Packers vs. Vikings Monday Night Point Spread Preview, Expert Picks, Score PredictionNovember 12, 2011 • By Mike Rose
The Green Bay Packers remain perfect at 8-0 straight up, and they are also 6-2 against the spread despite their lines often being padded, such as when they covered as 5½-point road favorites at San Diego last week.
One of their two non-covers this season did come vs. these Vikings in Minnesota though, and the Vikes have had extra time to game plan for Aaron Rodgers with a bye last week.
The Packers are big (-13) favorites at home, with the total set at 51.
ODDS: OPEN: PACKERS -14 | CURRENT: PACKERS -13 | O/U: 51
1. Why Green Bay will cover the spread: The Packers will cover the spread if they do a better job of defending the run than they did in Minnesota, where Adrian Peterson went off for 175 yards and Minnesota rushed for 218 yards on 31 carries (7.0 YPC) in Green Bay’s narrow 33-27 escape. Run defense has been an issue for the Packers all year, as they are surrendering 4.6 yards per carry for the whole season, and they had been outrushed in four straight games before last week’s win in San Diego where two early interception returns for touchdowns by the Pack took the Chargers out of their running game. The Packers will also cover if Aaron Rodgers can successfully elude the great Minnesota pass rush that sacked him four times in the first meeting.
2. Why Minnesota will cover the spread: Flip around the two things we started as necessary keys to a Green Bay cover, and you get the keys to how Minnesota will cover this spread. The Vikings need to simply duplicate the things they did vs. the Packers in Minnesota, those being running the ball well with Peterson and putting pressure on Rodgers to take him out of his rhythm. The extra week to prepare for this game can be a major plus in figuring out ways to achieve those goals.
3. Total Talk: We actually think that the Vikings will be able to get pressure on Rodgers with Jared Allen and Kevin Williams, and we would not be at all shocked if the Packers are “held” to 31 points in this game. It is a testament to just how great Rodgers and the whole Green Bay offense is when 31 points is considered an off night.
On the other side, even though the Vikings had the bye week, we would not be surprised if it is the Green Bay defense that makes the adjustments to keep Peterson in check. If the Packers can keep Peterson’s numbers ordinary, then we think the Vikings will have a hard time scoring as young Christian Ponder is completing a woeful 52.0 percent of his passes over his first few starts. Thus, with this total set in the 50’s, we would look at the ‘under’.
4. Betting Trends for the game: The bye week for Minnesota came following a win at Carolina, and since 1990, road underdogs coming off of a win and a bye week are just 30-46-5 ATS. Also, Aaron Rodgers is 19-14 ATS as a starter since 2009, while the Vikings are 1-6-1 ATS in their last eight divisional games.
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