Liev Jackson NFL Free Picks: Minnesota Travels to Green Bay With Division up for Grabs
Sunday, January 03, 2016
by Liev Jackson

Liev Jackson NFL Free Picks: Minnesota Travels to Green Bay With Division up for Grabs

Minnesota Vikings vs. Green Bay Packers

Vikings: 10-5 SU,12-3 ATS
Packers: 10-5 SU,9-6 ATS
When:
8:30 PM ET, Sunday, January 3, 2016
Where: Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wisconsin
TV: NBC

Back in week 11 the 7-2 Vikings were winners of five straight. They were hosting the 7-3 Green Bay Packers, losers of three straight with a chance to take a stranglehold on the division. Fair to say things did not go according to plan as they lost handily 30-13.

It was a close 9-6 Packers game until they marched 80 yards down the field in two minutes to score a touchdown with six seconds to go in the half. They also followed that up with a field goal to open the second half and the defence did the rest. With Minnesota needing the passing game to come through, the Packers got to Teddy Bridgewater for six sacks.

Since that game the Vikings have been searching for a more consistent passing game to balance out the lethal running game led by Adrian Peterson. And it seems that they found it, starting with a 23-20 loss to the Cardinals three weeks ago.

In that game the Cards stacked the box and limited Peterson to 69 yards on 23 carries, an average of 3 yards per carry.

But Bridgewater emerged with 335 yards passing and 1 TD. The Vikings have carried that momentum into two dominating wins against the Bears and Giants. Against the Bears, Bridgewater went 17-20 with 4 TDs and against the Giants the numbers were down, but he still had a 60% completion rate to go with 1TD and 0 Ints and the Vikings cruised to a 49-17 victory.

The Packers have been in first place ever since that win over Minnesota, but they have been maddeningly inconsistent. They are lucky to be 10-5. One win was delivered courtesy of an end of game hail mary against the Lions in a game where they were decidedly outplayed. They also lost to the Bears at home on Thanksgiving 17-13 and last week they were dismantled by the Cardinals 38-8.

That is a lot to bounce back from in one week with the division on the line. At the same time, with Aaron Rodgers at the helm they still have one of the top players in the league. We’ve heard a lot about how the passing game has suffered this year with the loss of top wide out Jordy Nelson, but he still has 30TDs with just 7Ints.

On the other side, unless he throws for more than 508 yards this will be his worst 16 game season of his career in terms of yardage. It already is his lowest completion percentage and second worst in terms of TDs. He has also thrown one interception in four of his last five games and the average yards per game in the last six is 210 yards/G. The Packers are 4-2 in those games.

There are no 1000 yards receivers on the Packers. Randall Cobb leads with 73-792-6. James Jones leads with 8 TDs.

Overall Green Bay is 13th in points scored with 23.7 P/G and Minnesota is 15th with 23. Defensively Minnesota is 6th with 19.3 P/G allowed and Green Bay is 10th with 20.2.

Green Bay is 3-3 against strong opponents. They’ve been outscored 27-24.

Minnesota is 1-4 against strong opponents. They’ve been outscored 25-15.

Bovada has the Packers favorites at 3-point favorites and the total sitting at 45½ according to MyBookie.ag

On the NFL Football Moneyline Odds at BetOnline Packers are the Favorite at -152.

Minnesota Vikings vs. Green Bay Packers Odds & Betting Lines

Gm# Team
Opener
325 Minnesota
48½
326 Green Bay
-3
  Moneyline
+155/-175

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Green Bay lost its last outing, a 38-8 result against the Cardinals on December 27. The Packers failed to cover in that game as a +6-point underdog, while the 46 combined points took the game UNDER the total.

Last time out for Minnesota, they were a 49-17 winner as they battled the Giants at home. The Vikings covered in the match as a -7-point favorite, while 66 combined points moved the game OVER for totals bettors.

Minnesota Vikings vs. Green Bay Packers NFL Betting Odds & Trends

Minnesota:
Minnesota is 12-2 ATS in its last 14 games
Minnesota is 8-3 SU in its last 11 games
Minnesota is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games on the road

Green Bay:
Green Bay is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games
Green Bay is 18-7 SU in its last 25 games
The total has gone UNDER in 9 of Green Bay's last 12 games

The Bottom Line: Minnesota has struggled against good teams all season, but I don’t think lightning will strike twice here against the Packers. They seem to have learned in the last few weeks how to be a balanced team and with a great defence as well that makes them dangerous. The Pick: Vikings 24-20.

Liev NFL Prediction: Minnesota +3 at MyBookie

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Tags
aaron rodgers - adrian peterson - green bay packers - jordy nelson - minnesota vikings - randall cobb - teddy bridgewater

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