Free Pick Breakdown, Odds & Prediction: Vikings vs. Packers (1/1/2023) - Taking Vegas

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Free Pick Breakdown, Odds & Prediction: Vikings vs. Packers (1/1/2023)

By Ryan Potts
December 28, 2022
Photo by: David Berding - Getty Images

Minnesota Vikings vs. Green Bay Packers (1/1 @ 4:25 p.m. EST.)

Line: Packers -3
Total: 48

Minnesota Vikings vs Green Bay Packers Breakdown and Betting Odds

The Minnesota Vikings (12-3) are heading up to Lambeau Field for a matchup with the Green Bay Packers (7-8) Sunday at 4:25 p.m. ET. The Packers are 3-point favorites. The over/under is set at 48 points.

Minnesota won the first matchup between these teams 23-7. The Packers lead the all-time matchup 64-57-3. Minnesota has won three of the last four matchups, but they have not swept the Packers in a season since 2017.

Minnesota Vikings Overview

The Vikings are having one of the strangest seasons in NFL history. The 12-3 record is one of the best in the NFL, but the Vikings are in the middle of the pack in many stats. In particular, the Vikings have a pedestrian +5 point differential. They are a breathtaking 11-0 in one-score games. They have not had a one-score win since Week 1 (against the Packers). They are 2-0 in overtime games, and they are 5-0 in three-point games. Stats such as these are why the Vikings are road underdogs against a team who has lost five more games than the Vikings.

The Vikings have one of the better offenses in the NFL. They are seventh in scoring and 12th in total offense. Pro Bowler Kirk Cousins is having one of his best seasons. He has launched 27 touchdowns with just 11 interceptions. He is on pace for more than 4,600 yards. Dalvin Cook has had a strong season out of the backfield, rushing for 1,109 yards and eight touchdowns. However, the stud of the offense is Justin Jefferson. Jefferson is on pace to break the single-season receiving record. He has 1,756 yards on 123 catches in 15 games. He also leads the team with eight touchdowns. Beyond Jefferson, Adam Thielen (692 yards, five touchdowns) and T.J. Hockenson (444 yards, three touchdowns in eight games) have been capable options.

The defense is simultaneously one of the worst units in the league and one of the best. They are bottom-five in the NFL in points allowed, yards allowed, and yards allowed per pass. On the other hand, they are top-10 in third-down defense, fourth-down defense, and forcing turnovers. The Vikings have been outgained, but they have a +6 turnover differential. They are led by Pro Bowler Za’Darius Smith. Smith has 10 sacks, 15 tackles for loss, and five pass deflections. Danielle Hunter has had another strong season with 10.5 sacks. On the back end, Harrison Smith and Patrick Peterson are enjoying resurgent seasons. Smith has five interceptions and 10 pass deflections while Peterson has four interceptions and 14 pass deflections.

The Vikings are a sub-standard 6-8-1 ATS. They have not covered since Week 13. They are 2-4 ATS in their last six games. In four games as underdogs, Minnesota is 1-3 both straight up and ATS. The over is 10-5 in Vikings games, hitting in each of the last five games. In the last five games, Minnesota has scored at least 23 in all five games and allowed at least 22.

Green Bay Packers Overview

It has been a tale of three seasons for the Packers. They began 3-1 as many expected they would. Then, they lost seven of eight games to slip to 4-8. However, they have won their last three games to get to the fringe of playoff contention. The Packers are 0.5 games out of a playoff spot. They do not control their destiny, but they have a genuine shot to make the playoffs. However, they would be eliminated from playoff contention if they lose to the Vikings and either the Lions beat the Bears or the Commanders beat the Browns.

In the three-game winning streak, the Packers are scoring 26 points per game. Aaron Rodgers has not played like an MVP, but he is still capable of excellent stretches of play. He has 24 passing touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He has an abnormal 91.3 passer rating, and he is only averaging 6.8 yards per attempt. On the ground, the Packers have a two-headed monster of Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon. Jones has over 1,300 scrimmage yards, and he has seven touchdowns. Dillon has six rushing touchdowns and a healthy 696 yards on the ground. However, the biggest improvement has been in the receiving game. Eight different Packers have at least 200 receiving yards, but Christian Watson has emerged as a serious threat. He has nine total touchdowns, and he has 46 or more yards in six straight games. If one extrapolates his games since Week 10, Watson would be on pace for 1,156 yards and 23 total touchdowns over a full season.

The defense has stepped up in a big way on the win streak. While the Packers have faced less-than-stiff competition, they have allowed 17 points per game and forced eight turnovers in three games. They are 10th in the NFL on third down, and they have a Pro Bowler in Jaire Alexander. Alexander has nabbed five interceptions and 13 pass deflections. Preston Smith leads the pass rush with 8.5 sacks, and Kingsley Enagbare has stepped up in the absence of Rashan Gary to post 3.0 sacks and five tackles for loss. 2021 All-Pro De’Vondre Campbell is playing at a high level in the 11 games he has played, and rookie Quay Walker leads the team with 106 tackles.

The Packers are 7-8 ATS. They have been much more capable in recent weeks, covering in four of their last six games. They opened the season with a disastrous 2-5 ATS stretch, but they have the opportunity to reverse their record with back-to-back wins to end the season. The Packers are 4-5 (3-6 ATS) as favorites this season. The under is 8-7, hitting in the last two games. The over had a four-game surge before the Packers’ bye, but since the bye, the Packers have kept games to lower scores.

Free Pick: Over 48

Only 30 points were scored in the first matchup, but both teams are in a different spot. The Vikings have scored points at will for much of the season, but they have also been poor at stopping their opponents from similar production. In the opening game, Rodgers missed Watson on what would have been a 75-yard touchdown. Rodgers and Watson have improved their chemistry since then, so Rodgers should be confident to attack the Vikings. Over 48 should be a safe bet as both teams could play into the 30s.

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