Two NFC North rivals will go to battle this Sunday when the Minnesota Vikings (4-6, 5-5 ATS) host the Green Bay Packers (7-3, 6-3-1 ATS). Kickoff is scheduled 1:00 EST at TCF Bank Stadium and will be televised locally on FOX. Oddsmakers currently have the Packers listed as a 9-point road favorite with the total set at 48.5 points.
Green Bay comes into this contest off two of their most impressive performances of the season. After returning from their bye with a 55-14 win over the Bears in Week 10, the Packers rolled over the Eagles 53-20 this past Sunday. Minnesota on the other returned from their bye week with a 13-21 loss at Chicago, snapping a short two-game winning streak. Green Bay defeated Minnesota at home 42-10 back in Week 5 on Thursday Night Football and are 8-1-1 over the last 10 meetings.
Early Lean on Vikings +9
As difficult as it may be to go against the Packers with how well they have looked in their last two games, I believe the value is clearly with the Vikings as a 9-point home dog. Keep in mind that Green Bay was a 9.5-point home favorite in the first meeting and that was with Christian Ponder starting at quarterback for Minnesota. I think the books are begging for money on the Packers this time around the public will definitely take the bait. Home division dogs are typically a good bet blind and I like the Vikings chances of keeping this one close enough to cover.
Anyone who has watched the Vikings over the last few years, knows just how much worse the Vikings offense is with Ponder as the starting quarterback. He completed just 22 of 44 attempts in that game against Green Bay with two picks, including one that was returned 49-yards for a touchdown.
Minnesota is 16-5 ATS in their last 21 games after playing their last contest on the road and a perfect 8-0 ATS in the second half of the season over the last 3 years at home.
What gets lost in that first meeting between these two teams is how well Minnesota’s defense played against Aaron Rodgers. While he completed 12 of 17 attempts with 3 touchdowns, 66 of his 156 yards came on a bomb to Jordy Nelson. Mike Zimmer has really done a nice job transitioning the Vikings on defense and they don’t get the respect they deserve. Minnesota is 8th in the league against the pass, giving up just 225.2 ypg through the air.
There also has to be some concern with Green Bay coming into this game a little bit over-confident against a team they won easily against earlier in the season. It’s almost been too easy for the Packers the last couple of weeks and that kind of success offensively doesn’t tend to stick around. Only five teams prior to the Packers had ever scored 50+ points in back-to-back weeks and none of those 5 were able to make it 3 straight.
You also have to take into consideration that both of those games came at home, where Green Bay is a much better team. The Packers 4-0 at home this season, compared to 2-3 on the road. Adding to this is they could easily be just 1-4 away from home, as they won at Miami 27-24 on a last second touchdown. Minnesota is 16-5 ATS in their last 21 games after playing their last contest on the road and a perfect 8-0 ATS in the second half of the season over the last 3 years at home.
We also see a strong system in play telling us to fade the Packers. Road favorites who have covered the spread in 5 or 6 of their last 7 games who have won 60% to 75% of their games and are facing a team with a losing record are just 37-74 (33%) ATS since 1983.