The NFC North title will be up for grabs when the Green Bay Packers (10-5) host the Minnesota Vikings (10-5) on Sunday Night Football. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:30 EST at Lambeau Field and will be televised nationally on NBC. Our Week 17 NFL odds, show the Packers currently listed as a 3.5-point home favorite with the total set at 45.5 points.
Green Bay comes into this contest off an ugly 8-38 loss at Arizona as a 6-point underdog, which put to rest any hopes the Packers had of earning a first round bye. Minnesota on the other hand clinched a playoff spot with a dominant 49-17 win at home over the Giants as a 7-point favorite.
These two teams previous faced off in Minnesota back in Week 11, which the Packers won 30-13 as a 1-point underdog. It was Green Bay’s 3rd straight win in the series and 5th in the last 6 meetings overall. The only exception being the 26-26 tie back in 2013.
Early Lean on Vikings +3.5
The Packers 17-point road win over the Vikings earlier this season and the perception that Green Bay will step up to the challenge at home, will have betting public all over the Packers as a small home favorite in Week 17. I personally would lean the other direction. The Packers are trending in the wrong direction, while Minnesota is playing their best football of the season. Green Bay’s 17-point win against Minnesota was very misleading, as the Packers were actually outgained on the game 342 to 320.
Playing at home use to be a near automatic win for Green Bay, especially against division opponents, but that’s not been the case so far in 2015. We have already seen the Packers lose at Lambeau to both the Lions and Bears, neither of which is anywhere close to as talented as the Vikings.
A huge factor in this game is the health of these two teams. While Minnesota is dealing with some injuries, they are in much better shape than Green Bay. The Packers could be without two starters on the offensive line, as tackles David Bakhtiari and Bryan Bulaga are both questionable, as are No. 1 corner Sam Shields and defensive tackle B.J. Raji. Even if Bakhtiari and Bulago both play, they figure to be at less than 100% and without those two healthy, the Vikings defensive front should be able to make a living in the Packers backfield on Sunday.
Road teams that have won 2 out of their last 3 games are 40-15 (73%) ATS in the 2nd half of the season in games involving two good teams that have won 60% to 75% of their games.
Last week against the Cardinals, Green Bay only managed 178 total yards, Aaron Rodgers was sacked 8 times and the Packers turned it over 4 times. I know it came against a talented Arizona defense, but Green Bay has now failed to surpass 100 yards in the first half in 3 of their last 4 games. As good as Rodgers is, there’s just too many holes on the Packers offense to trust this team laying more than a field goal against a quality opponent like Minnesota.
The Vikings are 13-4 ATS in road games revenging a loss where they scored 14 or less points and 12-4 ATS in the second half of the season over the last 2 years. Minnesota is also 11-3 ATS in their last 14 against teams who allow 235 or more passing yards/game and 14-4 ATS in their last 18 against bad defensive teams who allow 5.65 or more yards/play.
Adding to this is a strong system in favor of the Vikings. Road teams that have won 2 out of their last 3 games are 40-15 (73%) ATS in the 2nd half of the season in games involving two good teams that have won 60% to 75% of their games.
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