Green Bay at Minnesota Prediction ATS 11/21/21
NFL Week 11
When: Sunday, Nov. 21 at 1 pm ET
Where: U.S. Bank Stadium - Minneapolis, MN
Point Spread: GB -2.5/MIN +2.5 (GTBets - Sweet 100% bonus on your first deposit! Bonus extends up to $500!)
Over/Under Total: 49.5
One of the best rivalries in the NFL renews tensions on Sunday when Green Bay heads to Minnesota. The Packers would be 4.5 games ahead in the NFC North with a win, while the Vikings need some wins to stay relevant in the Wild Card picture. The teams split the series last season, each winning in the other’s building, and Minnesota has a 5-4-1 edge going back to 2016, with a 5-5 split against the spread. The 43-34 Green Bay win last season marked the highest total in the 121 games played between the teams.
Green Bay is one of the most reliable ATS teams over the last two seasons with a 20-8 record against the spread overall, and they have a 5-2 ATS mark as the road favorite. Minnesota is just 1-7 ATS in their last eight at home and 5-11 against the spread in their previous sixteen overall. A string of strong defensive performances by Green Bay has several positive trends for the UNDER, including seven straight overall and four straight on the road. The favorite is just 4-9 ATS in the last thirteen meetings, and the UNDER has hit in 9-of-13 overall in this series, including 6-of-7 in Minnesota.
Big Injuries in Green Bay and a Big Chance for A.J. Dillon
The Packers have battled a multitude of injuries this season, but it really hasn’t impacted the product on the field. Aaron Rodgers is bothered by a toe injury and did not practice Wednesday, but there is no thought that he would miss the game. OL David Bakhtiari is closer to getting back in the lineup but is still day-to-day with a knee injury. Davante Adams and Allen Lazard are both nursing sore shoulders. Adams was able to get some work in, but neither is 100%, and the receiver options are relatively shallow if either cannot go. Aaron Jones will not play as he suffered a sprained MCL last week, which will put A.J. Dillon in the spotlight. Dillon filled in well last week with 128 combined yards and two scores, and he rushed for 124 yards in a spot start last season against Tennessee. Dillon isn’t as shifty in the receiving game as Jones, but he has six catches in the previous two games, and Green Bay’s offense will likely not look much different with him in there. As a whole, the offense isn’t special, but Rodgers has only thrown two interceptions since throwing two in Week 1, and there are just enough big plays each week to get that W. The defense has been the strongest side of the ball, ranking 3rd in total yards allowed and 3rd in scoring at 18 points per game allowed. They are top-10 in sacks and QBR allowed, most recently shutting down Russell Wilson, Patrick Mahomes, and Kyler Murray. Green Bay is giving up 4.6 yards per rush, which is about league average, so Dalvin Cook should see a good day, but the tide has certainly turned from when the Packer offense was carrying the defense.
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Horseshoes, Hand Grenades, and Vikings Games
Close is definitely how you would describe Minnesota games this year, regardless of who won. The Vikings have played in three overtime contests already, losing two, and their three other losses have been by a combined 12 points. Three of four wins have been by seven or fewer, and the lone double-digit contest was a 13-point win in Seattle. Keeping it close isn’t always a sign of a good team, but the Vikings could easily be a game or two better in the win column. The offense has performed with top-10 ranks in both passing and rushing and the 7th most yards overall. The efficiency could be better as their 24.6 points per game is just 14th in the league, but that isn’t due to a lack of playmakers. Kirk Cousins is 8th in the league with 18 touchdown passes and has only thrown four interceptions as the Vikings have the second-fewest turnovers to this point. Dalvin Cook leads the team in rushing with 648 yards in just seven games and rushed for five touchdowns in two games against Green Bay last season. Justin Jefferson leads the receivers with 775 yards, while Adam Thielen has a team-high seven touchdown receptions. Both are at the 50-catch mark to be just one of two WR duos to each catch at least 50 passes so far this season. Tyler Conklin is breaking out at tight end and is third on the team in both receptions and receiving touchdowns, but this is primarily a three-person offense of Cook, Jefferson, and Thielen. The scoring defense hasn’t been terrible, they sit at the league average of 23.4 allowed, but the rush defense is 28th, and that is detracting from a league-best pass rush that has racked up 29 sacks. Getting to Rodgers has been key in Minnesota wins against Green Bay, but the pass-rush needs some long third-down scenarios to work with, and that won’t happen if the run defense doesn’t produce them.
Green Bay Continues to Roll
It has been impressive to see Green Bay find ways to win this season. We have seen the Bucs, Chiefs, Rams, and Cardinals all struggle and lose after looking very good, but the Pack seems to struggle and win. I think that is a testament to how much confidence the entire team has when Rodgers is in there, but a suddenly reliable defense has Green Bay able to win on both sides. Rodgers has thrown for 50 career touchdowns against the Vikings and only seven interceptions with just one pick in the last four seasons. Cousins has thrown for 12 touchdowns in six games against Green Bay as a Viking but also has an interception in four of those games, and Minnesota failed to win any of those contests. Cousins hasn’t been able to be a winning factor in this series, and I don’t think that starts this Sunday with Green Bay’s secondary playing very well. A.J. Dillon looks really good as well, and he will have every chance to power this Packer offense like he did last week. Green Bay is up to fourth in time-of-possession, and being in control of the game is working out wonderfully as the Packers are navigating their injury issues. There is some nervousness for Green Bay if this is a field-goal game as Mason Crosby is just eight for his last fifteen attempts, but I think they are more than three clear in this one as a back-and-forth contest ends with a 27-20 Green Bay win.
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