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BETTING PREVIEW AND PICKS: Green Bay Packers vs. New York Giants

Dec 1, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) breaks free from the grasp of New York Giants linebacker Lorenzo Carter (59) to throw a fourth quarter TD pass at MetLife Stadium.
Dec 1, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) breaks free from the grasp of New York Giants linebacker Lorenzo Carter (59) to throw a fourth quarter TD pass at MetLife Stadium. Photo by Robert Deutsch /USA TODAY Sports

This week from London, it’s the Green Bay Packers (3-1) vs. the New York Giants (3-1). After years of being forced to watch the pre-Doug Pederson Jacksonville Jaguars over and over, football fans in the U.K. are finally getting some entertaining action this year. So brew yourself some tea, or steep it, or whatever you do to make it, and get your Sunday off to a good start with the earliest of the early games at 9 a.m. ET.

Both these teams are still a bit of a mystery four games into the season.

Don Brennan’s daily hit on the world of sports betting. Whether you’re new to sports gambling or an experienced wagerer, this newsletter offers trustworthy insights into the odds game. 19+. Please gamble responsibly.

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The Packers improved defence has them winning ugly, or the exact types of games the Aaron Rodgers-led Packers used to almost always lose. The offence is still figuring out its identity in the post-Davante Adams era, the main problem being how to take advantage of a hall-of-fame quarterback when your best weapon is your running-back tandem?

On the other sideline are the surprise 3-1 Giants. The rejuvenated and healthy Saquon Barkley is being used to his full potential by new head coach Brian Daboll, and quarterback Daniel Jones (who apparently WILL play on Sunday despite an ankle injury) has proven to have big play gifts but also a penchant for putting his body in harm’s way. The Giants wide receiving unit is so bad it makes the Packers’ receiver situation look great.

All of this is a long way of saying, I’m staying away from picking either side of the Packers -8 point spread. Instead, I’m looking squarely at player props.

Allen Lazard OVER 44.5 yards receiving
Lazard spent the entire off-season as the default choice to become the Packers No. 1 receiver and we are beginning to see his role materialize. What Lazard lacks in speed, he makes up for in chemistry with Rodgers, a big frame, and his contested catch ability. Since missing week one with an ankle injury, Lazard has been ramping up both targets and production toward the level that was expected of him. Targets have gone up (3, 6, 8); receptions have gone up (2, 4, 6); and yards have gone up (13, 45, 116). Expect more of the same this week as he settles into his role while the rookies develop.

Saquon Barkley OVER 114.5 total yards receiving and rushing
With totals of 194, 88, 126, 162 so far this season, I’m happy to ride with Barkley until there is a reason not to. The Packers defence looks very good this year, but attacking on the ground is still the best way to move the ball against them. And if the Giants hope to slow down exceptional pass-rusher Rashan Gary, and keep Daniel Jones upright, they’ll need to get the ball to Barkley quickly and often.

Aaron Rodgers OVER 1.5 passing touchdowns
After getting blanked in week one, Rodgers has thrown two touchdown passes in each of his last three games. There is no reason to think the Giants will stop that. Yes, the Giants have given up just four passing touchdowns over their first four games, but they have faced Ryan Tannehill, Baker Mayfield, Cooper Rush, and Justin Fields. Aaron Rodgers is not one of those guys.