Betting Lions-Packers

Detroit hasn't won at Lambeau in ages, but it should get the nod

Originally Published: December 9, 2012
By Jeff Gold | ESPN Insider

Calvin JohnsonWesley Hitt/Getty ImagesThe Lions don't have much to play for, but Calvin Johnson is still dangerous.

This is not a misprint: The Detroit Lions have lost 20 straight games to the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. That is so beyond what is even remotely mathematically logical that it's hard to even fathom.

Consider this: If a team is 75 percent likely to win an NFL game -- and a number that high is unusual in the NFL -- the likelihood of it happening 20 times in a row is approximately 1 in 333. Yes, there were times when the Packers had a better-than-75 percent chance of beating the Lions, like in 2008, when Detroit went 0-16. But the vast majority of NFL games aren't even that lopsided in terms of probability.

Green Bay has been something of a mystery. The Packers haven't resembled the unstoppable offense of last season, but it's impossible to ignore that they have the sport's best player, and we've seen them go into Houston on a Sunday night and trounce the Texans. After putting up a dreadful performance against the Giants two Sunday nights ago, there's no doubt the Packers will want to have a better showing on national TV on Sunday night. Playoff implications, both for the division and a possible bye, are huge for Green Bay.

Detroit's season is over. The only question is whether Calvin Johnson can break Jerry Rice's single-season mark of 1,848 yards, set in 1995. Johnson has 1,428 through 12 games, putting him on pace for 1,904.

According to ESPN PickCenter, the public is backing the Packers at a 52.4 percent rate. Considering how much the public likes favorites, it's actually surprising the number isn't more one-sided.

Let's get some line analysis from Jay Kornegay, the bookmaker at the Las Vegas Hotel, and a pick from handicapper Geoff Kulesa of Wunderdog Sports.


Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers

Spread: Opened at Packers -7, now Packers -6.5
Total: Opened at 51; now 48.5