The Green Bay Packers are not used to losing streaks. And their horrendous string of five straight defeats has placed them far behind the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC North. So their best hope is to run for a wildcard spot, which means almost everything is a “must-win” game. They showed some real heart last week, with their backs against the wall, to roar back from a 14-point deficit to tie the Dallas Cowboys, send the game into overtime, and get back in the win column.
BetOnline customers will see if the Packers have what it takes to put together back-to-back winning efforts as they host the Tennessee Titans at Lambeau Field at 8:20 PM ET.
At 4-6 (both straight-up and against the spread), there is no realistic hope for Green Bay to catch the Minnesota Vikings for the division title. But with three wildcard slots available, they are far from eliminated. Tennessee is the first-place team in the AFC South, with a 6-3 record (7-2 against the number).
The Titans had to play a couple of games without Ryan Tannehill. They managed to survive with the vastly inexperienced Malik Willis at the controls, particularly in a game in which they were a double-digit underdog and took the high-octane Kansas City Chiefs into overtime. But they are not the kind of team that will pull away from many opponents, and last week they came from ten points down to beat Denver 17-10 in a workmanlike but not awe-inspiring effort.
Both of these teams know how to run the ball, although the visitor here has done it more frequently. Will this be one of those games where they slug it out in the trenches, or will Aaron Rodgers be able to open things up now that he may have found a go-to receiver?
In the Thursday Night Football lines posted on this game at BetOnline, the Packers are favored:-
Green Bay Packers -3 (-120)
Tennessee Titans +3 (+100)
Over 40.5 Points -110
Under 40.5 Points -110
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Rodgers, who has been intercepted an out-of-character seven times this season, has struggled to find rapport with a receiving corps that is no longer anchored by Davante Adams. But on Sunday, he connected for three touchdowns with rookie Christian Watson, which certainly offers hope. But it is perfectly conceivable that this team could lean on its ground game more. They had 207 rushing yards against Dallas and 208 against Buffalo two weeks before that. They have a workhorse in Aaron Jones (5.6 ypc), who can help them develop some dominance at the line of scrimmage.
But how does that hold up against the Titans, who have been tough to run on and tough to score on of late? Tennessee has allowed just 2.8 yards per attempt and 55 rushing yards a game over its last six outings. They have also surrendered just 14 ppg over that period. And they’ve been the NFL’s best on third down (27.9%). So despite the lack of a quick strike offense, resourceful head coach Mike Vrabel has devised a way to compete.
With Derrick Henry, they have a running back who has been the best in the NFL and might still be. He is averaging 102 yards per contest, and the Titans are more than willing to let him take the ball and help them move the chains. Tennessee has scored less than 20 points in each of its last four games, so they are not looking to get into an aerial battle. Their top receiver, Robert Woods, only has 24 receptions.
What Tennessee has in its favor is that the Packers have yielded 4.8 ypc overall and 152 yards per game on the ground over their last seven. And they are missing big-time tackler Rashan Gary, who has a knee injury. We should mention that Rodgers won’t have talented rookie Romeo Doubs to throw to on Thursday (ankle injury). And in those all-important red zone situations, no team has been the equal of the Titans, who have scored touchdowns 76.2% of the time (best in the NFL).
It’s well worth it to grab the points here and place your wagers on top NFL betting sites.
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