The Green Bay Packers descend on the Minnesota Vikings for a classic NFC North rivalry game. And while both the Packers and Vikings are coming off winning performances, the Vikings opened as the home underdogs at the best sportsbooks.
It’s easy to understand why the market is so favorable towards the Packers. Following last week’s victory, Green Bay moved into first place in the NFC, supplanting the Arizona Cardinals who suffered a loss on the same day. However, the markets aren’t tipping the Packers as the runaway favorites in this game with the NFL line opening on 2.5 points.
The fact that the line is under a field goal might suggest an upset could be on the cards. After all, the Vikings did pull off the upset in Los Angeles by beating the Chargers 27-20 to come through as +3 road underdogs.
Of course, beating the Chargers is one thing, beating the Packers is another thing entirely. So, the question is: Can the Vikings defy the NFL odds for a second straight week and upset the Packers? Or should bettors fade the Vikings and back the Packers who are back to winning form again?
Green Bay Packers vs. Minnesota Vikings
Sunday, November 21, 2021 – 01:00 PM EST at U.S. Bank Stadium
With Green Bay’s Covid-19 controversy firmly in the rear-view mirror, the Packers welcomed back Aaron Rodgers last Sunday. And upon his return, the Packers went back to their winning ways behind a 17-0 win over the Seattle Seahawks at Lambeau Field. The Packers came through as the field goal favorites for ATS NFL picks quite comfortably.
Rodgers wasn’t flawless but he was solid enough, and he had a lot of help from the running game. Rodgers went 23 of 37 for 292 yards, zero touchdowns, and one interception.
A.J. Dillon rushed for 66 yards and two touchdowns while Aaron Jones rushed for 25 yards on seven carries and put up 61 yards receiving on four receptions. On the downside, Jones suffered a knee injury in the game and didn’t return.
After a slow start to the game from both sides, the Packers took a 3-0 lead into the locker room at halftime. The Packers' defense was the story to emerge from Sunday’s win.
They rendered Russell Wilson a moot point and held the Seahawks offense scoreless through the four quarters. Granted Wilson was coming off an extended absence due to a hand injury. Rust always figured to be a factor. Nevertheless, it was the first time the veteran signal-caller was shut out in his NFL career.
Vikings Upset Chargers
The Vikings' defense turned in one of its best performances this season, holding back the up-and-coming Chargers' offense in a 27-20 loss at SoFi Stadium. It was the first time (or so it seems) that a Minnesota game ended with ZERO drama in the final minutes.
Mike Zimmer’s side has had a topsy-turvy season encompassed by nail-biters, missed opportunities, and narrow losses. It’s as if they can’t help but make things extremely difficult for themselves and, in turn, for their fans.
This wasn’t the case last Sunday though, as the Vikings defense held second-year quarterback Justin Herbert to just 195 passing yards and the Chargers offense to 253 yards in total.
Herbert had a touchdown and an interception while running back Austin Ekeler scampered for only 44 yards on 11 carries. Ekeler also had three catches for 15 yards with a TD and wide receiver Keenan Allen made eight receptions for 98 yards.
With the Vikings' defense stepping up, the pressure on Cousins wasn’t excessive. He held his own, and importantly, he bled the clock on Minnesota’s final possession with 4:36 left in the game converting on four first downs to keep Herbert off the field.
Cousins went 25 of 37 for 294 yards and 2 touchdowns while running back Dalvin Cook led the team with 94 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries.
Predictions and Picks
On paper, this is a clash between an 8-2 SU and 4-5 SU team – essentially, two teams enjoying contrasting fortunes this season. However, nothing is ever that straightforward in a division rivalry, and certainly not one involving the Minnesota Vikings, who are widely considered to be dangerous floaters.
The Vikings are fighting to salvage their 2021 campaign, and with three wins in their last five games, there are positives bettors can hang their hats on. It’s also worth noting that both losses during this stretch were narrow and decided by a few points. Had one or both gone their way, the Vikings would be in a different position today.
The Vikings are priced at +125 to win outright in money line betting which implies a 45.5% probability of winning. Those are reasonable odds, to be fair if you’re down with the Vikings coming out on top.
For spread bettors, playing the waiting game might be a better strategy as this line has the potential to go up to +3 at least.
The Packers are at the top of the NFC North and the entire NFC. They’ll be keen to keep the momentum going at the expense of the Vikings. In recent years, the Vikings have been their toughest rivals in the division, so this is a game they’ll be up for, indeed.
If you’re buying what the Packers are selling, who are a league-leading 8-1-0 ATS this season, betting the line now before the value is lost is advisable. Packers -2.5 is already juiced up to -115 or higher with several top-rated sportsbooks, indicating the line could move to the key number of 3 or higher soon. Wait too long and you might not get this line back.
For our money, the Packers at -2.5 is the choice bet, even though this is a tossup for NFL picks. In recent weeks, we’ve seen quite a few upsets and shockers, meaning nothing can be ruled out entirely.
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.