The undefeated Green Bay Packers look to extend their unbeaten streak to a flawless 9-0 record on Monday Night Football against their forever rivals from Minnesota. Green Bay has yet to lose this season despite playing surprisingly brutal football on defense. They’re giving up a ton of points, and rank 30th in overall defense, and an abysmal 31st in the NFL in yards conceded via the pass. If the Packers are to repeat as this year’s Super Bowl champs, that area must be shored up quickly. Against a Minnesota team that features the game’s best running back in Adrian Peterson, the Packers defense will need to be on high alert to avoid the major upset.
On the other side of the ball, for a 2-6 squad the Vikings actually have a fair amount of nice pieces and talented playmakers. Rookie Christian Ponder has relieved disgruntled quarterback Donovan McNabb and has actually been solid on offense, while speedy wide-out Percy Harvin is finally healthy and on the verge of breaking out. Against a porous pass defense, this could be a huge game for the former Florida Gator. Meanwhile on defense, Jared Allen has been an MVP candidate all season long and will be in Aaron Rodgers’ face all game. Allen currently boasts a staggering 13 sacks on the season, and his sights are firmly set on breaking Michael Strahan’s single-season record of 22.5. Allen has an impressive 10.5 sacks in his last 5 games against Rodgers and the Packers, and if the Vikings are to keep the prolific Green Bay offense in check, Allen will have to live in the backfield come Monday evening.
Vikings vs. Packers Spread, Line, and Betting Odds:
Minnesota Vikings +13 (-115)
@ Green Bay Packers -13 (-105)
Over 49.5 (-110)
Under 49.5 (-110)
Vikings vs. Packers Pick:
Though the Packers currently lead the NFL with an 8-0 record, they’re clearly outscoring their major defensive deficiencies. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but generally those sorts of disparities tend to catch up with you. Going against a Vikings offense that will be re-energized coming off their bye week, and featuring a rested and currently dominant Adrian Peterson, it’s hard to imagine the Packers all of a sudden rectifying the glaring holes in their defense.
Three weeks ago when these teams squared off it was a narrow 6-point victory for the Packers, but Ponder threw for 219 yards, while Peterson rushed for an impressive 175. The Vikings actually outgained Green Bay in overall yardage, and if Minnesota didn’t pick up an awful 91 yards in penalties the game likely could’ve gone the other way.
Undoubtedly that performance put Green Bay on alert. Minnesota is better than their 2-6 record does suggest, but the Packers will be more prepared on their home field this time around. It would be a stretch to see Green Bay not turning in a solid performance at home on Monday Night Football, but it’s certainly believable that their struggles on defense will continue. Look for Ponder and Peterson to have no problem moving the chains for the Vikes on the attack, and expect Green Bay to employ their usual dominance on offense. They’re loaded with weapons at all positions when they’ve got the ball, and just like their Week 7 shootout against Minnesota which netted 60 total points, this game should replicate that first meeting.
Until Green Bay shows any interest in stopping the other team it’s tough to consider playing an under. Likewise, with the way the Packers are rolling in all facets of their offensive attack, overs are hitting with an impressive rate in Green Bay right now. Add in the fact that the last seven times these squads have met, the over is an impressive 6-1, and the over 49.5 points at Lambeau seems like a solid bet.