With superstar quarterback Aaron Rodgers back under center, everyone, including NFL oddsmakers everywhere – are expecting the Green Bay Packers to be a lot better off as they get set for their Week 15 road date against Cam Newton and the NFL Week 15 lines favorite Carolina Panthers.
However, even with Rodgers back after missing eight weeks because of a broken collarbone, the questions need to be asked. Can he lead the Packers to what would amount to a huge upset against a Carolina Panthers team that looks like a legitimate playoff participant and Super Bowl hopeful?
Let’s find out the answer to one of the biggest questions surround the entire Week 15 schedule!
Green Bay (7-6) at Carolina (9-4) NFL Week 15 Lines & Expert Pick
McCarthy on @AaronRodgers12: “You have to play your game”
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) 13 de diciembre de 2017
- When: Sunday, December 17, 2017, 1:00 PM ET
- Where: Bank of America Stadium
- TV: FOX
- Radio: 105.3 FM (Green Bay) / 1110 AM (Carolina)
- Live Stream: Fox Sports Go
- NFL Week 15 Lines: Carolina Panthers -3 (Over/Under at 47)
- Overcast: 11°C/51°F
- Humidity: 51%
- Precipitation: 18%
- Cloud Cover: 80%
- Wind: 6 mph SE
- Stadium Type: Open
- All: Packers 7-6 / Panthers 9-4
- Home: Packers 4-3 / Panthers 4-2
- Away: Packers 3-3 / Panthers 5-2
- ATS: Packers 7-6 / Panthers 8-4-1
- Over/Under: Packers 9-4 / Panthers 8-5
Why Bet the Green Bay Packers Odds at +2.5?
Why bet on the Packers in this Week 15 matchup? Because Aaron Rodgers is back silly, that’s why!
Rodgers has impressed his coaches and teammates from the first time he was seen doing drills a month ago in his first public throwing session before the Nov. 26 game in Pittsburgh, to running the scout team in practice last week. Veteran linebacker Clay Matthews kidded that Rodgers looked so good during the rehab process that the Packers shouldn’t have put him on injured reserve.
“Well if he comes back, like I’ve been saying, arguably the best quarterback in the league, back to your team, everyone is going to get better,” Matthews said after Sunday’s overtime win at Cleveland. “Not only him being out there, but also the shot in the arm as we talk about him coming back.
“Watching him in practice and what he’s been able to do these past couple weeks, getting more and more reps in practice and throwing on the pads, I think it’s a good sign. I’m not going to speak on his behalf, but we sure hope he’s ready and if he is, we’re going to expect the Aaron of old.”
While there’s no doubt that the Packers are going to have a much better chance to reach the postseason with Rodgers back, I also think it’s really telling that Green Bay struggled to get by the likes of the lowly Buccaneers and Browns in overtime the last two weeks.
Yes, I know that backup quarterback Brett Hundley has been absolutely awful by throwing eight TD passes – and eight interceptions, but the Packers have problems in several other areas.
Why Bet on the Carolina Panthers Odds at -2.5?
Why bet on the Panthers? Because this season they’re the better team and they’re playing home at home, not to mention they’ve got a ton to play for!
Carolina picked up a fantastic 31-24 win last weekend over a red-hot Minnesota Vikings team that had won eight straight games prior to their Week 14 meeting against the Panthers. Cam Newton had a game-altering 62-yard run in the win that put the Vikings on their heels.
“It was definitely a big win for us as a football team,” outside linebacker Thomas Davis said. “We didn’t play well at all last week. We knew we were going against a really good football team. They’re sitting No. 1 in the NFC, so we knew we had a tough challenge ahead of us. We knew this game was going to come down to the fourth quarter.”
Said Newton, who also made a statement in his postgame news conference with a brimless hat, “We’re just trying to get winning DNA.”
“It’s definitely a confidence booster,” nickel back Captain Munnerlyn said.
The Panthers have won five of their last six games including three straight at home. Carolina has scored 31 points or more in three of their last four games and has gotten some increasingly effective performances out of running back Jonathan Stewart the last few weeks including stellar 103 yards and three touchdowns against Minnesota last Sunday.
Now, they say they’re getting ready to face Rodgers.
“That automatically makes them one of the better offenses overall in the entire league,” defensive end Wes Horton said.
Veteran tight end Greg Olsen said he understands why there’s so much attention on Rodgers
“He’s special,” Olsen said. “There’s not many guys like him out there.”
Latest NFL Week 15 Lines Betting Trends
- Packers are 4-1 ATS in the last 5 games
- Packers are 15-7 SU in the last 22 games
- The total went OVER in 5 of Green Bay’s last 6 games
- Panthers are 5-1 ATS in the last 6 games
- Panthers are 5-1 SU in the last 6 games
- The totalwent OVER in 4 of Carolina’s last 5 games
Expert Analysis and Prediction
While Packers fans everywhere are fired up about the return of Aaron Rodgers, I believe the compelling 67 percent of public bettors that are going with Carolina in this contest is making the right pick, seeing as how Green Bay’s defense is awful and almost assuredly won’t be able to stop Cam Newton and Stewart.
The Packers may be 4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games and a stellar 25-10 ATS in their last 35 games in the month of December, but Carolina has gone 7-2-1 ATS in their last 10 games in Week 15 and 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall while the home team in this NFC rivalry has gone 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings. Simply put, Carolina back their NFL Week 15 lines to win and covers a spread that should actually be a few points higher!
Pick: Carolina Panthers -2.5