NFL Betting: Packers at Vikings

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An old Black-and-Blue Division rivalry plays out its latest chapter when the Green Bay Packers make their annual trek across the state and into the Land of 10,000 Lakes to take on the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday afternoon at the Metrodome (1:00PM ET, FOX).

OddsMaker is listing Minnesota as 2.5-point home chalk for Sunday’s game, with a total of 45.5. The Vikes are also listed at -135 on the OddsMaker moneyline, with the Pack getting +115 as the road underdogs.

Green Bay opened this season, and the Aaron Rodgers era, with consecutive wins including an opening-weekend victory over Minnesota. But the Pack then lost three in a row. GB then bounced back to win back-to-back games, but lost a tough one in overtime last Sunday at Tennessee 19-16.

Minnesota, meanwhile, started this season 0-2 and then switched starting QBs, replacing Tarvaris Jackson with veteran journeyman Gus Frerotte. The Vikings have gone 4-2 since, including a 28-21 win last week at home over Houston.

So going into this weekend’s action, Green Bay and Minnesota are tied for second place in the NFC North at 4-4, a game behind the division-leading Chicago Bears.

As mentioned above, these two teams opened the season against each other when Green Bay held on for a 24-19 win on a Monday night at Lambeau Field. In fact, the Packers have won five straight games in the series with the Vikings, after sweeping the season series the last two years.

And after years of futility, Green Bay has discovered success recently at the Metrodome, winning four of the last five games played there.

The key to Sunday’s game will predictably lie with the respective running games, which would seem to bode well for Minnesota. The Vikings are, on average, outrushing opponents this season by a 135-70 yards-per-game margin. On the other side of this matchup, the Packers are getting outgrounded by a 146-101 per-game average.

Over the course of this season and last year, Minnesota is 8-4 straight up and 6-6 against the spread at home. During that same span, the Packers are 8-4 SU and 9-3 ATS on the road.

On the injury front, Vikings DE Jared Allen – who led the league in sacks last season playing for Kansas City – is dealing with a bad shoulder, and as of Wednesday morning his status for Sunday’s game is uncertain.

The over/unders have gone 5-2-1 so far this season in Packers games, which are averaging 48.5 total points. Meanwhile, the totals are 5-3 in Vikings games this season, which are averaging 46 points.

OddsMaker is also listing both the Packers and the Vikings (as well as the Bears) at +150 on its updated NFC North championship betting board. Also, all three of those teams are getting +1000 on the OddsMaker NFC championship board, and all are listed at +2500 to win Super Bowl XLIII in February.

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