The Green Bay Packers (1-0) host the Minnesota Vikings(1-0) on Sunday afternoon in an NFC North showdown. Kickoff is set for 1:00 PM EST on Sunday, September 17th at Lambeau Field. The game will be televised on FOX.
Oddsmakers opened this game up with the Packers as a slim 2-point home favorite. The line has shifted only slightly, as Green Bay is currently favored by a single point. The total for this matchup is 46.5 points. Click here for a full look at the Week 2 NFL odds and for more links to our individual game previews.
Packers vs Vikings Vegas Odds & Game Preview
The Vikings are hoping to make a big statement Sunday afternoon after a winning their season opener against the up and coming San Francisco 49ers last Sunday. Minnesota grabbed the lead early in the 1st quarter and didn’t let up all game. Newly acquired starting QB Kirk Cousins looked pretty good in his debut, throwing for almost 250 yards and two touchdowns. WR Adam Thielen had a big afternoon as well, racking up over 100 receiving yards on six receptions.
Minnesota also looked great on the other side of the ball as well. Expectations are certainly high for this particular defensive unit after ranking in the Top 10 last season across pretty much every category. They picked off Jimmy Garoppolo three times while also only allowing less than 100 yards to San Francisco on the ground. QB Aaaron Rodgers will certainly have his work cut out for him on Sunday, especially if his sprained knee is still less than 100% as is currently being reported.
Rodgers and the rest of the Packers certainly made their fans quite anxious on Sunday Night after looking overwhelmingly mediocre for three quarters against the Chicago Bears. Green Bay trailed 20-3 heading into the 4th quarter before #12 somehow managed to throw two late touchdowns passes despite suffering from a serious-looking knee injury. His status for this week is still not 100% confirmed, although most reports have stated that Rodgers will be in the lineup on Sunday afternoon barring any serious setbacks.
Free NFL Betting Prediction: Minnesota +1
The Vikings have had Green Bay’s number as of late, winning four out of their last five meetings. If Aaron Rodgers and his knee were expected to be completely recovered by kickoff, I might have been forced to take the Packers at home in what is looking like basically a pick em’ spot. However, this may be the best version of the Vikings yet – Cousins looked good in his first start and this talented Minnesota defense should give Rodgers fits all afternoon. I don’t fully trust an injured Rodgers to be able to pull-off a repeat performance for a second consecutive week. Especially considering Minnesota was considered the favorite by many to win the NFC North title heading into the 2018-19 season.
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The Vikings defense will certainly play their part on Sunday, and I expect the offense to follow suit. The combination of Thielen and Diggs at receiver with RB Dalvin Cook providing balance out of the backfield should be able to put up enough points on the board against a mediocre Packers defense. I expect this one to stay close for four quarters before Minnesota manages to find a way to scrape out a late victory on the road.
Minnesota is also an impressive 5-2 ATS over their past seven road games and 8-1 ATS over their past 9 games in September. They are also 4-1 ATS over their past five meetings with the Packers. Green Bay has struggled against the spread as of late, going just 1-5 over their past six home games. They are also just 1-5 ATS over their past six games against NFC North opponents.
While breaking down the current trends between these two teams support picking Minnesota to come out on top this weekend, it also doesn’t hurt that the Packers looked so bad for most of the game – and certainly below average defensively – against the Bears last week. RB Jordan Howard recorded over 100 total yards for Chicago on Sunday night, which means Dalvin Cook should have a monster game here in Week 2. He has the talent to expose this defense all game long, especially now that his knee is completely healed.
A few years ago, I likely would have questioned if this Vikings team had enough mental toughness and self-belief to go into Lambeau as an underdog and somehow manage to beat one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history. Times have certainly changed. Minnesota looks fantastic on both sides of the ball, while Rodgers knee is a serious issue for Green Bay – as are their defensive lapses. I think the Vikings have shown they are the real deal, especially over the past couple of seasons. I’ll take the Vikings to win outright.