NFL Week 17’s Sunday Night Football tilt will feature a NFC North matchup between two 10-5 teams, the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings. Just because both have clinched playoff spots and can’t earn a first-round bye doesn’t mean this game won’t be a smash-mouth, down to the wire affair.
Bottom line, the winner claims the division crown and the No. 3 seed in the NFC playoffs. The loser will be the No. 5 seed unless Seattle defeats Arizona on Sunday and Minnesota loses to fall to No. 6, forcing a trip back to Lambeau next week to begin the playoffs.
Green Bay has been the favorite to win the division for the entire season. With the loss of Jordy Nelson in the preseason, they have not looked like the Super Bowl contender that many experts predicted them to be at the start of the season. Minnesota, buoyed by the return of AP, has been one of the biggest surprises this season, winning three more games than they did in 2014.
A Closer Look At The Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers NFL Week 17 Sunday Night Football Betting Spread
The NFL Week 17 Sunday Night Football betting spread favors the Packers by a field-goal at home to beat the Vikings. If you are betting the moneyline straight up, Minnesota pays 135 on 100 while Green Bay pays 100 on 155. The game total is 45.5.
What: Minnesota Vikings (10-5) at Green Bay Packers (10-5)
When: Sunday, January 3, 2015
Kickoff: 8:30 PM ET
Where: Green Bay, WI
Stadium: Lambeau Field
Spread: Packers -3
Moneyline: Minnesota +135 vs Green Bay -155
Game Total: 45.5
Stream: NBC Sports Live Extra
Listen: Minnesota vs Green Bay
Why Bet The Minnesota Vikings +3 Over the Packers Odds
The Minnesota Vikings are 10-5 straight up and 12-3 against the spread this season. They average 23.0 points (15th), 189.1 passing yards (31st), 137.3 rushing yards (5th) per game. Last week, they dismantled the NY Giants by a 49-17 score.
QB Teddy Bridgewater (3132 yards, 14 TDs & 8 INTs) will need another mistake free football game if the Vikings are to stand a chance at Lambeau. Bridgewater has completed 71.4% of his passes for six touchdowns and zero interceptions over his last three games.
Rookie WR Stefon Diggs (51 rec, 712 yards, 4 TDs) and TE Kyle Rudolph (49 rec, 495 yards, 5 TDs) are Bridgewater’s top two targets. Both have ceilings because of Bridgewater’s limited capabilities and inability to take over the game. A former shooting star, WR Mike Wallace (38 rec, 451 yards, 2 TDs) has struggled since leaving the Steel City.
RB Adrian Peterson (308 att, 1418 yards, 10 TDs) had 22 carries for 104 yards and a touchdown against the Giants last week. He has averaged 4.6 yards per carry this season but had only 45 rushing yards against the Packers in their previous meeting in November.
Minnesota’s defense allows 19.3 points (6th), 232.0 passing yards (9th) and 111.5 rushing yards (18th) per game. Eric Kendricks has 83 tackles, Everson Griffen has 8.5 sacks, and Terence Newman has 12 deflected passes deflected.
Why Bet The Green Bay Packers -3 Over the Vikings Odds
The Green Bay Packers are 10-5 straight up and 9-6 against the spread this season. They averaged 23.7 points (12th), 215.3 passing yards (26th), 118.3 rushing yards (10th) per game. Last week, they were embarrassed at the hands of the Arizona Cardinals by a 38-8 score.
QB Aaron Rodgers (3530 yards, 30 TDs & 7 INTs) is playing behind a battered offensive line and was sacked eight times last week, having two fumbles returned for touchdowns. The combined loss of Jordy Nelson and the demise of the Packers rush attack has caused Rodgers to hold on to the ball longer than he is use to. He’s been sacked an NFL-high 30 times since Week 8 as the Packers have gone 4-5, posting an 82.0 passer rating after having a 115.9 mark during their 6-0 start.
Rodgers top two targets are Randall Cobb (73 rec, 792 yards & 6 TDs) and James Jones (46 rec, 788 yards, 8 TDs) who have struggled to find separation from opposing defensive backs in time.
The Packers’ backfield of Eddie Lacy (174 att, 724 yards, 3 TDs) and James Starks (140 att, 577 yards, 2 TDs) have struggled all season.
Green Bay’s defense allows 20.2 points (10th), 237.0 passing yards (13th) and 116.9 rushing yards (21st). Ha Ha Clinton-Dix has 96 tackles, Julius Peppers 9.5 sacks and Damarious Randall has 14 deflected passes.
Betting Trends & Stats Related To This Matchup:
- 10/2/2014: Green Bay won 42 to 10, Green Bay covered -7.5, Game went over 47.5
- 11/23/2014: Green Bay won 24 to 21, Minnesota covered +8, Game came under 49
- 11/22/2015: Green Bay won 30 to 13, Green Bay covered +1, Game came under 45
- The Vikings are 0-5-1 SU and 1-5 ATS in their last six games on the road against the Packers.
- The Packers are 8-2 SU in their last 10 games against their division.
- The Vikings are 7-0 ATS in their last seven games as road underdogs.
- Rodgers has won 10 of 11 against the Vikings regardless of location or playoffs with a 120.1 passer rating, throwing for 28 touchdowns and three interceptions.
- Lacy has rushed for 534 yards and five TDs in five career meetings.
- The Vikings have won eight straight when Peterson rushes for 100 yards, a streak that dates back to a 26-26 tie at Lambeau on Nov. 24, 2013 — a game Rodgers missed.
Expert Pick & Final Score Prediction:
This is the slimmest point-spread the Vikings have seen versus the Packers since 2011 when they lost 28-24 as 2.5-point dogs. The NFL odds-makers are finally showing the Vikings the respect they have earned this season.
Both teams understand that how this game unfolds will likely permeate to the playoffs.
My final score prediction is Minnesota 27, Green Bay 28.