- Minnesota Vikings remain stalled as a +240 bet to win the NFC North despite winning three straight
- 5-2 Vikings lag one game back of the division-leading Green Bay Packers
- Packers remain perched as heavy -200 favorites on the NFC North odds
The Minnesota Vikings turned in another impressive performance on Sunday, knocking off the Detroit Lions, 42-30, as narrow 2.5-point road favorites. The victory extended their current win streak to three games. But despite trailing the first-place Green Bay Packers by just one game in the hunt for top spot in the NFC North standings, the Vikings continue to lag at a rather lengthy +240 to win the division.
Odds to Win NFC North
|Green Bay Packers||-200|
*Odds taken on 10/21/19
Offense Powering Vikings Win Streak
The Vikings offense has been firing on all cylinders during the team’s latest surge, averaging 36 points per game while recording a trio of wins by double-digit margins. Minnesota’s victories have also been against some stiff competition, with their victory over the Lions coming on the heels of a lopsided 38-20 win over the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 6. However, Sunday’s win over the Lions did little to lift Minnesota’s NFC North odds, which sat at +250 entering Week 7.
Not sure if this will hold through Week 7, but the #Vikings’ deep play-action game has been so effective in three straight wins that Kirk Cousins’ 9.1 yards per throw this season now leads the NFL, surpassing Mahomes’ 9.0. He’s averaged 10.8 YPA in past three weeks.
— Andrew Krammer (@Andrew_Krammer) October 21, 2019
Of particular importance has been the team’s performance on the road. Two of the Vikings three recent wins have come in contests away from US Bank Stadium, putting the brakes on a dismal 1-5 SU and ATS run that had dated back to November of last year.
Indeed, despite losing their first two road games of the season, against the Packers and Chicago Bears, the Vikings defense has also performed well on the road, limiting opponents to just 19.25 points per game.
Tough Schedule Awaits Following TNF Clash with Washington
Minnesota will have ample opportunity to pad their record with a fourth straight win when they host the Washington Redskins this week on Thursday Night Football while pegged as heavy 16-point home chalk. Washington’s dismal campaign continued with a 9-0 loss to the visiting San Francisco 49ers, which also marks the team’s 12th defeat in 14 outings.
See all openings spreads and odds here. https://t.co/jAq1eITZp5
— SportsBettingDime (@SBD) October 21, 2019
However, that contest is followed by a crucial four-game stretch that will likely be crucial to Minnesota’s bid to claim a third NFC North title in five years. The Vikings visit the AFC West-leading Kansas City Chiefs in Week 9, followed by a road date with the Dallas Cowboys a week later. And after enjoying a bye in Week 12, the team opens the month of December with a visit to Seattle.
Dismal Record Against Upcoming Opponents Cause for Concern?
The Vikings own a meager 3-9 SU combined record over their past four meetings each with the Chiefs, Cowboys, and Seahawks, and could see their playoff hopes fade during that stretch.
Vikings schedule pic.twitter.com/mnEPAwSPa2
— skyeattolah (@Skyeattolah) October 21, 2019
But should the squad successfully run that gauntlet, a far more schedule awaits down the stretch, including a road date with the slumping Los Angeles Chargers, and home clashes with each of their three NFC North rivals.
Packers Make Timely Visit to Kansas City
Perched as strong -200 favorites to finish atop the NFC North after opening the season on a 6-1 SU run, the Packers also face some challenges on their second-half schedule, starting next week on Sunday Night Football with a visit to Kansas City as 5-point road chalk.
The Rams/Chiefs MNF shootout from last year was one of the most entertaining football games I've ever watched. It's a shame Mahomes won't be playing in #Packers/#Chiefs next Sunday because with how well Rodgers is playing, next week's game could've topped that one.
— Stay the F Home & Go Pack Go (@CheeseheadIndy) October 21, 2019
The Packers visit to Arrowhead Stadium could not have come at a better time. The Chiefs will be without star quarterback Patrick Mahomes after he suffered a gruesome knee injury in last Thursday’s 30-6 win over Denver. However, Green Bay must also overcome a woeful track record against Kansas City that features just two wins in eight meetings since 1989.
Second-Half Schedule Heavy on Road Dates
But even if the Packers should come up short in Kansas City, the squad likely faces an easier road than the Vikings, with road dates against the Chargers and New York Giants, as well as a home date with the Redskins. However, the drawback for Green Bay is that six of the team’s final nine contests come away from Lambeau Field, putting pressure on the squad to avoid last season’s run of futility that featured seven straight road losses.
Packers remaining schedule:
@ Chiefs 5-2 (No Mahomes)
@ Chargers 2-5
@ 49ers 6-0
@ Giants 2-5
@ Vikings 5-2
@ Lions 2-3-1
— Andy Herman (@AndyHermanNFL) October 21, 2019
With neither team showing any indication of slowing down, a Week 16 clash between the Packers and Vikings in Minnesota will likely be key to determining a division champion, which adds value to the Vikings’ current +240 NFL divisional odds. Green Bay has fallen to defeat in three straight visits to Minnesota, and will have to find a way to improve on the dismal 13.7 points per game they have scored over that stretch if they are to fend off a late-season charge from the Vikings.
Picks: Vikings to win NFC North (+240)
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