Vikings Packers Odds
The Green Bay Packers (11-5) host the Minnesota Vikings (10-6) at 8:00 PM ET in the second of Saturday’s two wild card matchups. NBC has the television coverage. Oddsmakers have listed the Packers as an eighth-point favorite and have set the total at 46.0.
Why Green Bay Covers
The Vikings just defeated the Packers 37-34 at home in Week 17 to secure a playoff spot. However, there is plenty of evidence that says they’ll have a tough time doing it again.
Consider that Minnesota is on a 4-13 against the spread slide when checking in off an upset victory at home. It is on a 4-17 against the spread skid in road games following a win of three points or fewer. It is also on a 2-12 against the spread slide in road games following an extremely close home win of three points or less.
Prior to last week’s loss, the Packers had won five straight against the Vikings by an average of 17.0 points. In addition, the home team is 4-0 against the spread in the last four meetings. It is also worth noting that the Vikings are 1-5 against the number in their last 6 games at Lambeau Field.
Green Bay was gashed for 217 yards on the ground by Adrian “All Day” Peterson and company, but it has responded well following such poor defensive efforts. In fact, the Packers are 11-0 against the spread in their last 11 games after allowing more than 150 yards rushing in their previous game. They are even 6-0 against the spread the last three seasons after giving up 175 or more rushing yards in their last game.
Overall, Green Bay has been terrific in bounce-back spots at 8-1 against the number in its last nine games following a loss.
Why Minnesota Covers
The Vikings head into the postseason with a great deal of momentum and confidence. They won each of their final four regular-season games both straight up and against the spread. They’ll enter this one believing they can win since they just beat the Packers in Week 17.
The Packers, which finished the regular season ranked 17th in the NFL in rushing defense with 118.5 yards allowed per game, had no answer for Minnesota’s rushing attack this season.
The Vikings, who enter the postseason ranked second in the league in rushing with 164.6 yards per game, rushed for 240 and 217 yards, respectively, in a pair of regular-season meetings with the Packers.
Led by Peterson, the Minnesota running attack has been on a tear. The Vikings have rushed for more than 170 yards in each of their last five games and seven of their last eight. Peterson did almost all the damage during this stretch and finished with a league-high 2,097 rushing yards.
Minnesota won the time of possession battle in last week’s game by over three minutes because it was able to run the football so effectively. The Packers will have a tough time covering the eight points if they aren’t able to slow down Peterson.
The Vikings are 4-0 against the spread in their last four games after accumulating more than 150 yards rushing in their previous game.
The Packers are 2-5 against the spread in their last seven home playoff games and 1-4 against the number in their last five wild card contests.