Green Bay Packers (11-4) at Minnesota Vikings (9-6)
There are many reasons to like the Vikings here. They’ve played great football at home, going 6-1 with wins over San Francisco and Chicago, as opposed to 3-4 on the road. They played the Packers tight a few weeks back and that was in Green Bay. They’re also playing very good football right now, winning 3 in a row since that Green Bay game. In spite of all this, we’re getting more than a field goal with them at +3.5 and still the public is on Green Bay and the public always loses money in the long run.
We are getting some line value with the Vikings because, while the Packers rank 6th in net points per drive at 0.50, the Vikings rank 16th at 0.04. If you take the difference, multiply by 11 (the average amount of drives per team per game), and shift the line in Minnesota’s favor 2.5 points for home field, you get that Green Bay should be only favored by 2.5, which isn’t much, but that is on the other side of that key field goal number. DVOA backs that up as Green Bay ranks 5th and 4th in regular and weighted DVOA, while the Vikings rank 16th and 19th respectively.
In spite of that, I’m not going against the Packers right now. Somehow the preseason favorites have managed to win 9 of 10 and fly under the radar. It hasn’t always been pretty, but last week against Tennessee it was (at least for them) in a huge blowout win and in spite of injuries, they are once again red hot at the right time this season. They are 11-4 and could easily be 12-3 if not for the replacement refs, which is right around where a lot of people had them at this point before the season (there was no way they were going to match 15 wins). Why aren’t they being talked about more? I bet Aaron Rodgers is asking that same question and he always plays very well when slighted.
Speaking of being slighted, why is Aaron Rodgers (who leads the NFL in QB rating), not being talked about as a legitimate MVP candidate. If he can win here and eliminate Adrian Peterson and the Vikings, I think he should be maybe the MVP front runner considering all the injuries around him on offense (Peterson is the favorite if the Vikings can make the playoffs). I think that’s exactly what will happen. Rodgers is 22-10 ATS on the road as dogs of favorites of 6 or fewer in his career. It’s not a big play and I wish the line were -3 flat, but I like the Packers.
Public lean: Green Bay (70% range)
Green Bay Packers 27 Minnesota Vikings 20
Pick against spread: Green Bay -3.5 (-110) 1 unit