Packers vs. Vikings Predictions, Picks, Betting Tips 9/13/20
Game: Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings
Date: 1 p.m., Sunday, September 13, 2020
Location: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN
Odds/Point Spread: Minnesota -3.5
I can’t help but feel like the Super Bowl window for both the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings has closed.
Minnesota has been one of the best teams in the best conference in football over the course of the past five years. They’ve posted four winning seasons in that stretch, going 50-29-1 overall, and made the playoffs three times. The Vikings were in the NFC Title Game just three short years ago.
Green Bay had been one of the NFL’s flagship franchises from 2001-2016, making the playoffs 13 times in 16 years and claiming the Super Bowl in 2010. They successfully transitioned from one all-time great quarterback (Brett Favre) to another (Aaron Rodgers) and for the past decade have consistently been among the favorites to win the Super Bowl. After two down years, Green Bay enjoyed a major rebound in 2019, playing its way into last January’s NFC Title Game.
Both franchises appear to be at a crossroad. Minnesota has had to cut, trade, or watch key pieces leave over the past several offseasons. And despite a Green Bay resurgence last year, the vibe around Titletown seems to be more focused on the future than the present.
That makes this Week 1 matchup between division rivals Minnesota and Green Bay of heightened importance. If either team is going to make a last stand this year, then a fast start is crucial. And nabbing an NFC North win this early in the season would give the victor a leg up.
Last year’s Packers series sweep reversed a two-year trend in which Minnesota had beaten Green Bay four straight times (with a fifth meeting ending in a tie). Green Bay has dominated the Vikings over the past two decades, going 25-15-2 straight up. But the low-scoring nature of recent meetings (only one of the last seven matchups has seen more than 41 totals points) means that the margin for error for both teams in this game is slim.
Minnesota usually has one of the best home field atmospheres in the NFL. However, with the NFL not expected to allow teams to have fans – or for teams to have a fraction of the amount of fans that they normally would – then the Vikings appear to be losing out one of the strongest advantages in this series. The home team is 6-2 against the spread, and there have been just two straight up road winners in the series over the course of the last four years.
Green Bay should be entering this season riding high after winning 13 games last year. However, Green Bay didn’t do anything to support the 36-year-old Rodgers this offseason, instead choosing to stand pat in free agency and to draft his replacement, Jordan Love, with their No. 1 pick. The Packers have a ton of statistical indicators suggesting that they overachieved last year and that they are due to come back to earth this season.
But I expect that regression to take place over the course of the entire season. And that won’t necessarily have an impact on how I handicap this particular game. The reality is that if you give me the choice between Rodgers and Kirk Cousins, I’m going to take Rodgers every time. And if the oddsmakers want to give me the points as well, then I will gladly take them in a game that could come down to its final series.
Who will win the Packers/Vikings NFL game against the spread?
Robert Ferringo’s Pick: Take Green Bay +3.5.
NOTE: Robert made these picks and predictions in May. Things can and will change in the four months between May and September. These May predictions may or may not match his rated Week 1 picks released to his clients on Thursday, Sept. 10.
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