Minnesota Vikings vs Green Bay Packers Pick and Preview
NFC North Divisional Matchup
Point Spread: Vikings +3.5 | Total Points: 48.0
The Vikings come into this NFC North game vs Green Bay looking to pick up their 3rd straight win. For the year, they have an above .500 record at 12-3. The Vikings head into week 16 looking for another win, as they picked up 3 point victory over the New York Giants (27-24). Going into the matchup, the Vikings were -4.5 point favorites and did not cover the spread. With their combined 51 points, the two teams exceeded the betting over-under number of 48.
This week, the Packers host the Vikings in the middle of a 3-game winning streak that has them at 7-8. Last week, the Packers knocked off the Dolphins by a score of 26-20. Not only did the Packers win the game, but they also covered the spread as 3.5-point underdogs. Together, the two teams combined score remained below the over-under betting line of 49.
Vikings vs Packers History
The last time these two teams played came back in week 1, where the Vikings picked up a 23-7 win over the Packers. Minnesota came out on top in large part to a strong performance in the passing game. Quarterback Kirk Cousins threw for a total of 277 yards, on a completion percentage of 71.9%. In their 16-point win, the Vikings also covered the spread. The team entered the game as 1.5-point favorites. The two team’s offense’s combined to score 30 points. This figure was below the over-under betting line of 46.5.
Heading into this week’s matchup, the Vikings have the edge in their recent matchups against Green Bay, going 2-1. In the last 3 games, Minnesota is averaging 22 points per game compared to 25 for the Packers. The last 3 times that the Packers have hosted Minnesota, they have a record of 1-2. In terms of betting, Minnesota holds a recent edge vs the spread, going 3-2 in the previous 5 meetings. These games have finished with an average point total of 53, leading to an over-under mark of 4-1.
- Garrett Bradbury (Back) Questionable
- Irv Smith Jr. (Ankle) Questionable
- Ezra Cleveland (Shoulder) Questionable
- Cameron Dantzler Sr. (Ankle) Probable
- Blake Brandel (Knee) Questionable
Green Bay Packers
- Christian Watson (Hip) Questionable
- Krys Barnes (Hand) Probable
- Aaron Rodgers (Right Thumb/knee) Questionable
- Rudy Ford (Wrist/knee) Probable
- Elgton Jenkins (Knee) Questionable
- Jaire Alexander (Forearm) Probable
- Yosh Nijman (Shoulder) Questionable
- Keisean Nixon (Groin) Questionable
- Aaron Jones (Knee/ankle) Questionable
- David Bakhtiari (Knee/abdomen) Questionable
Keys To Victory: Minnesota Vikings
Offensively, the Vikings are averaging 25.2 points per game (7th). Minnesota comes into the game among the league leaders in attempts per game, leading to a passing yard average of 259.3. On the season, quarterback Kirk Cousins has completed 65.7% of his passes, leading a passer rating of 93.3. Heading into the game, the team’s top receiver Justin Jefferson is matched up against the league’s 7th-ranked secondary. For the year, he has been targeted 174 times for 1756 yards.
One reason that the Minnesota offense has struggled this season is their lack of an effective run game. Against the Packers, running back Dalvin Cook is expected to get a majority of the carries for a unit averaging 94.5 yards per game on the ground. Overall, Cook has a yards-per-attempt figure of 4.5 and is 6th among running backs in total rush yards.
Keys To Victory: Green Bay Packers
On offense, the Packers come into the game ranked 19th in the NFL at 20.9 points per game. Green Bay comes into the game with a negative scoring differential of -1.4 points per game. In this week’s matchup, look for the Packers’ offense to attack the Vikings’ secondary, as the unit has had its problems defending the pass. For the season, Green Bay is averaging 219.5 yards per contest through the air. At the quarterback position, Aaron Rodgers has completed 64.8% of his passes, leading to a total of 3331 yards. In addition, his passer rating of 91.28 ranks well compared to other QBs. Rodgers could add to these numbers with a big performance vs Minnesota. Going into the game, the team’s leader in receiving yards is Allen Lazard, who has caught 58.0% of the balls thrown his way for a total of 688 yards.
Through 15 games, the Packers’ ground game is producing at a level near the league average at 123.1 yards per game. However, they could be in line for an above-average performance vs a Minnesota defense that struggles to defend the run. An area of concern for the Packers will be if their top running back Aaron Jones is able to play, as he is listed as questionable on the injury report. This year, Jones has rushed 962 yards while averaging 5.1 yards per attempt.
- Minnesota is 2-2-1 ATS in their last 5 games on the road.
- Minnesota is 3-2 ATS in their last 5 games at home.
- Minnesota is 4-6 ATS in their last 10 games as the underdog.
- Minnesota is 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games as the favorite.
This is a very important game for both these teams, probably bigger for the Packers as they are still in the hunt for a playoff spot, but nevertheless, a game of the week for sure. We like the Packers in a nail-biter.
Pick: Packers 24-23