Week 4 in the NFL has arrived with the Detroit Lions heading to Lambeau Field to take on the Green Bay Packers on Thursday Night Football. We're fired up and ready to watch this fierce NFC North rivalry. Check out the live odds and our best bets for Lions at Packers right here.
The Lions find themselves a one-point favorite on the road, after defeating the Atlanta Falcons at home 20-6 on Sunday. We thought the injury report might have a significant impact on the Lions efforts on Sunday, but they prevailed just fine despite numerous players missing the game with injury. The defense prevailed despite being extremely thin in the secondary after an injury to CJ Gardner Johnson.
The defensive front for the Lions were the star of the show generating a ton of pressure, resulting in seven sacks. The Lions held Desmond Ridder to a QBR of just 11.2. Despite the strong performance from the defense, I’m not looking to overreact this early in the season.
I think the strong defensive performance has a lot more to do with poor offense than good defense here for the Falcons. Despite seeing success on the ground in the first two games of the season, the Falcons weren’t as effective against the Lions.
Desmond Ridder is making an early case for being a bottom three starting quarterback in this league, at the helm for a Falcons team who cannot play from behind. Despite now ranking seventh in pressure rate, this Lions team only ranks 24th in defensive DVOA suggesting it could be time to sell this defense, coming off a 3-point performance.
On the other hand, the Packers are a very interesting unit that had low expectations coming into the year. Despite missing LT David Bakhtiari, RB Aaron Jones, and WR Christian Watson (yet to play in 2023), Jordan Love and company outscored the Saints 18-0 in the fourth quarter on their way to a 18-17 comeback victory. Jordan Love has been wildly inconsistent within games, often missing open throws and struggling with accuracy overall.
With Aaron Jones out the past two weeks, AJ Dillon simply has not been able to get it done as the lead back and the Packers are still without their top wide receiver. During the ramp up to Week 3, it seemed that Jones and Watson were trending upwards in terms of potential availability, but that didn’t end up being the case.
I’m curious if the Packers were showing a bit of schedule awareness, highlighting this short rest matchup against an important division foe in the Lions this week. The Packers also did not practice on Monday, seemingly to get their guys as healthy as possible for Week 4.
I’m going to be playing the over in this one at 45, available across the market. This one opened up Monday morning at 44.5 and saw a run to 46, with some buyback at that number. I’d be curious to see where this line ends up at gametime as I think positive injury news will only add support for the over.
The Packers and Lions rank 6th and 9th in offensive DVOA through this point in the season and I think we should continue to see that come Thursday night. The Lions secondary is very attackable and if Aaron Jones and Christian Watson are able to suit up, it’ll give the Packers offense the level of dynamism they need to put up points in this matchup.
While rookie RB Jahmyr Gibbs looked good at times as the lead back, it should be treated as a positive that David Montgomery is looking like he will be available on Thursday. Further, Amon-Ra St. Brown was removed from the injury report as it looks like his turf toe injury isn’t going to be holding him back going forward. LT Taylor Decker should also be back for this one supplanting the now injured Matt Nelson.
Decker’s return will help cement one of the league’s top five offensive lines. I expect Jared Goff and company to continue their offensive success against the Packers who could still be without their star CB Jaire Alexander. The Packers offense has looked sloppy to the eye test, but the performance has been good overall.