By Lawrence Smelser
Check out this page weekly to see updated odds, and ESTNN’s picks and projections on who will win weekly matchups and futures bets in the NFC North.
Our Pro pick on the Detroit Lions vs. Green Bay Packers matchup
Divisional rivals Detroit and Green Bay will face off in Lambeau Field on Sunday Night Football with the winner booking their ticket to the postseason. The broadcast can be seen on NBC.
Green Bay (8-8) appeared to be eliminated from playoff contention at 4-8 earlier this year but reeled off four consecutive wins over Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami and Minnesota. If the Packers win Sunday’s contest they’ll secure the No. 7 seed in the NFC playoffs.
The Lions (8-8) have to beat Green Bay and also need the Los Angeles Rams to beat the Seahawks (8-8) if they are to sneak into the postseason. Dan Campbell’s team has won four of its last five games and completely turned around its season after starting the campaign 1-6.
Matt LaFleur’s Packers are coming off a 41-17 demolition of the Vikings. The Lions enter the game after dismantling the Bears 41-10.
The moneyline odds set on BetMGM are Detroit (+180) vs. Green Bay (-225). Oddsmakers currently favor the Packers by 4.5 points. Our pick at ESTNN is to take the Packers to win straight up.
The game total is set for 49 points. Among the public, 58% percent of bets are on Detroit to cover the 4.5-point spread and 71% of wagers are on Green Bay to win straight up.
Our best bet on who will win the NFC North in 2023
The Vikings are NFC North Champions for the first time since 2017. Despite being underdogs in the preseason, they managed to overthrow the Packers’ reign as champs.
Preseason odds to win NFC North on FanDuel:
- Green Bay -125
- Minnesota +125
- Detroit +1700
- Chicago +2500
For more information on the standings of other NFC Divisions, read our pages for the NFC South, NFC East and NFC West.
What is the current situation in the NFC North
Green Bay Packers
The Packers have now won four-straight games with wins over the Bears, (28-19) Rams, (24-12) Dolphins (26-20) and Vikings (41-17.) At 8-8, the team is just one win away from earning a playoff spot.
Second-round rookie Christian Watson has become the Packers’ top receiving threat. Watson has recorded eight touchdowns in four of the last eight games.
The Packers play Detroit on Jan. 8 at 8:20 p.m. ET in Lambeau Field. It could be Rodgers’ last game in Titletown.
The Vikings (12-4) are the division champions and will focus on trying to earn the No. 2 seed in the NFC. The team clinched the division in its 39-36 comeback win over the Colts. O’Connell and his men are one game behind the Eagles (13-3) for first place in the NFC but do not hold the tiebreaker after losing in week 2 so cannot earn the No. 1 seed.
The Vikings travel to face division rival Chicago on Sunday. Earlier this season, Minnesota ousted them 29-22.
Quarterback Kirk Cousins put together a poor passing day against Green Bay, throwing for 205 yards, one touchdown and three touchdowns on 18-of-31 attempts. He finished with a 10.3 quarterback rating.
Chicago is 3-13 and might as well tank for a high draft pick. The Bears are currently in position to obtain the No. 2 overall pick. Last year, the team finished 6-11 and fired head coach Matt Nagy after the regular season. The Bears’ front office brought in Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus as Nagy’s replacement.
Eberflus will have at least a year or two more to prove he can turn things around in the windy city. His squad is currently on a nine-game losing streak. Chicago is out of playoff contention.
After finishing 3-13-1 in 2021, the Lions (8-8) have a chance to miraculously qualify for the postseason. After losing to the Panthers 37-24 in week 16, the team bounced back with a win over the Bears in week 17.
The Lions will face off against the Packers on Sunday Night Football. If Seattle loses to the Rams, a win will get the Lions in. If Seattle wins, the Lions are eliminated and will have to play for pride.
If you want to learn about who will likely make the NFC Championship, view our NFC Championship picks page.