NFL

Sunday, January 8


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NFL Wild Card betting preview: Giants at Packers
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The Packers deep receiving core will try to take advantage of the Giants 23rd ranked pass defense. Green Bay is currently a 4.5-point home fave.

New York Giants at Green Bay Packers (-4.5, 44.5)

Pro Bowl quarterback Aaron Rodgers proved to be a man of his word when he told reporters that the Green Bay Packers were capable of running the table to secure a playoff bid. Six straight wins led to the eighth straight postseason appearance for Green Bay, which looks to remain on the fast track when it hosts the New York Giants on Sunday in an NFC wild-card matchup at Lambeau Field.

"Look, I just talked about running the table and getting into the playoffs. Obviously, it's win or go home at this point. That's the focus," Rodgers, who tossed 15 of his NFL-best 40 touchdown passes during the Packers' winning streak, told reporters. The 33-year-old recorded his second straight four-TD performance in Sunday's 31-24 victory over Detroit, securing the NFC North title for his team and conference Player of the Month honors to boot. While Green Bay has been a staple in the playoffs, New York is making its first postseason appearance since it posted a victory over the Packers in the divisional round of the 2011-12 playoffs en route to upending New England in Super Bowl XLVI. Eli Manning, who has won eight of his last nine playoff starts, completed just 18-of-35 passes for 199 yards in a 23-16 loss to Green Bay on Oct. 9.

TV: 4:40 p.m. ET, FOX.

POWER RANKINGS: Giants (-2.5) - Packers (-4) + home field (-3) = Packers -4.5

LINE HISTORY: The Packers opened as 4.5-home favorites briefly faded to 3.5 Tuesday morning, returned to the opening number -4.5 later in the afternoon and has held ever since. The total opened at 44.5 and hasn’t moved off that number all week. Check out the complete history here.

WEATHER REPORT: The forecast for Lambeau Field is mostly sunny and bitter cold, with temperatures in mid-teens in the afternoon dropping to single digits into the evening. There will be winds blowing from the west between 8-12 mph.

WHAT SHARPS SAY: Another same season rematch with the Giants looking to avenge a 23-16 home loss suffered to the Packers in early October. El Manning’s postseason success jumps off the page (8-1 SUATS last nine playoff games), but Aaron Rodgers’ red-hot hand (6-0 SU down the stretch with 18 TDs and 0 INTs) certainly makes this a playoff game worth watching.

WHAT BOOKS SAY: We opened the Packers as -3.5 point favourite and quickly took action on the Giants to cover pushing us all the way down Packers -3.5. We then took sharp action on the Packers at that number pushing us up to -4 then -4.5 and finally to our current number of -5. We are seeing solid two way action on this game with 51% of that landing on the Packers to cover.

INJURY REPORT:

Giants -
S Nat Berhe (probable, concussion), CB Coty Sensabaugh (probable, ankle), CB Janoris Jenkins (probable, back), DE Owa Odighizuma (questionable, hamstring), DE Jason Pierre-Paul (questionable, hernia), TE Jerell Adams (questionable, shoulder), WR Dwayne Harris (questionable, knee)

Packers - WR Randall Cobb (probable, ankle), CB Damarious Randall (probable, knee), LB Clay Matthews (probable, shoulder), OT Bryan Bulaga (probable, abdominal), OT Jason Spriggs (questionable, shoulder), LB Nick Perry (questionable, hand), G T.J. Lang (questionable, foot), C JC Tretter (questionable, knee), LB Jayrone Elliott (questionable, hand), LB Joe Thomas (questionable, back), CB Quinten Rollins (doubtful, concussion), RB James Starks (out, concussion), CB Makinton Dorleant (IR, knee)

ABOUT THE GIANTS (11-5 SU, 9-6-1 ATS, 4-12 O/U):
The flashy Odell Beckham Jr. (NFL third-best 101 receptions for 1,367 yards) and fellow wideout Victor Cruz were quick to dismiss Monday's celebrity-filled off-day trip to Miami as "much ado about nothing" rather than any sort of distraction heading into the playoff game. Beckham had five receptions among his team-high 12 targets and found the end zone in the waning moments of the first meeting with the Packers while Cruz was held without a catch. Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week after reeling in two of his NFL second-best six interceptions in a 19-10 victory over Washington on Sunday.

ABOUT THE PACKERS (10-6 SU, 9-6-1 ATS, 10-6 O/U): Jordy Nelson recorded one of his NFL-best 14 touchdowns this season against the Giants, but he was quick to praise his opponents this week. "They've got a great secondary, from the corners and the safeties," he told reporters. "Not very often do teams have both - usually it's one or the other, for the most part. ... It will be a good battle." Randall Cobb won the battle the last time around with nine receptions for 108 yards, and the speedy wideout participated in both practices this week after missing the last two games with a left ankle injury. Fellow wide receiver Davante Adams, who also had a highlight-reel TD grab versus New York in the first meeting, had two touchdowns against the Lions last week and has five scoring receptions in his last five games at home.

TRENDS:

* Giants are 9-0 ATS in their last 9 playoff road games.
* Packers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a straight up win.
* Under is 7-1 in Giants last 8 games overall.
* Over is 4-1 in Packers last 5 vs. a team with a winning record.
* Giants are 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings.

CONSENSUS:
The bettors are backing the Giants with 54 percent of users taking the road dog. As for the total, 61 percent of wagers are on the Over.