Green Bay Packers (7-6) at Carolina Panthers (9-4)
|Date & Time||Sunday December 17, 2017, 1:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Carolina Panthers -3 -- Over/Under: 45
The Green Bay Packers and Carolina Panthers meet Sunday in NFL action at Bank of America Stadium.
The Green Bay Packers look for their third straight victory to remain in the thick of the NFC wild card race. The Green Bay Packers have split their last six road games. Brett Hundley is completing 63.9 percent of his passes for 1,534 yards, eight touchdowns and eight interceptions. Aaron Rodgers is questionable for this game, as he hopes to return from a collarbone injury. Davante Adams and Randall Cobb have combined for 1,330 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns while Jordy Nelson has 47 receptions. The Green Bay Packers ground game is averaging 106.8 yards per contest, and Aaron Jones leads the way with 388 yards and four touchdowns. Defensively, Green Bay is allowing 23.2 points and 354.1 yards per game. Blake Martinez leads the Green Bay Packers with 119 tackles, Clay Matthews has 7.5 sacks and Damarious Randall has four interceptions.
The Carolina Panthers look for another victory after winning five of their last six games to stay in the NFC South race. The Carolina Panthers have won three straight home games. Cam Newton is completing 60 percent of his passes for 2,720 yards, 17 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Newton has one or less touchdown passes in six of his last eight games. Devin Funchess and Christian McCaffrey have combined for 1,281 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns while Kelvin Benjamin has 32 receptions. The Carolina Panthers ground game is averaging 134.5 yards per contest, and Jonathan Stewart leads the way with 634 yards and six touchdowns. Defensively, Carolina is allowing 20.2 points and 302.1 yards per game. Luke Kuechly leads the Carolina Panthers with 103 tackles, Julius Peppers has 9.5 sacks and Mike Adams has two interceptions.
The Packers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games, 25-10 ATS in their last 35 games in December and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall. The Panthers are 7-2-1 ATS in their last 10 games in Week 15, 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games on grass and 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall. The home team is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings, the underdog is 9-3-1 ATS in their last 13 meetings and the over is 6-0 in the last 6 meetings.
This is a tough game to predict due to the unknown if Rodgers will be cleared to play. I'm assuming he will be ready to go considering he was throwing the ball around 50-plus yards a couple of weeks ago and was working with the scout team that had teammates saying he's the same old Rodgers. If Rodgers is cleared, I like the Packers to win this game outright, so I'll be on the free field goal as well. Rodgers is the LeBron of the NFL. No matter what's going on with his team, you still pick the Packers because they have No. 12. Who cares if the defense struggles or if the offensive line can't block consistently. Rodgers will figure it out. We've seen the Packers be down and out in the past, and the quarterback comes in to save the day to get his team into the playoffs and make a run. It's on the table for the Packers now. The Panthers are winning games and are fresh off an impressive win over the Vikings, but Carolina is always running hot and cold and a stinker from Cam is never too far away.
If Rodgers plays, I'm backing Green Bay.