Vikings Packers Odds
This Sunday the Green Bay Packers (5-5) will host the Minnesota Vikings in the second meeting between these two NFC North rivals. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 EST at Lambeau Field and will be televised locally on FOX. The Packers won the first matchup 44-31 at Minnesota. Green Bay has won seven of eight overall in the series, but without Aaron Rodgers at quarterback this game could go either way. Oddsmakers currently have the Packers listed as 4.5-point home favorites with the total set at 44 points.
Why Minnesota Will Cover:
The perception that no player means more to their team than Rodgers is holding true. The Packers lost 20-27 at home to the Bears in a game where Rodgers was hurt in the first quarter and have lost the last two weeks by two touchdowns to the Eagles and Giants. As bad as the Vikings have looked this season, they are not only capable of covering the 4.5-point spread, but I could see them winning this game outright.
While a lot of the focus has been on backup quarterback Scott Tolzien, it’s the Green Bay defense that has really let this team down. The Packers have allowed 27 points or more in each of their last five games. That includes 31-points to the Vikings back in Week 8. Minnesota might not have a lot to play for in terms of making the playoffs, but they should be plenty motivated against their division rival. especially after losing at home to Green Bay earlier this season. The Vikings would love nothing more than to play a key roll in the Packers missing the playoffs.
There’s a solid system favoring Minnesota based on revenge. Road underdogs off a road loss that are revenging a loss against an opponent are 60-28 (68.2%) ATS over the last 10 seasons. Even the Vikings 21-point loss to the Seahawks sets them up in a favorable spot to cover. Favorites off a road loss against an opponent off a road loss by 21 points or more are just 34-67 (33.7%) ATS since 1983.
Road underdogs off a road loss that are revenging a loss against an opponent are 60-28 (68.2%) ATS over the last 10 seasons.
Why Green Bay Will Cover:
The fact that the Packers are listed as a 4.5-point favorite after back-to-back blowout losses to the Eagles and Giants and Rodgers isn’t expected back until maybe next week, tells you just what oddsmakers think of the Vikings. This isn’t just another division game for Green Bay, it’s arguably the defining game in their hopes of making the playoffs. With the Lions hosting the Bucs and Chicago on the road against the Rams, there’s a good chance the Packers will be two-games back with just five games left. Plain and simple, this is a must win game and it’s hard to bet against Green Bay delivering at home even without Rodgers. The Packers are 21-8 ATS in their last 29 home games overall and 15-5-1 ATS in their last 21 home games vs a team with a losing road record.
The Packers are 21-8 ATS in their last 29 home games overall and 15-5-1 ATS in their last 21 home games vs a team with a losing road record
One of the big reasons the defense has been giving up so many points, is the offense has struggled to protect the football. The Packers have turned it over five times in the last two games and all five have come via an interception from Scott Tolzien. Outside of the costly mistakes, Tolzien has looked impressive. He completed 24 of 34 attempts for 339 yards last week against the Giants and was 24 of 39 for 280 yards the week before vs the Eagles. Not only do the Vikings rank 29th in the league against the pass (280.1 ypg), but they in the bottom half of the league with just eight interceptions. If Tolzien can take care of the football, this game could very easily turn into a blowout.
There’s also reason to believe the Packers’ stop unit will hold Minnesota well below the 31 points they allowed in the first meeting. Minnesota had just 243 yards of offense on a mere 15 first downs. 14 of the Vikings 31 points came late in the 4th quarter after Green Bay had built up a 41-17 lead. Minnesota also benefited from Cordarrelle Patterson returning the opening kickoff 109 yards for a touchdown.
Not only is there a good chance the Packers will do a better job of protecting the football, but they should be able to create a few turnovers of their own. Minnesota has coughed up the football 22 times this season, only the Giants with 29 have turned it over more in the NFC. Getting takeaways has been a bit of a problem for Green Bay. They have forced just three in their last five games. Teams who have gone 5 consecutive games where they forced 1 or less turnovers against an opponent who turned it over 3 or more times in their last game are 43-17 (71.7%) ATS since 1983.
Early Lean – Packers -4.5