The Packers beat the Cowboys last week to snap a five-game losing streak, and they are now a 3-point favorite against a Tennessee team that has won six of its last seven games. Tennessee has won six of its last seven games. Do you think it’s more likely that the Packers will win again, or do you think it’s more likely that the Titans will continue to find ways to win?
Marks: It is anticipated that the weather will be extremely severe, with temperatures of 20 degrees, winds of 20 miles per hour, the possibility of snow, and temperatures that will feel like they are in the single digits. It is expected that Rodgers will thrive in these conditions at home, where the Packers score on 37% of their offensive drives, compared to only 20% when they are playing away from home.
The Titans are the worst team in the league when it comes to their performance in the second half, scoring on only 7% of their offensive possessions. Both of these teams have one of the slowest paces in the entire NFL. I’m going to take the Packers -3 and go under the total.
Schatz: I believe the spread is correct here, but I’ll go with Anita and take the under at 41. It’s not just the brutal weather, but also the speed. The Titans rank last in the league with a play every 30.9 seconds, while the Packers rank 30th with a play every 30.2 seconds.
Moody: Although I’m not sure if they’re truly back, I recommend betting on the Packers to cover the spread at home on Thursday night. The Packers are 6-1-1 against the spread in their last eight Thursday night games. On Sunday, they finally broke through offensively against the Cowboys at Lambeau Field, and they won. Thursday night will be cold in Green Bay, with the wind chill making it feel like 6 degrees. There is also the possibility of snow. The Titans have gone 4-0 against the spread in their last four road games, but the Packers are much better in front of the Cheeseheads.
Snellings: I’ll bet against the Titans and take the points. They’ve simply been playing at a higher level than the Packers all season. Furthermore, with the Titans’ emphasis on the power run game, the weather conditions appear to be working in their favor. Trying to take on Derrick Henry all night in subzero temperatures? I imagine that by the 15th or 20th carry, the Titans’ defense is in for a nightmare.
Fitz: In this matchup, I like the Titans. LOVE. The Packers have struggled against the run this season, and they are about to face a Titans team that will do anything to run the ball. The under is always my “Thursday Night Football” pick, and I believe the Titans will slow this game down to maximize time of possession. The loss of Titans center Ben Jones is significant for the offensive line, but it won’t help Green Bay. Tennessee is experiencing a “pay attention to us, too” moment.
Aaron Rodgers, the two-time defending NFL MVP, has had a down year by his standards. His projections for Thursday’s game against the Titans are 247.5 passing yards. 22.5 attempts, 33.5 completions, and 1.5 touchdowns. Are you going to take any of them?
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Dolan: Rodgers has more than 1.5 passing touchdowns. He has reached this mark in seven of the ten games he has played this season. The Titans’ pass defense ranks 31st in the league, allowing 273 passing yards per game. Green Bay is only scoring 19 points per game, but I believe the Titans’ defense will be exposed through the air.
Rodgers has over 1.5 passing touchdowns and over 33.5 passing attempts. The Titans have one of the league’s best rushing defenses, so teams must pass against them to win. Quarterbacks are averaging 40 passing attempts per game against Tennessee (Patrick Mahomes threw it 68 times), and 80% of the Packers’ touchdowns have come through the air, while 90% of the Titans’ touchdowns have come through the air.
Fitz: I like the over on 1.5 touchdowns because Green Bay will struggle to run the ball in this game and will have to rely on Rodgers to stay in it. I also believe that the Packers will be prone to turnovers, so I prefer Rodgers. 5 interceptions appears to be easy money.
Derrick Henry leads the Titans. Henry (923 yards) is eight yards behind NFL leader Saquon Barkley in rushing. His rushing prediction for Thursday is 97.5 yards, and he is the +225 favorite to finish the season with the most rushing yards. Are you a game prop or a future player?
Marks: Henry rushed for 97.5 yards. Henry is the Titans’ straw, and he now faces a Packers defense that ranks 27th in the NFL against the run (28th in yards before contact and 25th after). Henry is averaging more than 120 yards per game, and with temperatures expected to drop into the single digits, he will be difficult to stop – let alone anyone who tries.
Schatz: It’s not just that Henry gets the vast majority of the Titans’ carries, but the Packers’ defense is abysmal against the run. They are last in the league in defensive adjusted line yards and 31st in runner stuffing for loss or no gain. Henry should have no trouble piling up rushing yardage, especially in the cold weather, and I expect him to go over his rushing prop.
Snellings: Henry rushed for 97.5 yards. As I previously stated, this appears to be a Henry game to me. The Titans’ reliance on him, the weather, and the Packers’ struggles against the run all conspire to make him a viable option for me.
Fitz: I’ll echo what everyone else has said. I’m confident in that over 97.5 rushing yards, but I also like the season’s most rushing yards. The Titans are never cute. They do what they do and are unconcerned about usage. The fact that Henry is only eight yards behind Barkley in a season in which the Titans’ quarterback play has been either average (Tannehill) or downright awful (Willis) speaks to their ability to run the ball even when they have no other options. I don’t see why that should change in the final stretch for The King or his team.
Fortenbaugh: I’ll take under 41 points. We know Tennessee wants to run the ball with Henry, which should work well against a Green Bay defense that ranks 30th in the NFL in terms of rush DVOA, according to Football Outsiders. The Packers put on a good offensive performance against Dallas, but they still rank 25th in the NFL in scoring (18.5 PPG).
Aaron Jones has over 24.5 receiving yards. Despite AJ DIllon’s availability, Jones is the Packers’ starting running back. Because the Titans only allow 3.9 yards per carry, teams average fewer than 20 carries per game and become more reliant on the pass. Jones is an important part of the Packers’ passing attack, averaging over 20 yards per game (nine catches for 53 yards last game) and has 228 yards on the season. The Titans have struggled against receiving ball carriers.
Ryan Tannehill under 187.5 passing yards, according to Moody. The Packers’ defense ranks seventh in the league in terms of rushing yards allowed per game. All season, the Titans have relied heavily on Henry, and that trend appears to be continuing. Tennessee has run the ball on 52% of its plays this season, which is tied for third in the league. 41% is the league average. The Titans should run the ball given the matchup and weather. This season, Tannehill has averaged 193.1 passing yards per game.