It was surely a dream start to the season for the Green Bay Packers and new head coach Matt LaFleur in Week 1. They entered Chicago and dethroned the defending divisional champion Bears, en route to a comfortable victory. More impressively was the fact that they won in convincing fashion mostly on the backs of their much-improved defense. Aaron Rodgers is still hoping to find his groove, and perhaps in Week 2 at Lambeau Field, the talented quarterback can get going.
The Vikings too looked excellent in their first week. They dominated Atlanta in every facet of the game, but things will get harder on the road this week. Green Bay will challenge their heralded defense, while Kirk Cousins won’t have nearly the time and space he did in his first contest of the season.
It’s always a special contest when these two teams square off, and just like last week for Green Bay – these divisional clashes already have big playoff implications. Read on below the odds as we’ll look to keep the winners flowing in with a game breakdown and official betting prediction for Green Bay and Minnesota.
Vikings vs. Packers Betting Odds:
Minnesota Vikings +2.5 (+100)
@ Green Bay Packers -2.5 (-120)
Over 43 (-110)
Under 43 (-110)
Vikings vs. Packers Pick:
It will be quite the contrast for Minnesota’s offense going from Atlanta to Green Bay. The Packers offer up one of the most improved units in the NFL this season, and should be able to really get to Kirk Cousins on Sunday.
With both Preston and Za’Darius Smith, expect a very aggressive interior push from Green Bay. That duo dominated against Chicago, and should be able to bully a flawed Vikings’ offensive line. As a result, don’t be surprised to see the mistake-prone Cousins revert to his old tricks, making ill-advised throws and turning the ball over.
Downfield Green Bay has plus matchups as well. The Minnesota receiving duo of Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs is scary, but the Packers are well-equipped to handle that challenge. Look for both Jaire Alexander and Kevin King to keep them in check, and when you add in new additions Adrian Amos and Darnell Savage, this Green Bay secondary can really limit opposing offenses. If the Vikings are going to move the chains, it will have to be heavy doses of Dalvin Cook – but run defense is another area where Green Bay has fortified.
The strengths in Green Bay’s defense were shown in Week 1, though their offensive prowess looked out-of-sync and weakened. Part of that had to do with playing Chicago’s elite stop unit, though most of it seemed to do with Aaron Rodgers still needing to find his flow.
After a slow first half, the Packers picked it up a tad in the second half against Chicago. Rodgers seems like he’ll receive elite protection this season, and as a result should be able to do more with added time and space to examine downfield options against the Vikes. Minnesota has had issues with covering in space lately, and that should free up Green Bay’s talented receiving options for Rodgers.
The Packers are being undervalued right now on the betting market, and frankly not getting enough credit for the wealth of changes they’ve made to their defense. Green Bay enters with added rest and time to prepare, and with a healthy Rodgers and offensive line protecting him – expect the Packers to defend Lambeau Field with a big victory on Sunday.