Vikings vs. Packers Wildcard Point Spread Preview, Picks, Score Prediction
This is a rematch from last week, necessitated by the Vikings simultaneously clinching the second wild card berth in the NFC and preventing Green Bay from clinching a first round bye with a 37-34 win in Minnesota. Conditions do not figure to be as pleasant on the Frozen Tundra Saturday night as they were in a dome last Sunday. The Packers are -7½ favorites at home with the total set at 46.
PACKERS – VIKINGS PLAYOFFS BETTING LINE:
OPEN: PACKERS -8 | CURRENT: PACKERS -7.5 | O/U: 46
1. Why Minnesota will cover the spread: Minnesota will cover this spread if Adrian Peterson runs as well in his third matchup vs. the Packers as he did in the first two meetings this season. Peterson fell nine yards short of the single-season rushing yards record, but he still finished with 199 rushing yards last week after rushing for 210 yards in a 23-14 loss here in Green Bay last month. A second key is Viking quarterback Christian Ponder playing more like he did in the dome last week, when he completed 16-of-28 passes for 234 yards and three touchdowns, than he did here at Lambeau in the first meeting when he did not complete a pass to a wide receiver until the final four minutes.
2. Why Green Bay will cover the spread: The Packers will cover this spread if Aaron Rodgers is able to pass Green Bay to a two score lead and force the Vikings to throw more than they would like. Rodgers was just fine last week, passing for 365 yards and four touchdowns, except that Minnesota was spotted a 13-point lead, allowing the Vikings to hand the ball to AP a career high 34 times. It is important for Rodgers to have much earlier success here at home and for the Packers to be the team playing with the lead.
3. Total Talk: This is a great matchup between two superstars, and we think that the end result will be a shootout. Last week, the entire stadium knew that Peterson would get the ball on every play and that Rodgers would throw the ball on every down, and yet both had great success anyway, which should give you an idea of the state of these two defenses right now. The Packers would obviously love to get a two-score lead and take Minnesota out of its element, but Green Bay has been unable to stop Peterson in two games, so why would it be able to now with everything on the line?
Also, Ponder has been fine since the loss here on December 2nd, guiding Minnesota to four straight wins with Peterson’s running making him a more effective passer. In the end, we see Rodgers out-willing Peterson as the Packers win, but we think it will be a close and entertaining high-scoring game, making Minnesota worth backing at more than a touchdown.
4. Betting Trends for Packers/Vikings: The ‘over’ is 4-1 in the last five head-to-head meetings here in Green Bay, as well as 19-7 in the Packers’ last 26 games after allowing more than 30 points in their previous game. Green Bay is also just 2-5 ATS in its last seven home playoff games.
Green Bay 31 – Minnesota 27
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