Green Bay (11-3) can wrap up the NFC North with a win and remain in the driver’s seat for a first-round bye. Aaron Rodgers has had another exceptional season throwing for 3,463 yards with 22 touchdowns and just 2 interceptions despite a revolving door of injuries and talent at the wide receiver position. Davante Adams leads the team with 63 receptions and 788 receiving yards this season. Aaron Jones is coming off a two-score game in the 21-13 win over the Bears last Sunday and leads the NFL with 14 rushing touchdowns this season.
Minnesota (10-4) has already clinched a playoff berth but can win the NFC North win two victories in their final two games and a Packers loss next week in Detroit. The Vikings will be short-handed at running back on Monday as Dalvin Cook will miss the game with a chest injury and backup Alexander Mattison is questionable with an ankle injury. If Mattison can’t go, the Vikings backfield will be led by Mike Boone and Ameer Abdullah. Quarterback Kirk Cousins has had a relatively positive season throwing 25 touchdown passes with just 5 interceptions.
ESPN’s FPI gives Green Bay a 68.1% chance of winning this game. We offer our best prop bets and analysis for Saturday’s crucial NFC North matchup between the Packers and Vikings.
Follow the Heavy on Winners Facebook page for the top picks, latest odds, and more!
Packers vs. Vikings Game Details
Date: Monday, December 23
Time: 8:20 pm
Location: U.S. Bank Stadium (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
Spread: Vikings -4.5
Analysis & Picks
I think Kirk Cousins gets a big monkey off his back in this game. Not only are the Vikings down to their third-string running back, but Cousins is also trying to overcome an 0-8 record on Monday Night Football. The Packers are 24th in the NFL allowing 7.2 opponent yards per passing attempt this season, and with Cousins carrying the load in this game, I expect him to fly over the relatively low passing yards total of 248.5 on FanDuel.
PICK: Kirk Cousins over 248.5 passing yards (-112)
This is a contrarian play, but we’re getting great value on the odds. Aaron Rodgers has only thrown two interceptions this season, so you know it’s not something the books are banking on. The Vikings are 3rd in the NFL forcing an average of 1.1 interceptions per game. So Minnesota is better than a coin flip to force a pick in this game, however, the juice on FanDuel is heavily favored to Rodgers not throwing an interception. That doesn’t add up, and as a gambler, I take value when I see it.
PICK: Aaron Rodgers to throw an interception (+144)
This is correlated to my first pick, but considering the lack of weapons in the backfield for the Vikings in this game, I can’t see a scenario where Kirk Cousins is not the focal point of Minnesota’s offense. In the shootout loss to Seattle on Monday Night Football a few weeks ago, Cousins attempted 38 passes. I expect this to be a similar game, so his total of 31.5 pass attempts on FanDuel should sail over.
PICK: Kirk Cousins over 31.5 pass attempts (-112)
Follow Jared Smith on Twitter: @jaredleesmith