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Minnesota Vikings vs. Green Bay Packers Point Spread - Pick

Minnesota Vikings (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) vs. Green Bay Packers (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS)
Week 2 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday, September 15, 2019 at 1PM EST
Where: Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wisconsin
TV: Fox

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: MIN +3/GB -3
Over/Under Total: 45

The Minnesota Vikings come to Lambeau Field on Sunday for a week two matchup with the Green Bay Packers. This is one of the more storied rivalries in football, a "black n' blue" division special from Lambeau on Sunday. Green Bay is looking to make it two in a row in the NFC North to start the 2019 season, following their season-debut last Thursday, where they won as underdogs at Soldier Field with a 10-3 win over the Bears. Can they find the same success on the defensive side of the ball this week against a Vikings team that looked terrific in week one? The Vikes started off great with a dominating 28-12 win over the Falcons that wasn't even as close as the score looked. The defense looked great, shutting out the Falcons until late. The offense flexed a powerful running-game and got the team off to a 28-0 lead that the Falcons could not overcome.

When you're underdogs, one can't get picky at how you go about getting wins. Sure, the Packers' offense didn't excite on Thursday Night Football, with an anemic 10-point output. But their defense was able to shine on the road within their division by allowing a mere field goal. And when Chicago tried to mount anything, especially late, the defense showed its fangs and dug in, always getting the better of the matchup. And getting one of the Bears' best defensive backs in the offseason with the acquisition of Adrian Amos really paid off, as Amos picked off Trubisky's pass late as Chicago looked to even things up with a touchdown. You couldn't really have asked for a better week one result.

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Aaron Rodgers wasn't bad on the day, going 18-for-30 for 203 yards and a TD pass, though the offense was in knots most of the night with the fearsome Chicago "D." He connected modestly with Davante Adams and Marquez Valdez-Scantling, but was able to show good first signs working with tight end Jimmy Graham, with whom he connected for a TD pass. Rodgers also connected with Trevor Davis and Robert Tonyan. The run-game was of little consequence and moving forward, the plan is naturally to get better from Aaron Jones and maybe even Jamaal Williams. They also look to just generally get their whole act together and play better and not have so many mistakes and penalties. That should come. Again, they won as underdogs on the road and that's all that matters.

It's important to note that while the Green Bay offense didn't take flight in week one, the Chicago defense is tremendous and even when getting no support from their offense, still played really well against the Packers last week. A Minnesota defense on the road should be more manageable than a Chicago home defense in their season-opener. Last season, also in a week two matchup, Green Bay scored 29 points against the Vikes in a game that ended as a tie, before not doing as well later in the season with a 24-17 loss.

Packers' defensive coordinator Mike Pettine sure looks to have dialed in something good. Granted, the Chicago offense seemed off-key and lags far behind their defense as the most-impressive part of the team. First games can also be tricky, as they are just one-game windows. They played with a lot of energy and took everything that was on the table in Chicago. Up-front, they pushed around a pretty good Chicago offensive line, while allowing very little from the Bears' running-game. They opened things up for the Packers' middle, with Blake Martinez, Preston Smith, and Za'Darius Smith all getting to the quarterback. The secondary held it together and came up with the big play with the game on the line. A week one win over an off-key Chicago offense might not mean much by season's end, but in the home-opener with a jacked-up and positive crowd, I'd expect them to perform well.

Minnesota showed a new approach on offense in week one with the big win over the Falcons. Kirk Cousins threw the ball only ten times, connecting on 8. It was the run-game that was able to thrive, with Dalvin Cook going for 111 yards and two touchdowns. More of that will be huge. Rookie Alexander Mattison added 49 yards, showing the beginnings of what could be a nice 1-2 punch for the Vikings. Adam Thielen caught Cousins only TD throw on the day, but more should be expected from him, Stefon Diggs, and Kyle Rudolph moving forward. A big question coming into this season was the O-line and in week one, they looked good, both in holding the defense to one sack, although Cousins didn't drop back much. But they also helped spring a run-game that was a big part of the win.

The Vikings have to be happy with what they saw in week one on the defensive side of the ball. They absolutely knotted up the Falcons' run-game, with Linval Joseph helping plug up the middle. The secondary didn't allow much until late in the game, with free safety Anthony Harris picking off two Matt Ryan passes. Most of the heavy-hitters on defense had sacks, with Danielle Hunter, Everson Griffen, Anthony Barr, and Joseph all getting to Ryan. It looked a lot more like the defense we saw two years ago and if that's the case, the Packers should be up against it again on offense this week.

I see this as being a well-contested game where any number of different predictions is all plausible. I think Green Bay is in for an entirely-different game than what they were last week, facing an opponent that can do damage a few different ways. I see Minnesota making some things happen with the running-game. But Green Bay is in their wheelhouse for the home-opener and this isn't an easy spot for the Vikings to see everything come off as swimmingly as it did last week. In a game that has a genuine toss-up feel to it, I'm inclined to take the points. I'll take the Vikings.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Minnesota Vikings plus 3 points. Bet the Minnesota vs. Green Bay game for FREE by taking advantage of a massive 100% sign-up bonus on your first deposit of $100 to $500 at GTBets!

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