This Saturday the Green Bay Packers (7-7) will host the Minnesota Vikings (11-3) in a NFC North showdown. Kickoff is set for 8:30 EST at Lambeau Field and will be televised nationally on NBC.
Oddsmakers currently have Minnesota listed as a 9-point road favorite with a total set at 40.5 points. Check out our Week 16 NFL odds page for a full betting schedule and for more links to our game previews.
Vikings vs Packers Vegas Game Odds & Betting Preview
Minnesota took care of business in a 34-7 home win over the Bengals in Week 15, easily covering as a 13-point favorite. It was a nice bounce back performance by the Vikings, who had their 8-game winning streak snapped the previous week in a 24-31 loss at Carolina. While the Vikings have the NFC North wrapped up, they still have a lot to play for. Minnesota currently has the No. 2 seed in the NFC, which would give them a first round bye, but are just 1-game up on the Saints, Panthers and Rams.
Green Bay comes in off a 24-31 loss to the Panthers in the short-lived return of star quarterback Aaron Rodgers. That loss proved costly, as the Packers were officially eliminated from playoff contention with the Falcons win over the Bucs on Monday Night Football. As a result, Green Bay has decided to send Rodgers back to IR with nothing left to play for in the final two weeks of the season.
These two teams played back in Week 6 at Minnesota. The Vikings won that contest 23-10 as a 3-point home dog. It was the Vikings 3rd win in the last 4 meetings of the series.
NFL Betting Predictions & Free ATS Pick: Vikings -9
As much as I want to take Green Bay at home in a night game, I just don’t trust the Packers in this spot. There was a legit belief that Rodgers was going to return and guide this team back to the postseason. That’s now out the window with Green Bay being eliminated from the playoffs. Keep in mind most of the players on this team aren’t accustomed to being in this spot. The Packers had been to the playoffs each of the last 8 years. Playing for pride hasn’t been something they have had to do.
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You could talk yourself into the Packers wanting to come out and play spoiler against a division rival in a prime time game, but I just have a hard time seeing this team getting up for this game. On the flip side of this, this is a huge game for the Vikings, who desperately want to get that No. 2 seed and first round bye. Like we saw last week with the Bengals, who didn’t seem all that interested in playing after learning that Marvin Lewis was leaving the team, I think this could turn into a blowout win for Minnesota.
Not only is the team going back to Brett Hundley at quarterback with Rodgers now done for good, there are several other key players for the Packers who might not suit up. Starting linebackers Clay Matthews and Nick Perry, along with starting corner Davon House are all listed as questionable. There’s also a decent chance that wide out Davante Adams misses the game after suffering a concussion last week. Keep in mind that it’s a lot less likely that guys are going to play through injuries with nothing on the line.
You also have to take into account just how good this Vikings team is. Even with a healthy Rodgers and this game meaning something for Green Bay, it wouldn’t be out of the question for Minnesota to come in here and win by double-digits. As it is, the Vikings have one of the best defenses in the NFL that should be able to limit Hundely and the Packers offensive attack. At the same time, if there’s any kind of lack of motivation for Green Bay on defense, this Minnesota offense is capable of putting up a big number here. I just think that given the circumstances your best bet here is to lay the points. Give me the Vikings -9.