Green Bay Packers (4-1 SU, 3-2 ATS) vs. Minnesota Vikings (3-2 SU, 2-3 ATS)
NFL Week 6
Date/Time: Sunday, October 15 at 1PM EST
Where: U.S. Bank Stadium
by Evergreen, Expert Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: GB -3/MIN +3
Over/Under Total: 46.5
Rivalries are part of what makes division play in the NFL so special. The Packers/Bears rivalry is historic in nature and one of the longest standing regardless of the sport but things get pretty heated when Green Bay and Minnesota square off as well. Brett Favre finishing his career in purple had this series at a nuclear level for a few years and there are still many in Wisconsin that will never forgive or forget that period. Things arent quite as hot these days but Minnesota has been a consistent threat to Green Bays grip on the NFC North and that fact alone gives the game this weekend plenty of juice. The Vikings trail the Packers by just one game in the standings and an upset will give Minnesota a very valuable tie-breaker until these teams meet again.
Green Bay is in the conversation for best team in the NFC so it is not surprising to see them favored in this game and with Minnesota listed as three point home dogs. The online betting sites are nearly at a full consensus on the spread but there are a few 3.5 point lines floating out there with 46.5 the most common over/under total. The Vikings have gone 24-8 against the spread in their last 32 games overall but are just 1-6 ATS in the last seven division games. Green Bay took down Dallas to move to 7-2 ATS in their last nine conference games and they are 5-2 against the spread when facing an opponent with a winning record. The Sagarin computers have Green Bay as the 3rd rated team in the league with Minnesota at 13th. The Vikings have a 1-1 record against the top-10 Sagarin teams with the Pack at 2-1 against the top-16 teams. The metrics are calling for a 23-22 Green Bay win.
The injury bug continues to bite the Packers hard. They have not yet played a game with both starting offensive tackles and may not do so again with David Bakhtiari still listed as questionable with a hamstring injury. Ty Montgomery missed last week with a rib issue and could miss this weekend but that may not be as big of a deal given the fill-in success of Aaron Jones. The rookie back rushed for 125 yards and a touchdown against the Cowboys last week and proved to be enough of a factor that the play-action was overplayed several times by the Dallas defense. The Packers defense has some new ailments as rookie corner Kevin King is dealing with a concussion and safety Morgan Burnett has hamstring issue. The nearly ridiculous amount of injuries have not cost the Packers a loss yet but there have been breakdowns, just not too many to cover up by Aaron Rodgers.
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The Vikings have fewer injury concerns but they may be more important. Stefon Diggs left the game last Monday with a groin injury and Sam Bradford should not have tried to give it go based on how he looked. Both are question marks for Sunday and they, coupled with the loss of Dalvin Cook, have Minnesota potentially without their three top offensive players. Case Keenum has proven to be above average as a backup quarterback, completing nearly 65% if his passes and throwing for four touchdowns without an interception. His play has kept the Vikings relevant but he will likely need a bit more this week to stay with a Green Bay offense that is 6th in points at 27.4 per game.
Green Bays offense will be the best unit of the field come Sunday but Minnesotas defense is a clear second. The Vikings have plenty of experience overall, know the Packer tendencies and they have access to all eleven preferred starters. They enter the week 7th in total yards allowed and are giving up just 18.6 points per game. That banged up Packers offensive line has seen Rodgers hit the dirt and the Vikings should be able to get pressure with just the front four. Everson Griffen leads the teams with six sacks. Green Bays offense has the knockout power but Minnesotas defense should be able to stress and harass Rodgers. Things can get interesting if the Vikings can get to plus-two on turnovers.
Rodgers is on is way to another MVP with 13 touchdowns already against just three interceptions and a 104.1 QB rating. The duo of Jordy Nelson and Davante Adams have accounted for ten touchdowns and Adams is in line for another big game as Nelson is likely matching up against Xavier Rhodes. The big plays have been nearly absent from the Green Bay offense but Rodgers is spreading the ball around nicely with three receivers over 200 yards and TE Martellus Bennett not far behind at 194 receiving yards. Add in a few catches out of the backfield and Green Bay represents one of the most complete sets of skill players in the league.
If we assume that Keenum plays relatively well again and doesnt turn the ball over, the point scoring load falls on Jerick McKinnon to a large degree. McKinnon had a really nice night against the Bears both running and catching the ball with Latavious Murray helping to fill-in for Dalvin Cook. McKinnon should have another good day as the Packers are 22nd in rushing defense and look for Kyle Rudolph to get the better of the Packer linebackers in coverage. Keenum likes to throw to his tight end and Rudolph is a step up from Jason Witten who caught eight passes against Green Bay last week. This will be a close game, closer than many think, but I still like the Packers chances to simply get more points on the board. Rodgers is as good on the road as he is at home essentially and his level of current play is not going to be shut down entirely. I think Minnesota is good for 20-23 points but Green Bay should cruise to their average of nearly 28 so you should feel good about taking the Packers in this one.
Evergreen’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Green Bay Packers -3. Bet this game and ALL your sports bets at -105 odds instead of the overpriced -110 that your bookie is socking you! Find this great offer at 5Dimes Sportsbook!