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Green Bay Packers vs. Minnesota Vikings Point Spread - Pick

Green Bay Packers (4-5-1 SU, 4-5-1 ATS) vs. Minnesota Vikings (5-4-1 SU, 5-4-1 ATS)
Week 12 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday Night Football, November 25, 2018 at 8:20PM EST
Where: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota
TV: NBC

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: GB +5/MIN -5
Over/Under Total: 40.5

The Green Bay Packers come to U.S. Bank Stadium to face the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday Night Football in week 12 NFC North action. The Packers are coming off a rough 27-24 loss to the Seattle Seahawks last week on Thursday Night Football. The loss dropped them to 4-5-1. Without getting into the particulars of the division race, being under .500 heading into week 12 has its obvious drawbacks and the Packers can pretty much kiss it all good-bye with another loss this week in Minneapolis. And the Vikings might be in better shape overall, but after winning just one of their first four games this season, they still have a lot of work to do. After losing to the Bears on Sunday at home, they have some ground to cover.

These division rivals played back in week two, with the game being memorable for a lot of twists and turns. The Vikings exploded in the fourth quarter with Kirk Cousins throwing three touchdowns in that quarter alone. The Packers held tough and with both teams scoring three times in the game's final two minutes, one would have thought matters would be settled in OT, but both teams stagnated on offense and the game ended in a 29-all tie. The Packers got five field goals from Mason Crosby and one TD from Aaron Rodgers, while the Vikes got a big 425 yards from Cousins.

The Packers haven't been that bad and are maybe better than their record suggests. They got off to a good start in Seattle, but couldn't hold off a tough home Seahawks team. But maybe some things are a little different than when these teams first met. The Packers have found some better weaponry on offense, especially with RB Aaron Jones manifesting on offense and Rodgers perhaps in better form than he was early in the season. The defense has also played very well at points this season. Consistency has kept them from putting up the kind of results of which they are accustomed. And going back to last season, their W-L record is very unlike this franchise.

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Injury concerns have loomed over Rodgers this season, but maybe he's getting healthier. Over the last six weeks or so, he's been really good and hasn't thrown a pick. He had 332 yards and two TD throws against the Seahawks, albeit in a losing cause. Aaron Jones might not be the consistent force at running back that some players are, but when healthy, he gives them a big injection of energy and he catches passes, as well. Davante Adams, however, continues to increasingly thrive in this offense, as he is near 1000 yards. Marquez Valdes-Scantling is a rookie who offers some excitement when he's on. Still, while the O-line deserves credit for the Packers averaging 5.1 yards a run this season, they've left Rodgers very unprotected and even with his nimble feet, he's taking a lot of sacks and hits.

With Bashaud Breeland, Tramon Williams, Josh Jackson, Josh Jones, and others, the pass-defense has been pretty solid for the Packers. They lost some playmaking ability with the trade of Clinton-Dix earlier this month. But they're still pretty stout. The Green Bay pass-rush has been pretty good and on Thursday, Kyler Fackrell had three sacks of Russell Wilson. Linebacker Blake Martinez and Kenny Clark up-front can also bring the heat. Still, from an overall standpoint, they aren't that great. There are some standouts on this side of the ball and they're good against the pass, but not so good that Cousins didn't torch them the first time around.

The Vikings have latched onto some better momentum after a rough start to last season. While not taking dominant control of the division as they did last season, they are still in a decent striking position and with a lot of people's attention on other teams in the NFC, they lie a bit under-the-radar as a team that could be making noise in the upcoming weeks and into the playoffs. But they need to perform in division battles like this—against a truly-desperate Packers bunch. And after falling short to Chicago last week, a lot of hopes are riding on this week's result.

Cousins is really paying off for this Minnesota offense. He can extract a lot out of the aerial game, with Adam Thielen leading the way, bolstered by the contributions of TE Kyle Rudolph, WR Stefon Diggs, Laquon Treadwell, and others. Dalvin Cook and Latavius Murray add a nice dimension coming out of the backfield and both can do damage aerially in the right spots. Cousins, meanwhile, is carving out a nice season in his first year as a Viking, completing over 70% of his throws and coming around better after some hiccups in the first few games. Still, against a tough Bears "D" on Sunday, they didn't get hardly anything done until late in the game.

The Minnesota defense is the part of the team that has really improved and we're seeing signs of what they were doing last season. The secondary has managed to start playing better increasingly over the course of the season, with the stout run-defense tightening over the course of the campaign. Danielle Hunter is one of the top pass-rushers in the league. They get turnovers and make a lot of timely plays, especially over recent weeks.

This game means a lot for both teams. Minnesota still looks to climb back into it, while the Packers are fighting to keep their noses above water. It's not an easy game in which to cast a prediction, with the Packers having been pretty competitive, even in demanding road games such as this. This is the second straight tough road spot for the Packers, but coming off the long week, maybe they can show some energy, play enough defense, and keep this one within bounds. I like the Packers to get the cover on Sunday night.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Green Bay Packers plus 5 points. Did you know... that you could be wagering on the Packers vs. Vikings Sunday Night Football game at discounted odds? There's a better than good chance that you're laying -110 odds (or more) with your book. Stop overpaying TODAY by making the switch to 5Dimes Sportsbook! You will be so glad that you did!

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