Jason the Contrarian: Spread, Schmed Go Total on Vikings-Packers

Wednesday, September 12, 2018 12:19 PM UTC

Wednesday, Sep. 12, 2018 12:19 PM UTC

After vanquishing the outlaws of Aquilonia, Jason Lake returns to deliver his Contrarian NFL pick report for Sunday’s Minnesota Vikings-Green Bay Packers matchup.

Minnesota (1-0) at Green Bay (1-0)Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (FOX)Free NFL Pick: UnderBest Line Offered: Bookmaker

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Don’t say I didn’t warn you about those vandals from Foxborough. The New England Patriots were 7-point home favorites for their 2018 season opener against the Houston Texans, then they moved to –6 after the betting public unloaded not on the Patriots, but the Texans. Final score: New England 27, Houston 20. I can still hear the lamentations of the women, echoing all the way from the Broken Obelisk.

We didn’t pull the trigger on that game for our Week 1 NFL picks, and we’re not so sure about our featured Week 2 matchup between the Minnesota Vikings and the Green Bay Packers. In theory, the Packers should be the public choice here, but at press time, the expanded consensus reports show Minnesota pulling in 68.14 percent of bettors, along with 58.78 percent of the monies wagered. Has the betting public gone full Viking on us?

Cheeses of Gwahlur

Maybe. You might recall our little spiel about the line move for this game; the Packers moved from PK to –2 on the NFL odds board, but unless you dug deep and peeled back the layers, you would have missed the real story behind these odds. Green Bay moved from PK (–125) to –2 (–110), which is actually a very slight nudge towards Minnesota. Now the Packers are –2 (–105) as I write this.

What’s a Contrarian to do? Ideally, we want to bet early on a team that the betting public is going to pounce on, or we want to bet late on the other side, after the lines have moved a sufficient distance. I’m not sold yet that Packers fans aren’t going to come in over the weekend and drop some of that fine Wisconsin cheddar on their favorite team. But given the circumstances, maybe they won’t.

Neighborhood of Make-Believe

The biggest problem here is the health of Packers QB Aaron Rodgers. He hurt his left knee in some fashion or other during last week’s opener against the Chicago Bears. Rodgers came back to lead Green Bay (–6.5 away) to a 24-23 victory, but how healthy is he for Week 2? Nobody’s talking.

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According to Tom Brady...

If Aaron Rodgers had the Pats offensive scheme and knowledge on opposing defenses: pic.twitter.com/eUztby8gVI

— Stadium (@WatchStadium) 11 de setembro de 2018
As for the Vikings, they put away the San Francisco 49ers 24-16 as 6-point home faves, but it was hardly a classic; both teams had major holes on their offensive lines due to injuries, and Minnesota lost another man when tackle Aviante Collins injured his elbow in practice – he’s out for the season.

By Crom! There are so many question marks surrounding this game, we’re not inclined to throw any money down on the point spread. But we can still make the classic Contrarian pick against the total and take the UNDER. The total has already dipped from 47 to 46.5 thanks to some early pressure, but this is probably sharp money; the public traditionally loves to bet the OVER unless the weather is really bad, and Lambeau Field has yet to turn into frozen tundra. We’ll take our chances with a gimpy Rodgers and the depleted Vikings offensive line. And we’ll wait until closer to kick-off for a presumably higher total. May the prolate spheroid be with you, fellow traveler.

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