Welcome to the Monday Night Football betting breakdown, where I’ll provide a betting overview of the upcoming MNF game utilizing moneyline, points spread, and projected total odds from DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook. Additionally, I’ll hone in on at least one player or game prop each week that I feel has profit potential at one of those three sportsbooks.
All betting takes will be classified as either a “lean” or a “pick.” A lean is a wager that we have a determined degree of certainty. However, it’s one that still falls somewhere short of a high-confidence selection. A pick carries an additional degree of confidence based on a variety of factors. These include relevant injuries, the past track records for certain conditions and bet types, and team performances leading up to the game.
For more detailed information on this week’s matchup, including further game analysis, betting trends breakdown, betting tips specific to MNF, and a synopsis of the history of the line movement for the game, please see our Monday Night Football Betting Preview over at TheLines.
Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings, Monday, Dec. 23, 8:15 p.m. ET
Each team walks into this divisional matchup with postseason positioning on its mind. The game has arguably slightly higher stakes for the Packers. A win clinches the NFC North for Green Bay and keeps them alive for at least a No. 2 seed in the NFC. The latter would bring a coveted first-round playoff bye. Meanwhile, the Vikings will already be guaranteed a playoff spot by the time this game kicks off if the Rams lose or tie to the 49ers on Saturday night. Yet they’d continue to be in the hunt for the division title if they manage a victory in this spot.
The Pack checks into the contest with a strong 4-2 road mark. However, the challenge against Minnesota’s defense on the road is formidable. The Vikes have allowed just 91.3 rushing yards per home contest, the sixth fewest in the league. Aaron Jones was able to take 23 carries for 116 yards and a touchdown in the first meeting between the teams back in Week 2, but that type of success could be much harder to come by. Minnesota has been a bit more targetable through the air at U.S. Bank Stadium. They’ve allowed 223.3 passing yards per home contest, not a poor figure by any stretch but one that makes the matchup less than prohibitive. That’s good news on paper for the Packers. They’ve scuffled to get a passing attack going on the road. Green Bay is averaging just 183.3 passing yards per road game. That’s the fifth-lowest figure in the league.
The big news on Minnesota’s end of things is that Dalvin Cook has now been officially ruled out for Monday night. Cook was an integral piece of the Vikings’ attack in the prior meeting against the Packers. He rushed for 154 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries while adding three catches for 37 more yards. Cook’s backup Alex Mattison is also very questionable for the game with the ankle injury that cost him Week 15.
If he’s forced sit a second straight contest, it will be Mike Boone helming the backfield again for Minnesota. Boone gained 56 yards and two touchdowns on 13 rushes versus the Chargers in emergency duty last week. Yet, the circumstances in Week 16 shape up quite differently. Not only has Green Bay had a week to prepare for the possibility of Boone as the featured back, but the Pack has actually been markedly better against the run on the road — they shave 30.2 yards per game off the 133.9 per contest they give up per home contest.
The original four-point projected advantage for the Vikings at FanDuel Sportsbook has expanded to 5.5 points as of Saturday afternoon. That’s significant line movement for a division game, especially one involving a Packers team that would clinch the NFC North with a win.
The Packers are 9-5 (64.3 percent) against the spread this season, including 4-2 (66.7 percent) as an away team. Green Bay is also 3-1 (75.0 percent) ATS in NFC North matchups.
The Vikings are 8-6 (57.1 percent) against the spread this season, including 4-2 (66.7 percent) as a home team. Minnesota is also 2-2 ATS in NFC North matchups.
The Vikings are certainly capable of pulling out the home win here, as noted above. However, Cook’s confirmed absence here is a major turn of events in Green Bay’s favor. Ultimately, I see the Packers keeping this game very close for all four quarters despite the tough matchup for their offense and managing to keep any defeat to five points or fewer.
The Pick: Packers +5.5 (DraftKings Sportsbook)
The projected total here is pretty solid for a game in Minnesota, where the Vikings have been so good defensively. Each team figures to be aggressive here with plenty riding on the contest. But, Cook’s absence, as well as Mattison’s likely one, naturally reduces the offensive expectation for Minnesota.
The Over is 6-8 (42.9 percent) in the Packers’ games this season, including 3-3 in their away games.
Then, the Over is 8-6 (57.1 percent) in the Vikings’ games this season, including 3-3 in their home games.
As already alluded to, this should be a closely contested game all the way through. That doesn’t necessarily equate to a barrage of offense, though, and I see each team’s defense buckling down enough in this spot for the Under to prevail.
The Pick: Under 47.0 (DraftKings Sportsbook)
Best Prop Bet
Green Bay Packers +4.5 and Under 45.5 points: (+290 at Fanduel Sportsbook)
In accordance with my belief of the Packers keeping any loss to a modest margin and a lower-scoring contest, this prop catches my eye. The Pack has a solid 4-2 road record straight up and ATS this season. That sample includes wins over the Bears, Cowboys and Chiefs. Then, each of the Packers’ last six games have finished under Monday’s projected total as well, including their last three road contests. And, the last four non-overtime games in this series have all finished with a combined total under 45.5 points.