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NFL Week 18 lines: Detroit Lions slight underdogs to Packers, who plan to play starters

The Lions are only slight underdogs to the Packers in Week 18, suggesting maybe Green Bay doesn’t play their starters for the entire game.

Green Bay Packers v Detroit Lions Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images

The Detroit Lions have not been a Vegas favorite for a single matchup in their 2021 season. And despite facing a Green Bay Packers team in Week 18 that already has the No. 1 seed in the NFC locked up, the Lions will remain an underdog for their final season of the game.

According to DraftKings Sportsbook, the Lions are mere 2.5-point underdogs to the Packers.

It’s an odd line, but it’s likely based on some confusion as to how the Packers will deploy their roster in the final regular season game. Packers head coach Matt LaFleur said on Monday that the current plan is to play the starters to avoid having too much time off for his key players before their Round 2 matchup in the postseason.

“Right now, the mindset is going into this, that we’re going to play our guys and we’re going to approach it like every other game,” LaFleur said. “I just think the reason behind that is I’m not comfortable having essentially a three-week layoff for our guys.”

Both quarterback Aaron Rodgers and star wideout Davante Adams have both expressed their desire to play, too.

But Vegas either remains unconvinced or believes the Packers starters will only play for a portion of the game before riding the bench the rest of the way. Because a 2.5-point spread, even giving the Lions the customary three-point home field advantage, is far lower than it would be during a normal week between the Lions and Packers.

That being said, the Lions are 10-6 against the spread this year, so maybe Vegas is onto something.