Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings: 2022 Week 1 NFL Pick

Green Bay Packers (0-0) at Minnesota Vikings (0-0)

The Packers were likely to see their win total regress regardless in 2022, needing to go 6-3 in games decided by 8 points or fewer to go 13-4 last season, finishing with just a +79 point differential (10th in the NFL) and a 11th ranked overall efficiency. A high winning percentage in close games is tough to sustain long-term, with even Aaron Rodgers winning just 56.6% of the games he has played in his career which have been decided by 8 points or fewer. However, on top of that, the Packers will be dealing with the loss of Davante Adams on offense, while Rodgers is now going into his age 39 season and would have been unlikely to repeat two of the best seasons of his Hall of Fame career even if Adams didn’t leave.

The Packers will get top cornerback Jaire Alexander back from injury, but offensive tackles David Bakhtari and Elgton Jenkins remain questionable to return from torn ACLs and may not be 100% even if they do play and they also have players like De’Vondre Campbell, Preston Smith, and Rasul Douglas who could struggle to repeat by far the best season of their careers. They should still be the favorites to win the NFC North, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Vikings seriously challenge for the division crown, depending on injuries. 

The Vikings have finished just 7-9 and 8-9 over the past two seasons, but missing key personnel on defense has been a big part of the problem, particularly Danielle Hunter, Michael Pierce, Anthony Barr, and Cameron Dantzler. Hunter and Dantzler could easily be healthier in 2022 though, while Pierce and Barr have been replaced by comparable talents and healthier players in Harrison Phillips and Jordan Hicks, with edge defender Za’Darius Smith also being added in free agency, a potentially huge addition if he too can stay healthy. Meanwhile, their offense figures to be better in 2022 with better coaching getting more out of all their talent.

Unfortunately, we’re not getting quite enough line value with the Vikings as mere 1.5-point home underdogs for them to be worth betting against the spread, but it’s worth noting that Aaron Rodgers’ career QB rating drops off about 10 points on the road as opposed to at home, a significantly bigger gap than the average quarterback, and the Vikings should be considered slight favorites in this one, so there’s some value taking the Vikings for a small bet on the money line at +105. The Vikings are also the pick against the spread for pick ‘em purposes.

Minnesota Vikings 24 Green Bay Packers 23 Upset Pick +105

Pick against the spread: Minnesota +1.5

Confidence: Low

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