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Vikings vs. Packers Gambling Preview and O/U Teaser Bet

Minnesota Vikings(7–7) @ Green Bay Packers(8–6)

  • Where: Lambeau Field. Green Bay, Wisconsin
  • When: December 24, 2016 1:00 pm EST
  • Spread: Vikings +7 (-120) vs. Packers -7 (+100)
  • Moneyline: Vikings (+250) vs. Packers (-300)
  • Over / Under: Over 43 (-110) vs. Under 43 (-110)

The Christmas holiday is upon us, and the schedule-makers have given us some presents this year. For Midwesterners rooting for an NFC North team, life doesn’t get much better than the opportunity to watch the Minnesota Vikings take on the Green Bay Packers on Christmas Eve in Lambeau Field.

Given how the NFC North has gone in years past, as well as how the division has developed in 2016/17, this game could have easily featured the two NFC North division leaders. As things stand, the Vikings are essentially out of playoff contention, and all but mathematically eliminated. Meanwhile the Packers are surging, and currently riding a four-game win streak.

The Minnesota Vikings get Adrian Peterson back too late

Packers vs. Vikings Betting PreviewThe biggest storyline of the promising Minnesota Vikings remains the season-ending injuries to Teddy Bridgewater and Adrian Peterson. While their trade for the Eagle’s Sam Bradford and the excellent play of their defense has kept them competitive all season, the Vikings simply couldn’t overcome the loss of their two offensive leaders, despite getting Adrian Peterson back last week against the Colts.

And it’s very clear where the problem lies: The Vikings are ranked 6th in the league in points allowed, with opponents averaging only 18.5 points per game. Take out their surprise 28-point home loss vs. the Colts last week and that total goes even lower. However, the Vikings are ranked 25th in the league in scoring offense, averaging just 18.9 points per game.

The surprising return of Adrian Peterson only three-months removed from surgery to repair a torn meniscus will certainly help the Vikings run game, but it’s likely to be too little too late. Peterson will need a bit of time to regain his strength and ability to make cuts, and by the time he’s back the team will likely be officially out of the playoffs and done for the season.

Combining their offensive struggles with a continuously stout defense that will look for redemption after getting blown out by the Colts last week makes a convincing case for the under in this matchup.

The Packers are surging towards a playoff run

Less than one month ago, the Green Bay Packers had a 6% chance of making the playoffs. At the tail end of a 4-game losing streak in which a laughably depleted secondary gave up a total of 153 points in a month, the Packers were forgotten and discredited by many. Going into Week 16, the Packers are currently the 6 seed in the playoffs on the back of an impressive 4-game win streak.

In fact, at the moment the Packers are even with the Lions in the NFC North odds (both -120), despite getting better than 3-to-1 odds only two weeks ago. The Packers’ Super Bowl odds at the Bovada sportsbook are even with the 11-win Raiders (+1200) and ahead of the Chiefs (+1600), the Falcons (+1600), and the New York Giants (+1600).

The reasons for the Packers’ resurgence are readily apparent: Defensive personnel came back from injury, Aaron Rodgers got out of his slump, Jordy Nelson regained his confidence coming off of last year’s ACL tear, Davante Adams emerged on the scene as potent when healthy, and most recently the Packers discovered a running game.

Last week against the Bears, the Packers ran for over 200 yards for the first time in 2016/17, with two running backs scoring touchdowns who were both not even on the depth chart in September. A Packer team with four legitimate receiving threats, a healthy Aaron Rodgers, a healthy offensive line that Pro Football Focus has consistently ranked in the top 5 all season, a serviceable defense and special teams, and now two legitimate running backs? That’s a team that no one wants to meet in the playoffs.

Why I’m betting the under on a two-team teaser

The Vikings and Packers have played each other close so many times in the past that it’s hard to believe a Christmas Eve showdown in the cold of Lambeau Field does not end up a tight defensive matchup.

However, the Vikings did just prove last week that they’re perfectly capable of getting lit up, and particularly with the Packers’ offense starting to look so dangerous, it’s difficult to take the under with the line at only 47 total points.

At 53, though, I would feel much more confident taking the under. Throwing the under on Packers/Vikings alongside the over for Colts/Raiders is a very enticing wager.

David HeinenThis article was written by David Heinen

David Heinen is a freelance psychology writer by day, inveterate NFL junkie by night. Born and raised on the Green Bay Packers, David is a die-hard Cheesehead, not to mention a cheese enthusiast in his spare time.

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