Forgive Detroit Lions fans for feeling like the longest regular season in NFL history felt even longer.
The team and its fans are finally reaching the end this Sunday, as the Lions were 3-point underdogs to open for the home finale against the Green Bay Packers.
With COVID-19 considerations and the Packers looming playoffs situation casting a shadow on the Week 18 matchup, there were some shifts in the line this week. By Tuesday morning, Michigan online sportsbooks even gave them a better shot, making the Lions just 2.5-point dogs. On Sunday as game time neared, it was back up to 3 or even 3.5 points at most books.
Green Bay has clinched home-field advantage and the first seed throughout the NFC playoffs, earning a first-round bye with a 13-3 record through 16 games.
The Lions meanwhile are careening toward the top of next year’s NFL Draft. Detroit is 2-13-1 and assured a selection among the top two. A Detroit loss and Jacksonville win at home against Indianapolis could get the Lions the No. 1 pick.
Detroit has actually fared very well against the spread
Detroit is 10-6 against the spread this season and has been underdogs in every game. However, a 2.5-point spread would tie the shortest line the Lions have faced all season, matching the spread from Thanksgiving against the Chicago Bears.
Sunday’s 1 p.m. EST game at Ford Field will be carried on FOX.
There were no posted lines over the summer for NFL Week 18 games because of the expected uncertainty. As game week opens, the picture really isn’t all that much clearer for this one.
Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions: NFL Week 18 Odds
Rookie WR Amon-Ra St. Brown stars as Lions sputter
There have been bright spots for the Lions as this rough rookie season for coach Dan Campbell has winded down.
Chief among them has been the play of rookie wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown in the season’s closing weeks.
St. Brown had eight catches for 111 yards in last week’s 51-29 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. That’s five straight games with eight receptions or more for the USC product, an NFL rookie record. That streak also ties the great Calvin Johnson for the longest such streak in franchise history, a record Megatron set in 2012.
Another fantastic season for Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
Fans might not get to see him for the Week 18 matchup, as resting for the playoffs could be in order.
Still, Lions fans have seen plenty of Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers over the years.
Rodgers is the MVP favorite at FanDuel Michigan, sitting at -400 on Monday. Next up was Tampa Bay’s Tom Brady at +550.
Rodgers has tormented the Lions, going 18-5 as a starter outright against Detroit. However, as a PlayMichigan statistical analysis showed, he’s actually not as great against the spread, going 12-11 against the number vs. Detroit over the years.