Each week, TheLines will provide a daily betting breakdown and analysis for the upcoming Monday Night Football game. We’ll look at the odds and see why they’re moving a certain way, along with breaking down the matchup and providing the week’s best bets.
The Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings will face off U.S. Bank Stadium for a Week 16 NFC North showdown Monday night. The game will mark the 119th meeting in a series that the Packers lead 61-54-3. The most recent game between the teams unfolded in Week 2 of this season, when the Packers defeated the Vikings by a 21-16 score at Lambeau Field.
MNF odds and analysis
The Vikings originally opened as four-point favorites on FanDuel Sportsbook late last week, and that number has now been boosted up to 5.5 points as of Monday afternoon. That’s significant movement under any circumstance, but especially considering:
- This is a late-season, high-stakes divisional matchup.
- Dalvin Cook has been ruled out for the Vikings.
- The Packers own the better overall record (11-3 to 10-4), and Green Bay prevailed in the one prior meeting between the teams this season.
The projected 47-point total qualifies on the higher side for a Week 16 slate that features a trio of games with sub-40-point totals and a fourth at 41.5 points. The first 2019 meeting between these clubs resulted in just 37 total points being scored, and with Cook missing this game, Minnesota will very likely be at less than full capacity offensively. Then, the Vikings are allowing an NFC-low 14.2 points per home game while the Packers are averaging 20.8 points per away contest, which ranks them just 19th out of 32 teams.
Vikings vs. Packers picks and predictions
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Packers vs. Vikings game matchup
This late-season NFC North showdown is one of those relatively rare cases where a game and its stakes set up exactly as the schedule makes would have ideally envisioned it back last offseason. The 11-3 Packers and 10-4 Vikings are clashing with Green Bay just a win away from clinching the division title and remaining alive for at least a No. 2 seed in the conference. Meanwhile, the Vikings could potentially clinch their postseason ticket with a victory here. However, they’ll already be assured of a postseason berth if the Rams lose or tie their game with the 49ers on Saturday night.
Each team kept itself in strong position with Week 15 wins. Green Bay toppled the Bears by a 21-13 score at Lambeau Field, officially eliminating Chicago from playoff contention in the process. The Vikings rolled over the Chargers out west by a 39-15 margin, but they also saw Cook go down the shoulder injury that now has him trending toward missing this matchup. Each team comes in with impressive home/road marks as they apply to Monday night’s game – Green Bay has a 4-2 record when traveling while Minnesota is a perfect 6-0 at U.S. Bank Stadium.
As mentioned earlier, oddsmakers have set a fairly high total for this game. For the Packers, their chances of doing their part to contribute to that prognostication coming true are likely going to be best through the pass. The Vikes have allowed just 91.3 rushing yards per home contest. That ranks them sixth among 32 teams. In turn, they’ve yielded 223.3 passing yards per home game. Cornerback Xavier Rhodes, whose play has slipped somewhat overall this year even when at full health, will come into this contest having recently nursed both calf and ankle injuries. Although he received clearance Thursday all the way around, he could still be somewhat limited. However, Aaron Rodgers will need to step up his play to take advantage. Green Bay has averaged just 183.3 passing yards per road game, fifth-lowest figure in the league.
For Minnesota, a Cook and/or Mattison absence naturally weakens their run game to a varying degree. Cook’s lack of availability would naturally have the biggest impact. Mike Boone did a fine job subbing in against the Chargers in Week 15. But, it could naturally be a very different story this time around against a team like the Packers with much more at stake and that’s had an opportunity to prepare for the possibility of Boone starting. The matchup against Green Bay’s run defense has usually been a favorable one, but much more so at Lambeau. The Pack has actually been much stouter against the run, shaving 30.2 yards per game off the 133.9 they give up per home contest.
On the passing front, Kirk Cousins finally got Adam Thielen back last week after a pair of multi-game absences due to a hamstring injury. Thielen had just three receptions for 27 yards versus Los Angeles, but of overriding importance was his ability to log 33 snaps without setbacks. That leaves him poised for a potential full-time role in this key game, a development that would certainly help keep the attention off position mate Stefon Diggs. The Packers are seemingly ripe for the picking on paper also – they allow 274.7 passing yards per road contest.
MNF betting breakdown
The Packers lead the all-time series with the Vikings by a 61-54-3 margin. Although Green Bay won the most recent game in the series back in Week 2, the Vikings have prevailed in five of the last eight contests between the teams overall, with one tie also included in that span.
The Packers are 9-5 (64.3 percent) against the spread this season, including 4-2 (66.7 percent) as an away team. Green Bay is also 3-1 (75.0 percent) ATS in NFC North matchups. Then, the Over is 6-8 (42.9 percent) in the Packers’ games this season, including 3-3 in their away games.
The Vikings are 8-6 (57.1 percent) against the spread this season, including 4-2 (66.7 percent) as a home team. Minnesota is also 2-2 ATS in NFC North matchups. Then, the Over is 8-6 (57.1 percent) in the Vikings’ games this season, including 3-3 in their home games.