NFC North Title: Big Implications Make Packers Our NFL Pick Over Vikings

Joe Gavazzi

Thursday, December 31, 2015 1:35 PM GMT

Thursday, Dec. 31, 2015 1:35 PM GMT

Our NFL handicapper offers his insight on Sunday's NFC North Clash between the Minnesota Vikings vs. Green Bay Packers and concludes his analysis with an NFL pick.

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NFL Pick: Packers -3
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

 

Minnesota Vikings vs. Green Bay Packers 8:30PM ET
This is the Marquee Matchup of Week 17. It has been slated for primetime as the final game of the NFL regular season. There are plenty of implications for this contest, as the winner of the game claims the NFC North Title, while the loser of the contest plummets to the Wild Card slot. 

All eyes will be glued when the Minnesota Vikings visit the Green Bay Packers for this 8:30 ET kickoff. My selection for the contest is the Green Bay Packers who, in the inevitable ebb and flow of the NFL, will reverse their fortunes of last week and crush the Minnesota Vikings into submission.

 

Betting Preview
What a season for the Minnesota Vikings!  It all began when HC Zimmer took the reins 2 seasons ago. Today, the Vikings enter on a 20-5 ATS run, including 12-3 ATS this season. They are the hottest pointspread property in the NFL, including 6 consecutive covers on the road. They have done it the old fashioned way with a running game that carries the ball an average of 30 times per contest for 137/4.6 and a defense that allows just 19 PPG. Not flashy, but very effective!  Last week, the Vikings easily subdued the NY Giants by a count of 49-17, combining a (+3) net TO margin with a 218-91 overland edge. That will get you the money in the NFL close to 100% of the time. Their Achilles Heel, however, has been stepping up their game against quality opposition. For the YTD, Minnesota can claim only KC (who was 1-5 SU at the time) as the scalp of a winning team. In other step up games, they have lost to Denver, Seattle, Arizona and this Green Bay team by a score of 30-13 in the first meeting between these two in Minnesota on November 22nd. Are the Vikings ready to take the next step up? Or, will Green Bay smack them down?

My vote comes for the latter, as the Packers return home off what was truly a most embarrassing performance in their previous game. Going head to head with one of the 2 best teams in the conference, QB Rodgers spent more of the game in a horizontal than a vertical position and saw his Packers outgained 381-178 in a totally embarrassing (38-6) Arizona victory. Nine sacks, 4 TOs and a battered and bruised offensive line totally exposed the Green Bay weaknesses. But, the vote in this spot is for the bounce back in style. The Packers are 21-2 SU in their LHG, while Rodgers is 13-2 SU ATS in divisional contests, following a SU ATS. That includes 8-0 ATS, if his divisional opponent is coming off a victory.

 

Final Analysis
The Packers, who are 10-4 ATS as home favorite of late, stake their claim to yet another division title, letting the Vikings know they are still not quite ready for primetime! I invite you to put the NFL odds in your favor (the first game was a PICK’em) and join me in my NFL pick on the Green Bay Packers as they CRUSH the Vikings with a comfortable double digit victory.

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