
New York Giants vs Green Bay Packers – NFL Betting Line:
In the NFC wild-card betting lines posted on this game at BetAnySports, Green Bay is the favorite at home:
Green Bay Packers -4.5
New York Giants +4.5
Over 44.5 points -110
Under 44.5 points -110
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New York Giants vs Green Bay Packers – CJ’s Take:
Aaron Rodgers was the target of a lot of criticism in the early part of the season, because people cited the fact that he wasn’t getting the ball very far down the field. But it’s not like he wasn’t performing or putting up numbers; it’s just that he couldn’t put enough scores on the board to overcome the injuries and general ineffectiveness of the defense. Now the Green Bay quarterback is coming on like a freight train, tossing 18 touchdowns without an interception during the six-game winning streak. And it’s not as if the Packers have beaten a bunch of weak sisters either; they have taken care of business at home against the Houston Texans and Seattle Seahawks, both division champions, and they won their own division in a road game against the Detroit Lions (now a wild card team) last Sunday night. In only one of these games has the opposition come to within seven points.
For the season, Rodgers has 40 touchdowns with only seven interceptions, and even though he has suffered 35 sacks, his offensive line actually grades out as one of the best in the NFL in past-blocking according to the respected industry website Pro Football Focus. A lot of things have come together for the Packers during this string, including the emergence of Ty Montgomery as a viable option in the backfield. Montgomery supplied some zip to a position where Green Bay virtually had nobody, in the wake of the injury to Eddie Lacy. So in his limited action, the former Stanford wide receiver had 457 yards, good for 5.9 yards per carry. And what can you say about Jordy Nelson? Rodgers’ favorite receiver, who missed all of last year with a knee injury, caught 97 passes for 1257 yards and 14 touchdowns. Davante Adams, who earned himself a position as alternate for the Pro Bowl, had a dozen scores and came three yards short of 1000.
But here’s were gets a little dicey for the Packers – they once again have a banged-up secondary, as defensive backs Quinten Rollins and Demarious Randall, along with Makinton Dormleant, had to leave the game against Detroit. That left defensive coordinator Dom Capers doing some shifting around in the secondary, which left this team vulnerable. The question for BetAnySports patrons would have to be whether – or rather to what degree – this leaves them vulnerable against the Giants, who failed to crack 20 points in any of their last five games. This was not the best of seasons for Eli Manning, even though he went over 4000 yards. He was intercepted 16 times and lost four fumbles. And for the most part, he did not have the benefit of a big-league running game. They are encouraged, however, that rookie Paul Perkins, who did some great things at UCLA, might give them some spark, as he had 102 rushing yards against Washington in the season finale. But a problem that Green Bay has to solve, especially if they have some starters who can’t play, is how to deal with Odell Beckham, who can turn any screen pass into an 80-yard touchdown.
And the Giants may have what it takes to slow down Rodgers. After all, they have given up only 15 touchdown passes on the season, and their pass rush came on like gangbusters in the second half of the campaign. They have allowed the opposition to convert only 35.3% of their third downs, and they have been tough against the run as well, allowing just 3.6 yards per carry. Certainly this is a far cry from last season, when New York finish dead last in the NFL in total defense. But that’s what happens when you spend money in the right places.
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By Charles Jay