Most Packers fans will have a fair idea of where the team stands in the eyes of sportsbooks as we
move towards the start of the 2020/21 NFL season. The Green and Gold are firmly in the middle
ground, ranging around 12th -18th place in the average odds for Super Bowl LV success, with the most
common price around the 25/1 (+2500) mark.
For the moment, though, let’s leave that aside, and take a look at the first game of the Packers’
regular season. As fans will be aware, it’s a visit to the home of NFC North rivals, the Minnesota
Vikings, on September 13th . The two teams are co-favorites to win the division (more on that later),
so this match-up could be crucial to both gaining early momentum and qualification for the NFL
Playoffs. Yes, Week 1 is often too early to make assumptions, but we could be talking about fine
margins this season.
Below we take a look at the main betting markets for the game, as well as seeing if we can glean
anything about the season ahead. Odds are taken from 888sport, which is a good source for NFL
betting tips, but they are, of course, subject to change between now and game day in mid-
Vikings 11/20 (-182), Packers 6/4 (+150)
As you can see, the Vikings are reasonably well-backed to take the win in the season opener. The
Packers won both games against Minnesota last season, including a memorable performance that
saw them clinch the division last December. As mentioned, the two teams have almost identical
odds to win the division this term, and they are practically tied in most metrics in the countless NFL
power ranking articles you will see online. So, you’d have to gather that the Vikings are favored for
this game because of home advantage. And yet, will that count for as much when there are not
60,000+ fans packed into U.S Bank Stadium? We don’t know the prospect of games without fans will
affect team performances this season, but you can almost be sure that it will help the visiting team.
Over 46.5 pts 10/11 (-110), Under 46.5 pts 10/11 (-110)
This is always an interesting market, and it is arguably geared towards those who use statistics for
betting. Of the last 12 meetings between the Packers and Vikings, only two have seen a combined
score over 47 points – the 29-29 draw at Lambeau Field in 2018 (where the Vikings scored 22 in the
4th quarter) and the memorable 38-25 win for the Packers back in 2016. In the early 2010s, there was
a general trend for the teams to have more high-scoring clashes than they have in the last few years.
So, can we make any assumptions for the odds-setters putting a higher band on the game totals? It’s
probably more about doubts over Minnesota’s defense than anything else. Can the Packers punish
them? It remains to be seen.
Vikings -3.5 (10/11), Packers +3.5 (10/11)
The spread is, of course, going to reflect the main money line betting markets, and -3.5 seems about
right in relation to those odds. Let’s be clear: Most Packers fans won’t really care if the victory comes
by three points or thirty-five points, although they will certainly cherish the bragging rights that
would come with the latter. Betting on the spread in a game is often a double-edged sword for fans
of a particular team, and it can be painful for bettors in very close games. While Minnesota vs
Packers games tend to be quite close in recent years – more often than not within 10 points – it’s
still difficult to make a case for backing the Green and Gold with a few points theoretical advantage.
If you believe they will take the win, then back them in the main market for better odds without the