NFC Wild Card Playoffs
Time: 4:30 p.m. ET
Venue: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN
Where to watch: FOX
Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks
DraftKings: Vikings -3; Vikings -155, Giants +135; O/U 48.5
FanDuel: Vikings -3; Vikings -166, Giants +140; O/U 48.5
BetMGM: Vikings -3; Vikings -160, Giants +135; O/U 48.5
Caesars: Vikings -3; Vikings -164, Giants +140; O/U 48.5
Giants: 9-7-1 (No. 6 seed)
Vikings: 13-4 (No. 3 seed, clinched NFC North)
Wild Card Weekend is upon us, and it’s time to lay the big bucks on the best teams of the season. What a slate of games we have this weekend, and you know our champion handicappers are coming in hot with the games this weekend. Especially with how they closed the last month, a lot is riding on this. Al McMordie closed the final four weeks at 18-10-1, and Hollywood Sports also had a good run of form with a 21-14-1 mark in that run. Even Jim Feist finished with regular season with a 9-5 run the last two weeks. This is the action you want to get on. Make sure you hop over to bigal.com and check out our Best Bets page to see what our champion handicappers are cooking up for the postseason!
Giants - Vikings preview, analysis and prediction
Giants: lost 22-16 at Eagles
Vikings: won 29-13 at Bears
Don’t you just love games when you could look at either team and make an extremely strong case for why they would win? Especially in the playoffs?
That’s how I feel with the New York Giants and Minnesota Vikings playing in their wild card round game on Sunday in U.S. Bank Stadium. I can look at the Vikings, the 13-win Vikings, and say why they would win this game. They have one of the best, if not the best receiver in football in Justin Jefferson, a strong running game with Dalvin Cook, a really good defense, and home-field advantage.
But they also have Kirk Cousins, who has the capability to implode at any moment, especially in the playoffs. Also, the Vikings have not been believable all year, so why should we trust them in any situation?
The Giants are in the same boat. Saquon Barkley is healthy and is coming off the best year of his career, they are anchored by a strong defense especially in the middle, and they have belief under first-year coach Brian Daboll. But the Giants also have Daniel Jones, who has yet to show he can be a reliable NFL quarterback and takes a lot of sacks. Also, I still don’t believe you can trust a guy you draft from Duke in the first round unless it’s basketball.
This is going to be the second time in four weeks that the Giants and Vikings are facing off against each other, but both of these meetings will take place in Minnesota. The NFC North champions defeated the Giants 27-24 in a game where the Vikings let the Giants back in. If not for that, and if not for the Vikings’ inconsistency in terms of winning this year, it’d be a problem all year long.
The Vikings’ 29-13 win over the Chicago Bears — now picking No. 1 overall in the draft this year — was the first time all year they won a game by more than one score. Yes, 12 of their wins were by one score. At least double digits.
“I enjoy those big-platform games, and of course I want to get to that Super Bowl,” Vikings star receiver Justin Jefferson said after a record-breaking season. “So whoever’s standing in the way, we’ve got to knock them down.”
In an organization that had Randy Moss and Cris Carter dominate the record books, it was Jefferson putting together the greatest season in the history of Vikings receivers, catching 128 passes for 1,809 yards. He caught 12 passes for 133 yards and a touchdown against the Giants back on Christmas Eve. It’s easy to say the Giants need to lock down one of the best receivers in the league and they’ll have a chance. But you’re asking a Giants secondary that has given up a lot of big plays from receivers all years long.
But in all honesty, the fact that the Giants have made the playoffs is a miraculous situation entirely. It was nothing new that Daboll did to change this offense or change what Jones did as the quarterback. The only difference was Jones became a dual-threat quarterback that didn’t throw a lot of touchdowns but didn’t turn it over a lot.
“It’s what we do this week and ultimately how we go out there and play in the game, because what wins in Week 1 wins in the playoffs,” Daboll said Monday. “And what loses in Week 1 loses in the playoffs.”
The Vikings are laying 3 in this one with a total of 48.5. The Vikings have been in this situation before. The Giants haven’t. This does seem like another one-score game, but the Vikings get it done again. Vikings 30, Giants 23
Giants are 10-2 ATS as an underdog this season.
Giants are 108-80 ATS as a road dog since 1992.
Vikings are 6-15 ATS after winning 2 of 3 the last 3 seasons.
Passing: Daniel Jones – 3,205 yards, 15 TD, 5 INT
Rushing: Saquon Barkley – 1,312 yards, 10 TD
Receiving: Darius Slayton – 724 yards, 2 TD
Defense: Dexter Lawrence – 7.5 sacks
Passing: Kirk Cousins – 4,547 yards, 29 TD, 14 INT
Rushing: Dalvin Cook – 1,173 yards, 8 TD
Receiving: Justin Jefferson – 128 catches, 1,809 yards, 8 TD
Defense: Danielle Hunter – 10.5 sacks
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