When the Vikings (7-8) travel to face the Packers (12-3) in the penultimate game of NFL Week 17 on “Sunday Night Football” (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC), they will be playing for their NFC playoff lives. Green Bay, NFC North champions again, can clinch the No. 1 seed with a win and an earlier Dallas loss to Arizona. Minnesota, meanwhile, No. 8 in the conference going into Week 17, needs a win to get closer to passing either No. 6 San Francisco or No. 7 Philadelphia.
Unfortunately for the Vikings, they will be without starting quarterback Kirk Cousins, who landed in the COVID-19 protocol. Sean Mannion will get the nod instead of rookie Kellen Mond. They will need to get a lot from running back Dalvin Cook and wide receiver Justin Jefferson to win.
The Packers will be rolling with Aaron Rodgers, who’s positioning himself for a second straight MVP as the new favorite.
Here’s everything to know about betting on Packers vs. Vikings in Week 17, including updated odds, trends and our expert’s prediction for “Sunday Night Football.”
NFL PICKS WEEK 17: Against the spread | Straight up
Packers vs. Vikings odds for Sunday Night Football
- Spread: Packers by 13.5
- Over/under: 42.5
- Moneyline: Vikings +570, Packers -820
The line went up big-time by a touchdown from the early-week 6.5 in favor of the Packers when Cousins was put on the COVID-19 list and ruled out for the game. The Packers have an easier time of it now in trying to get closer to clinch the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs.
(betting odds per FanDuel Sportsbook)
Packers vs. Vikings all-time series
The Packers lead 63-56-3. The Vikings have won two straight, however, including 34-31 on a last-second field goal in Minnesota on Nov. 21. Before then, Green Bay had won three straight. Before then, Minnesota was on a 3-0-1 run.
Three trends to know
—63 percent of spread bettors like the Vikings now that they have been given a massive near two-touchdown number minus Cousins.
—54 percent of over/under bettors like the Vikings and Packers to score enough points to go beyond the point total given all the offensive playmakers.
—The Vikings are 6-4 against the spread and 5-5 straight up in their past 10 games. Seven of those games went over. The Packers are 7-3 ATS and 8-2 SU in their past 10 games with only 4 of those games going over.
Three things to watch
Davante vs. the Vikings’ defense
Davante Adams is on fire again as Green Bay’s No. 1 wide receiver. The Vikings are down to aging Patrick Peterson as Bashaud Breeland is gone and Cameron Dantzler won’t be playing. The Vikings should try to double-team him and make another wideout beat them. He had 7 catches for 115 yards and 2 TDs in the first meeting with Rodgers.
Justin vs. the Packers’ defense.
The Packers’ secondary has played well minus Jaire Alexander, their top shutdown cornerback. But Jefferson is a different story in coverage. He just had a massive game working mostly against the Rams’ Jalen Ramsey last week. He had 8 catches for 169 yards and 2 TDs in the first meeting with Cousins.
Cook the X-factor
Minnesota will be leaning a lot on Cook, who missed Week 16 and got rested on the COVID-19 list. Green Bay has played OK run defense, but still is only No. 18 in giving up rushing yards, an average of 115.3 per game. He had 22 carries for 86 yards and a TD in the first meeting.
Stat that matters
130.5. That’s how many average rushing yards per game the Vikings are yielding, No. 28 in the NFL. They have been depleted up front despite a good pass rush. The Vikings’ secondary is bad, too, so playing a shell to protect them against big plays will let Rodgers simply hand off often to Aaron Jones
Packers vs. Vikings prediction
The Vikings can surprise and stay in it with Mannion using his dynamic weapons well, led by Cook and Jefferson. But they don’t have enough offensive firepower without Cousins to stay with Rodgers. The Packers’ defense is playing well but will allow some back-door garbage for the Vikings to make it look better than expected on the scoreboard. In the end, the matchups for Rodgers, his receivers and the running game are just too good for a Minnesota defense that’s been the team’s big bugaboo all season.
Packers 31, Vikings 21