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Rams vs. Packers prediction: Back Green Bay as a home favorite on MNF

Coming off a bye and playing at chilly Lambeau Field, the Packers should easily handle shorthanded Rams

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers head into their Monday night home game against the Los Angeles Rams having averaged 27.3 points in their last four games. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers head into their Monday night home game against the Los Angeles Rams having averaged 27.3 points in their last four games. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)Read moreMichael Reaves / Getty Images

Had the Green Bay Packers not flatlined at home in last year’s NFC divisional playoff game against the San Francisco 49ers, they would’ve hosted the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Championship Game.

Nearly 11 months later, NFL fans finally get the chance to see Rams vs. Packers at Lambeau Field.

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The stakes and circumstances? Entirely different. Two division-winning teams that went a combined 27-9 in 2020-21 enter their Monday Night Football clash at Lambeau with a combined 9-17 record.

Although Green Bay (5-8 SU and ATS) has just one more victory than Los Angeles (4-9, 5-7-1 ATS), oddsmakers have the Packers laying a touchdown at home. It seems like an inflated number, especially since nine of 15 games in Week 15 have been decided by 6 points or less.

However, with the visitors once again missing multiple starters — and with bone-chilling weather on tap Monday night — we’re siding with the home team in our Rams vs. Packers prediction.

Note: Odds updated as of 2 a.m. ET on Dec. 19.

Rams vs. Packers Prediction

  1. Packers -7 (at FanDuel)

Rams vs. Packers Prediction: Analysis

All credit to the Rams, who have shown a lot of fight the last three weeks.

They held their own for 60 minutes at mighty Kansas City three weeks ago, losing 26-10 as a 16.5-point underdog behind their third-string quarterback. Los Angeles then returned home as a touchdown underdog to Seattle and led most of the way before falling 27-23 on a final-minute touchdown.

And last week, quarterback Baker Mayfield — just two days after being claimed off waivers — guided the Rams to two touchdowns in the final three-plus minutes to turn a 16-3 loss into a 17-16 win against the Raiders as a 6-point underdog.

So that’s three straight spread-covers for Los Angeles after starting the season 2-7-1 ATS.

Impressive. It’s just that we don’t believe the defending Super Bowl champs have the horses to do it again against the rested Packers, who are coming off a bye, as well as a comeback victory of their own.

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Two weeks, ago, Green Bay went to Chicago and scored 18 fourth-quarter points to erase a 19-10 deficit and win 28-19 as a 3.5-point road favorite. That was preceded by a back-and-forth Sunday night battle in Philadelphia, with the Packers ultimately losing 40-33.

That night, Green Bay had to face an Eagles team loaded with talent on both sides of the ball. On Monday, the Packers face an opponent loaded with talent in street clothes.

Mayfield will make his second start in place of the Rams’ initial backup quarterback, John Wolford, who is out again with a neck injury. Wolford, of course, had started a couple of games in place of starter Matthew Stafford, who is on injured reserve with his own neck issue.

Mayfield once again will be surrounded by an unheralded cast of characters. That’s because No. 1 wide receiver Cooper Kupp, the reigning NFL Offensive Player of the Year, is on IR with Stafford. So is No. 2 wide receiver Allen Robinson II.

On the opposite side of the ball, sack master and three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald (ankle) will miss his third straight game.

Green Bay has some injury concerns, too. The left side of the offensive line is ailing, and running back Aaron Jones (shin) was limited in practice during the week. Also, quarterback Aaron Rodgers continues to play through a thumb injury.

However, Rodgers and the offense have shown some life recently. After barely averaging 17 points in the first nine games, Green Bay has put up 27.3 points over the last four contests (31 against Dallas, 17 against Tennessee, 33 against Philly, 28 against Chicago).

Rodgers also has finally developed some chemistry with rookie wide receiver Christian Watson, who has 15 catches for 303 yards and seven touchdowns in the last four games.

Meanwhile, the Packers’ defense is fully healthy. It’s a defense that has struggled mightily against the run, giving up 154.8 yards per game. That ranks 30th in the NFL.

Well, guess what? L.A.’s rushing offense also ranks 30th in the NFL (86.1 yards per game).

And even though Mayfield has had 11 days to study the Rams’ system since the Week 14 Thursday nighter against Las Vegas, he’ll be facing a much tougher secondary. Green Bay is allowing the third fewest passing yards in the league (192.9); the Raiders allow the seventh most (244.3).

Another thing Mayfield and the Rams will be facing: Harsh weather conditions, with snow likely and temperatures in the teens.

That shouldn’t bother Mayfield, who spent his first four NFL seasons in Cleveland. However, it could be an issue for what’s left of a decimated team from sunny Hollywood.

Lastly, we’d be lying if we said we weren’t concerned about the fact that Green Bay has just five victories, only two of which were by more than three points (both against lowly Chicago).

But this is a prime-time game in front of the loyal home fans — during the holiday season, no less. So we’re confident if the Packers have a chance to give those fans a blowout victory, they will.

Given the health of their opponent and some very un-Southern California-like weather, we expect that chance to present itself. Lay the points at FanDuel and look for a 28-10 Green Bay rout.

Rams vs. Packers odds (via FanDuel)

  1. Point spread: Rams (+7) @ Packers (-7)

  2. Moneyline: Rams (+265) @ Packers (-330)

  3. Total: 39.5 points (Over -105/Under -115)

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