Minnesota Vikings vs. Green Bay Packers Prediction: Should We Expect an Upset?
The 8-2 Green Bay Packers are running away with the NFC North, as they have a 3.5 game lead on the 4-5 Minnesota Vikings. However, that will not make their Week 11 matchup any less intense. The two teams are deadlocked in their last 13 meetings, with each team winning six times and one tie mixed in. So are these teams more evenly matched than their records indicate, or will the Packers continue to assert themselves as one of the best teams in the league?
Minnesota Vikings vs. Green Bay Packers Start Time, Where to Watch, and Odds
Date: Sunday, November 21
Game Time: 1:00 p.m. ET
Where to Watch: CBS
Minnesota Vikings vs. Green Bay Packers Injury Report
Questionable: LB Rashan Gary
Doubtful: LB Whitney Mercilus, RB Aaron Jones
OUT: WR Equanimeous St. Brown, DT Kingsley Keke, TE Dominique Dafney, OT David Bakhtiari, CB Jaire Alexander, C Josh Myers, RB Kylin Hill, TE Robert Tonyan
OUT: WR Bisi Johnson, DE Kenny Willekes, LB Anthony Barr, DT Michael Pierce, CB Patrick Peterson
Minnesota Vikings vs. Green Bay Packers Prediction
The fact that the Green Bay Packers are tied with Arizona and Tennessee for the best record in the league is not surprising. What is surprising is the play of their defense, as they are on pace to finish as a top-five scoring defense for the first time since 2010, which is also when they last won the Super Bowl. Green Bay’s defense pressured Seattle’s Russell Wilson on a season-high 19 dropbacks last week. That pressure was a big reason the Packers secured their first shutout in three seasons under head coach Matt LaFleur and was also the first time Wilson was shut out in his 10-year career.
The Minnesota Vikings stopped the bleeding of a mini two-game losing streak with a big 27-20 road win against the Chargers. At 4-5, the Vikings are currently just a half-game out of an NFC playoff spot. Just one of Minnesota’s five losses have come by more than four points, and none of their losses have been by more than seven. Thus, though 3.5 games separate the Vikings and Packers in the standings, Minnesota’s point differential is just 26 points worse than Green Bay’s, suggesting that it is not too big of a gap between these teams.
While the general public is likely to hammer Green Bay’s point spread at less than a field goal, we believe the Vikings will not only cover this spread but have a great chance of pulling an upset.
Green Bay’s win over Seattle was costly, as several key players on both sides of the ball came away injured. Running back Aaron Jones appears to have avoided a serious injury with a mild MCL sprain, but that is likely to sideline him for at least this game. In addition, Rashan Gary is questionable with a hyperextended elbow, while the team lost linebacker Whitney Mercilus for the season with a biceps injury.
In Jones’ absence, A.J. Dillon totaled 128 yards, which was his season-high in scrimmage yards. Green Bay is one of five teams with over 90 rushes in the last three weeks, an integral part of their success. However, with them being much thinner at the position this week, they are not as likely to have the offensive balance that has made them so hard to defend.
There has been much praise given to Green Bay’s defense over the last three weeks, and deservedly so. Over the previous three games, they have faced Kyler Murray, Patrick Mahomes, and Russell Wilson. In that span, Green Bay has allowed a league-best 11.3 PPG, is second in yards per play allowed (4.4) and has allowed the third-lowest completion percentage (56%).
However, Minnesota’s defense has been rock-solid as well. They entered last week leading the NFL with 3.4 sacks per game and allowed teams to complete only 61.9% of their passes (ranked fourth in the NFL). Aaron Rodgers is coming off his second career win with an interception while throwing zero touchdowns, so it is clear he is still working off the effects of his COVID-19 diagnosis. Meanwhile, Kirk Cousins entered last week with a 108.7 passer rating on deep passes (7th in NFL). And while Cousins has a 12:0 TD:INT ratio on the road compared to a 6:2 TD:INT ratio at home, his stellar play should give Vikings backers confidence.
The underdog is 9-4 in the last 13 meetings between these teams, and the under has cashed in six of their previous seven meetings in Minnesota. Thus, we are confident in a play on the under, and while we would love to wait for the Vikings to get to +3 or higher, we will still play them at their current odds.