The massive division derby awaits for the bettors on this Sunday, September 16th, when the Green Bay Packers will welcome the Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field. It should be an entertaining clash between two championship contenders who both started the 2018 campaign with a victory, so let’s see what the bettors can expect out of this one.
Place: Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI
NFL Week 2: Sunday, September 16, 2018, 1:00 ET.
The Minnesota Vikings Are Looking for a Statement
The Minnesota Vikings put on a strong performance in the opening week of the 2018 NFL season, beating the San Francisco 49ers 24-16 in front of the home fans. The visitors played well, torturing the Vikings for all 60 minutes, but the hosts showed why they are +850 favorites to win the Super Bowl. The Vikings were excellent on both ends of the field to fully deserve the victory and start the campaign on a right foot as they are looking to conquer the NFC North for the third time in the last four years with the odds at +110.
Kirk Cousins had a solid debut after joining the team this summer from the Washington Redskins, throwing for 244 yards and a couple of touchdowns. Cousins avoided to turn the ball over while completing 20 out of his 36 passes to record 95.1 quarterback rating. He has been sacked three times for 17 yards, but Cousins will need some time to get along with his offensive line. The wide receiver Stefon Diggs and the tight end Kyle Rudolph both added a TD each, while the running back duo Dalvin Cook and Latavius Murray combined for 137 yards from scrimmage. The WR Adam Thielen also had a good game, receiving six times for 102 yards.
On the other side, the Vikings’ defense has been looked like a well-oiled machine, recording three interceptions against Jimmy Garoppolo, while holding the San Francisco 49ers’ backfield to just 90 yards. The Vikings sacked Garoppolo three times, also recording 39 tackles and nine assists on tackles. Likewise, the Vikings managed to prevent eight out of 13 3rd downs, while stopping the 49ers three out of four times in the red zone.
The Packers Hope Aaron Rodgers Will Play despite the Injury
It was a breathtaking Sunday night in Green Bay last weekend, as the Packers managed to overcome the Chicago Bears 24-23 after losing 17-0 at the halftime. Aaron Rodgers suffered a knee injury during the second quarter that forced him out of the game, but he returned in the second half to engineer the 20-point comeback including some incredible passes to show why he’s one of the most exciting players to watch in the NFL.
Rodgers threw for 286 yards, three touchdowns, and zero interceptions, completing 20 out of his 30 passes to record 130.7 quarterback rating! He has been sacked two times, but it was nothing compared to his fantastic performance in the second half. The WR Randall Cobb was another key performer for the Packers, collecting nine out of the 10 targets for 142 yards and a TD. Davante Adams and Geronimo Allison both caught a touchdown each, while the Packers will need more from their RB duo Jamaal Williams and Ty Montgomery who combined for 75 yards from scrimmage.
The Packers’ defense was struggling in the first half, but in the second, they completely shut down Mitch Trubisky, allowing Aaron Rodgers to dominate the Bears’ defense. The Packers couldn’t force an interception, still sacking Trubisky four times and recording 52 tackles during the clash. However, they will need to do a better job against the Vikings if they want to start the season with 2-0, as the Packers mostly struggled to defend the Bears’ rushing.
• 5-2-0 ATS in the previous seven games on the road
• 8-1-0 ATS in the last nine games in September
• 4-1-0 ATS in the last five games versus the Packers
Green Bay Packers:
• 1-5-0 ATS in the last six games at home
• 0-4-0 ATS in the previous four matchups overall
• 1-5-0 ATS in the last six games against NFC North rivals
Reportedly, Aaron Rodgers will miss the practice this midweek to get ready for the game. He’s still doubtful, but Rodgers stated that he wants to play, so the bettors can expect him on the field this Sunday. Without Rodgers, the Packers would be blown away, as the Vikings’ defense looks ready for a war. On the other side, the Packers’ defense could easily struggle against both Kirk Cousins and the Vikings’ backfield, so I will go with the visitors here.
The Pick: Minnesota Vikings (-1.5) at -110
While Rodgers and Cousins are both capable of putting the numbers on the scoreboard in sequences, this should be a tight clash with strong defensive performance on both ends of the field. Last year, both H2H meetings were finished in the under, as Minnesota won 23-10 at home, and 16-0 on the road.
The Pick: Under 46.0 at -110