NFC North rivals will square off Sunday afternoon as the Minnesota Vikings (12-3) take on the Green Bay Packers (7-8). The Packers will host this one at Lambeau Field, with kickoff scheduled for 4:25 pm ET.
The Vikings come into this one having won back-to-back games, including a 27-24 victory over the New York Giants last week. In the win, Kirk Cousins threw for 299 yards and three touchdowns. Justin Jefferson had a huge day with 12 receptions for 133 yards and a score for Minnesota.
As for Green Bay, they have now won three in a row after beating the Dolphins last week 26-20. In the win, Aaron Rodgers threw for 238 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. AJ Dillon led the backfield with 36 yards rushing and a score of his own.
The Packers are the favorite in this one playing at home. They are -194 to win, while the Vikings’ moneyline sits at +162. The spread features the Vikings as three-point underdogs (+100), and the over/under for total points is 48.5 (-110).
Vikings Trying To Sharpen Up Ahead Of Playoffs
Having already won the NFC North, the Vikings have already guaranteed themselves a spot in the playoffs. Still, they would like to get back to playing better football, as the last several weeks have certainly shown kinks in the armor.
The Vikings also sit just a game behind the Eagles for the best record in the NFC. While the Eagles hold the tiebreaker, the Vikings would still love to put pressure on to see if they can slip into that top spot at the season’s end.
Currently, the Vikings rank seventh in the NFL in scoring, averaging 25.2 points per game (22.5 on the road). They are led by quarterback Kirk Cousins, who has thrown for 4,117 yards, 27 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions.
Cousins’ favorite receiver continues to be Justin Jefferson. He is putting up another dominant season, as he now has 1,756 receiving yards and eight touchdowns.
Defensively is where the Vikings struggle. They currently rank 28th in the NFL, allowing an average of 24.9 points per game.
Packers Fighting For Playoff Spot
After starting the season 4-8, all hope seemed lost for the Packers in terms of the playoffs. Having now won three in a row, they are on the bubble of the playoffs and hoping to sneak in with a couple of wins to end the season.
The Packers currently sit 18th in the league in scoring, averaging 20.9 points per game. While Aaron Rodgers has not had an MVP-quality season, he still is a threat under center. He has thrown for 3,331 yards, 24 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions.
Really, Green Bay’s offense has relied more on their running abilities with the two-headed monster of Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon. Jones leads the team with 962 yards. He also has 373 yards receiving and a combined seven touchdowns.
For Dillon, he has rushed for 696 yards and six touchdowns. He also has 206 yards receiving.
Defensively, Green Bay ranks 17th in the NFL, allowing opponents 22.3 points per game.
Take Minnesota And The Points
Even though they have secured the NFC North, the Vikings still definitely have something to play for. They are still fighting for playoff positioning, and they have the opportunity to essentially knock the Packers out of playoff contention.
Looking at the trends, the Vikings are 4-1 in their last five road games, but they are 4-9 against the spread in their last 13 away from Minnesota. As for the Packers, they are 4-2 both straight up and against the spread in their last six games.
Expect this to be a close game throughout. Neither team’s defense will be able to shut down the opposition, so it could become a bit of a shootout. In that case, you have to like Minnesota’s weapons a bit more than Green Bay’s.
Still, Green Bay is just a whole different beast when playing at home, so you have to take Lambeau Field into account as well.
When it is all said and done, expect this to come down to just a play or two. For that reason, taking the points might be the best play. In this case, that means taking Minnesota +3 (+100).