R-E-L-A-X… Green Bay fans, the Packers have made the playoffs! With just four wins in their last 10 games, it’s probably not the sort-of grand playoff entry many Packers fans would have expected, but when you consider how a team like the New York Jets heartlessly missed out on the postseason games, a No. 5 Wild Card spot in the NFC is just as good as any.
Fortunately or unfortunately, the Packers (10-6) have just one more chance to prove their worth in the playoff NFL lines in the form of an NFC Wild Card clash against the Washington Redskins (9-7) on Sunday, January 10th. The game, slated to start at 4:40 PM ET, will be played at the FedEx Field, Landover in Washington, with the TV broadcast being brought to you by FOX. If the Packers screw up, they’ll be packing their bags and joining the 20 teams that have already out of Super Bowl contention.
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) January 8, 2016
Is it time for the Aaron Rodgers and the Packers to make good value of their big reputation, or will their regular season demons follow them into the postseason? Stay with us, as we take you through a brief online NFL betting preview of this clash.
How to Bet the Green Bay Packers vs. Washington Redskins NFC Wild Card NFL Odds
The Packers are (-1) NFL odds favorites to beat the Redskins. The money lines have the Packers at -105 and the Redskins at -115, with the game total set at 45. Here’s your guide on where the smart money is at.
Why Bet on the Packers -1
A series of injuries in Green Bay’s O-line and a depleted group of receiving corps has been the major cause of Rodgers’ struggles this season. The Packers won’t still be getting Jordy Nelson back for this game, meaning Rodgers will have to rely on the trio of Randall Cobb, James Jones, Randall Cobb and tight end Richard Rodgers and tight end Richard Rodgers to continue shouldering the aerial baggage. Given the way the three have played serviceably this season, there is hope that Rodgers and his receivers could take advantage of Washington’s 25th-ranked passing defense that is allowing 258 yards per game and has given up the ninth-most passing touchdowns (30) in the NFL this season.
Similarly, running backs Eddie Lacy and James Starks will have a favorable match up against Washington’s leaky rush defense that is giving up 4.8 yards per carry this season and ranks 26th in the nation with 122.6 yards rushing allowed per game.
Why Bet on the Redskins +1
Hate all you want, but the Redskins are NFC East champs, and rightfully so, after a stellar season that saw them beat all kinds of odds to reach here. Led by quarterback Kirk Cousins, who has thrown 20 TDs and only 3 picks in his last 10 games, and finished the regular season with NFL’s best completion percentage (69.8), along with a franchise record of having thrown at least one touchdown pass in all his 16 games; the Redskins have been a wrecking ball this season (especially in the second half of the year), making them team worthy of being trusted with house money this Sunday.
And if that isn’t comforting enough, then you can take solace in the fact that Cousins has been playing better at home than on the road this season. The Washington QB recorded 2,170 yards with 16 touchdowns against two interceptions with a passer rating of 117 when playing at the FedEx Field, as opposed to his 1,996 yard and 13 touchdowns against nine interceptions with a passer rating of 83.9 when playing on the road. With such numbers, a healthy group of receivers led by Jordan Reed, a dangerous running game spearheaded by Alfred Morris, and a motivated Washington team playing at home, there’s definitely a lot to hope for here.
The biggest advantage for the Redskins will, however, not in their stellar Cousins-led offense, but rather the struggles in Green Bay’s offense and defense in recent times. Case-and-point, in Week 16, the Packers were manhandled to a 38-8 loss at Arizona, followed by a 20-13 home loss to the Vikings in the de facto NFC North Championship Game. In that stretch, QB Rodgers registered a pathetic quarterback rating of 9.4 vs. Arizona and then a 33.6 rating against Minnesota, underlining his struggles with his passing game. Meanwhile, Lacy totaled just 94 rushing yards in those past two games, while James Starks had 35 yards with a lost fumble. So, even with the aforementioned weaknesses in Washington’s defense, it would be a big gamble to trust Rodgers and Co. to all-of-a-sudden get hot in the offense. As for Green Bay’s defense, the struggles have been here for quite some time now, dating back to as many as five years ago, so it will probably be the same-ol’ story for them.
Expert NFL Picks & Final Score Prediction
Given this is the playoffs, it would be a big mistake to write off Aaron Rodgers from giving us some of the magic we’ve known him to produce in high-caliber games. After all, the Packers—even with their struggles—are decently 7-3 ATS in their last 10 road games (including last season’s come-from-behind loss at Seattle). Nonetheless, the Redskins have been holding their own recently, impressively going 6-2 SU/ATS in their last eight games. And to make matters better for them, Cousins has been playing better football than Rodgers. So when all is said and done, both defenses should be able to give up a good number of points (due to their leaky defenses), but with Washington most likely having the last laugh over their misleadingly overvalued visitors.
My Final Predicted Score: Washington 30, Green Bay 28.