New Year’s Day features an NFC North collision between the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers. Minnesota (12-3) hopes to hang on to its No. 2 seed and stay in contention for NFC’s top spot. After three consecutive wins, Green Bay (7-8) has crept back into the playoff conversation and must win out for a postseason berth.
The Packers have covered three consecutive games against the spread (ATS) while the Vikings have gone 0-3. Will Minnesota sweep the season series or will Green Bay inch closer to the playoffs?
The Vikings Have Not Reached Contender Status
In Week 16, the Minnesota Vikings won another game in thrilling fashion, taking their record to 4-1 over the last five games. Thanks to Greg Joseph’s game-winning 61-yard field goal against the New York Giants, the Vikings are now 11-0 in one-score games, which sets an NFL record.
Despite Minnesota’s 12-3 record, many still question if this is a legit contender. The sportsbook lists the Vikings as the fourth choice to win the NFC (+900) and their Super Bowl odds are at +2200.
The offense has continued its productivity, averaging 29.8 points in the last five games. Wide receiver Justin Jefferson has recorded at least 120 receiving yards in four of the last five. At 1,756 yards, Jefferson is the runaway favorite to lead the NFL in receiving yards.
The Vikings’ elite pieces on offense have not been enough to calm worries about the defense. Minnesota ranks 28th in allowed points per game and 31st in allowed yards per game. Plus, the unit has surrendered 31.3 points per game in the last three. This could be a problem against the Packers, who have hit their stride at 27.8 points per game in the last four.
Green Bay Needs Longtime Superstar to Show Out
Heading into Week 16, the Green Bay Packers making the playoffs seemed unrealistic. However, after defeating the Miami Dolphins 26-20 while four NFC Wild Card contenders lost, the Packers’ postseason chances have skyrocketed. Green Bay holds +175 odds to make the playoffs.
Against Minnesota, quarterback Aaron Rodgers must play well. The Vikings rank last in allowed passing yards per game, and the Packers’ passing game has improved since the emergence of rookie wide receiver Christian Watson and the return of wideout Romeo Doubs from injury.
However, Watson is questionable with a hip injury. At 14.2 yards per catch, his explosive ability would be a huge loss against Minnesota, which ranks 31st in allowed yards per pass attempt. In addition, injuries have piled up on Green Bay’s offensive line with left tackle David Bakhtiari (knee), right tackle Yosh Nijman (shoulder) and left guard Elgton Jenkins (knee) questionable. The run game could also be less effective with running back Aaron Jones questionable due to a knee injury.
Vikings vs Packers Game Injuries
Vikings vs Packers Head-to-Head
The Vikings have won three of the last four matchups, including Week 1’s 23-7 win and cover. Minnesota is 1-3 ATS in its last four trips to Lambeau Field. In Week 1, the Packers struggled to stop Jefferson, who totaled 184 receiving yards and two touchdowns.
Vikings vs Packers Game Information
- Game: Vikings vs Packers
- Date/Time: Sunday, Jan. 1, 4:25 p.m. ET
- Location: Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI
- How to watch Vikings vs Packers?:
Vikings vs Packers Live stream: NFL Game Pass
Vikings vs Packers Game Weather Conditions
The Vikings and Packers will avoid the frozen tundra on Sunday, as the forecast calls for a high of 38°F with partly sunny conditions and no rain.
Vikings vs Packers Picks & Prediction
Predicted Score: Vikings 27, Packers 23
- Worth Betting on the Moneyline?
Week 1’s matchup was dominated by the Vikings from start to finish. The offense had plenty of success with quarterback Kirk Cousins nearing 300 passing yards and running back Dalvin Cook averaging over four yards per carry.
The Packers still have defensive concerns. In fact, it allowed 20 points in the first half against the Dolphins and quarterback Tua Tagovailoa eclipsed 300 passing yards. If not for four takeaways, Green Bay would have lost. Minnesota has done a great job of limiting turnovers at 1.1 per game (sixth). Taking the underdog Vikings at +150 is too enticing to pass up.
- Worth Betting ATS?
Of course, taking the Vikings on the moneyline also means taking them ATS. Green Bay’s injuries are another reason to take Minnesota. The Packers could struggle to run the ball with potentially three offensive linemen out. Plus, pass protection could be shaky with Vikings edge rusher Za’Darius Smith (10 sacks) leading the charge.
- Worth Betting on the Totals?
Minnesota totaled 395 yards and 23 points against the Packers in Week 1. Plus, the Vikings missed a lot of opportunities by kicking three field goals. Minnesota ranks seventh in red zone scoring percentage (touchdown) while Green Bay ranks 20th in surrendered red zone scoring percentage. In addition, Rodgers should find success against the NFL’s worst pass defense.
The Vikings have gone over in five straight, and the Packers have hit the over in four of the last six. Go with the over.
The odds and predictions in the article are based on the time of writing and publication. They may differ as to when the actual event takes place.