Minnesota Vikings vs. Green Bay Packers, Sunday, November 22, 4:25pm, TCF Bank Stadium, Minnesota.
HOW a few weeks can change the fate of teams in the NFL.
The Green Bay Packers were unbeaten at 6-0 and looking like natural Super Bowl 50 contenders, but a string of consecutive losses has stopped them in their tracks.
Life doesn’t get much easier as they face their rival the Minnesota Vikings, who are unbeaten in four starts at home and are living up to their own expectations.
The Vikings, for the past few seasons under quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, have been expected to be a playoff contender, but have never really shown their full potential. They are now 7-2 after a strong win at Oakland on Sunday and it’s hard to believe they are favourites with bookmakers against Green Bay.
This is a classic game between two sides heading in different directions in the NFC North and it could decide which team makes it into the playoffs. A win for Minnesota would put them two wins clear of Green Bay and four wins clear of Chicago, whereas a win for Green Bay would see them atop of the list with the tie-breaking win in their favour.
It’s arguably the game’s best quarterback versus one of the up-and-coming stars of the NFL. It is the game of the week in Round 11 and it should provide great entertainment.
Vikings vs. Packers betting markets
Some bookmakers have the Minnesota Vikings as the slight favourites, but Bovada has both at -110 and that gives punters the best betting opportunity.
This is the best market available because the price isn’t too far different from other bookmakers for the Vikings – which are -120 elsewhere, but it gives backers of Green Bay a much better price.
We can’t remember the last time Green Bay weren’t the clear-cut favourites and getting -110 is a great price for consistent bettors of Green Bay.
Even though the Vikings have won five straight and are unbeaten at home, we think most punters thought they would be getting a better price for the team that doesn’t have the experience Green Bay possesses, and not to mention the caliber of quarterback.
Packers QB Aaron Rodgers was setting the league alight to kick off the season, but his numbers over the last three games haven’t been his best. Rodgers’ record is still solid with 21 touchdowns and only three intercepts, but in their three losses this season, Green Bay has scored only 55 points – which includes 29 scored against Carolina.
Opposing quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has had his injury troubles this season, but is expected to play this Sunday. The Florida-native completed 14 of 22 passes against Oakland last weekend, but he is susceptible to throwing intercepts. He has thrown for seven touchdowns this season, but has tarnished his record with six intercepts.
Bettors of Minnesota won’t be too worried about those stats as most of the work for the Vikings is done by running back Adrian Peterson. The 30-year-old has carried the ball 195 times for 961 yards and five touchdowns, compared to Packers running back James Starks who has carried the ball only 93 times for 376 yards and one touchdown.
We’re expecting Green Bay to continue throwing the ball with Rodgers at the helm and the Vikings to continue running the ball. This makes betting the total points line at 44.5 very difficult as running the ball takes a lot of time off the clock.
Green Bay can put up points quickly and Minnesota’s offense is no slouch. Expect a relatively high-scoring game and take the Over 44.5 (-110) at Bovada.
Vikings vs. Packers team stats and past performances
Minnesota Vikings team stats:
Points per game: 22.0
Points allowed per game: 17.1
Total yards: 350.0
Passing yards: 202.8
Yards rushing: 147.2
Yards allowed: 352.1
Pass yards allowed: 243.6
Past five results:
Vikings 30 – Oakland 14
Vikings 21 – St. Louis 18 (OT)
Vikings 23 – Chicago 20
Vikings 28 – Detroit 19
Vikings 16 – Kansas City 10
The Vikings have had some hard-fought wins, including a 23-20 win over Chicago which has since won back-to-back games.
After four closely-contested games, Minnesota broke the shackles against Oakland in Oakland last week and their confidence will be sky high after that result.
Their defense is key to this matchup. Allowing only 17.1 points per game will give you a chance in most games and if they can limit Green Bay’s potent offense, they should go close.
Green Bay Packers team totals:
Points per game: 24.3
Points allowed per game: 20.6
Total yards: 360.2
Yards passing: 252.2
Yards rushing: 108.0
Yards allowed: 385.6
Pass yards allowed: 269.3
Past five results:
Packers 16 – Detroit 18
Packers 29 – Carolina 37
Packers 10 – Denver 29
Packers 27 – San Diego 20
Packers 24 – St. Louis 10
The Packers are on a three-game losing streak and their most recent loss to Detroit was one to forget. Green Bay had not lost to Detroit at home in forever, but a lack of offense stifled them.
They did win against San Deigo and St. Louis prior, but those two sides have yet to show much this season and the Packers may have been a touch overrated.
Losing wide receiver Jordy Nelson didn’t help to start the season, but the Packers will have to call on everything they have to win this.