It was a quick one-and-out for Aaron Rodgers and his Green Bay Packers last week against Carolina. Rodgers looked great but with his ultimately losing, their playoff chances are all but shot – and as a result, has been shut down once again to best prepare for next year.
Now, a depleted Packers team will host their bitter rivals from Minnesota on a special Saturday night edition of Week 16 football. The Vikings have been dominant in all facets this year. Their defense is elite, and after losing Sam Bradford – their offense hasn’t missed a beat with Case Keenum under centre. This is one of the premier teams within the NFC, and they are clearly eyeing the top seed and a potential Super Bowl appearance. They enter with an impressive 11-3 mark and should be able to assert their dominance over their division rival Packers on Saturday night.
Week 16 is always a fun one – with playoff scenarios getting tighter and the margins for error almost non-existent. It has been a great regular season of betting on the NFL for myself, and I encourage you to read on below for some further game analysis and a betting prediction for Vikings/Packers.
Vikings vs. Packers Betting Odds:
Minnesota Vikings -9 (-110)
@ Green Bay Packers +9 (-110)
Over 41 (-110)
Under 41 (-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Vikings vs. Packers Pick:
The Vikings should relish the opportunity to further squash the once mighty Packers. It’s not often the Green Bay franchise is down and out – but Minnesota should take credit in all they’ve done to limit the Packers in 2017. They first knocked Rodgers out in the first meeting between these teams, and now they have added opportunity to rub real salt in the wound at Lambeau Field in a primetime game on Saturday night.
The spread is big for a road team and divisional game, but it seems fully justified given what is at stake for Minnesota. They desperately are after a first-round bye and are hoping to maybe track down the Eagles for the top overall spot in the NFC as well. A lot remains at stake for Minny here, and expect a ton of focus from this talented club.
When Green Bay has the ball, it’s going to be a definite downer seeing Brett Hundley back under centre instead of Rodgers. Even though Rodgers made a few mistakes last week against Carolina, it’s the wise move to hold him out with nothing on the line. Danielle Hunter of the Vikings is a menace on the defensive line and should provide all kinds of difficulty for the Packers’ offensive line. He’ll be living in the Green Bay backfield come Saturday night and should be able to force Hundley into some poor throws and mistakes.
Making matters worse for the Packers is the status of Davante Adams – Hundley’s top target. He’ll likely sit this contest out with a concussion, and that should force Xavier Rhodes into blanketing Jordy Nelson. Options downfield will be limited for Hundley. The last time he took on the VIkes, he threw three interceptions, and it wouldn’t be surprising at all to see him have an equally mediocre outing on Saturday.
On the other side of the ball, Case Keenum is basically the greatest and that’s all there is to say about that. He’s been more than anyone could have ever imagined and is all lined up for a big payday when his contract expires. The Packers have an atrocious secondary and they’ll get picked apart with regularity. Adam Thielen, Stefon Diggs, and Kyle Rudolph should all be able to find space and get open. Green Bay also has shown a an inability to defend against pass-catching running backs. Jerick McKinnon destroyed the Packers in the first meeting and should be able to pick up where he left off.
The Packers only legitimate shot at stifling this hot Vikes’ offense will be too generate a ton of pressure on Keenum. They did that in the first meeting effectively, but Minnesota was badly banged up along the offensive line. They’re much healthier now and should be able to provide a lot more resistance this time around.
This game will be a crushing, and I think the Vikings will relish every minute of it. Green Bay is deflated, after all it’s tough to go from Hundley to Rodgers, and then back to Hundley to end off a mediocre season. Minnesota is much better on offense and defense and holds big mismatches across the field. Look for the Vikes to lay the hammer down and take a run at the top team in the NFL.
PICK = Vikings -9 (-110)