Green Bay Looks To Cut Into Chicago Lead

The race for the NFC North is proving to be one of the more interesting battles in the NFL this year. Chicago’s early-season lead looked in jeopardy following recent losses while Green Bay was surging after a slow start to the season. Last weekend’s action altered both trends, setting up more intriguing matchups in Week 13.

Minnesota Vikings (6-5) at Green Bay Packers (7-4)

Sunday 1 PM ET

After being polished off by the Giants last week, the Green Bay Packers will look to win a big divisional game over the Vikings this weekend.

Derailed last weekend against the New York Giants, Green Bay (7-4, 4-1 home) will look to return to winning ways this weekend. The Packers will entertain a Minnesota (6-5, 1-4 road) side that has lost three of the last four.

Both teams currently trail the division-leading Bears, but remain within striking distance. A win for the Vikings this weekend would leave the two sides tied with a 7-5 record, but recording a win could be a tough task. Green Bay has won four straight against the Vikings and nine of the last 12. Furthermore, Minnesota’s last win at Lambeau Field came three years ago.

In order to beat the Packers, Minnesota will look to ride its running game – which ranks third in the league in yards per game at 147.2 – but Green Bay has restricted opponents to just under 104 yards per contest. Both sides rank in the middle of the league’s defensive statistics, which means this one could see some points put up on the board.

Green Bay opened as a nine-point favorite entering this one, but the Pack hasn’t impressed when it comes to covering the spread this season, compiling a 5-6-0 ATS record. Still, Minnesota has only recorded a 4-6-1 ATS tally this season.

The over/under is 47. Six of Green Bay’s games have gone over the total this season compared to five Minnesota games. The total has exceeded 47 is six of the last seven encounters between the two sides, including the most recent meeting last November, when the Packers piled on 45 points alone. The over therefore looks like the smart choice.

Seattle Seahawks (6-5) at Chicago Bears (8-3)

Sunday 1 PM ET

Jay Cutler's return last week sparked the Chicago Bears to victory last weekend.

After a pair of losses, Chicago (8-3, 5-1 home) and a returning Jay Cutler managed to steady the ship with a 28-10 victory over Minnesota at Soldier Field last weekend. Coupled with a Green Bay loss, the Bears regained a two-game lead at the top of the NFC North.

The Bears remain in the Windy City this weekend, welcoming a Seattle (6-5, 1-5 road) side that is truly woeful on the road. Last week’s loss in Miami marked a fifth road loss for a Seahawks team that is unbeaten at home.

This matchup features two sides that rely on the running game over a passing attack. Whilst each team ranks in the top ten in rushing, they are ranked 31 and 32 in passing the ball. Both teams also have strong defenses – especially against the pass – and rank number two and three in points allowed. Only San Francisco has a stingier defense.

Neither side has won two straight games in the head-to-head series since Chicago managed that feat in 2006 and 2007. Seattle was victorious the last time the two met (Dec. 2011) which suggests it’s Chicago’s ‘turn’ this time.

Chicago opened as a three-point favorite but should be wary of a Seahawks side that has posted a 7-4 ATS record. That being said, most of Seattle’s damage covering the spread has come at home.

The over/under is 38. The total has gone over in just four Seahawk games this season compared to six for the Bears. However, in 15 lifetime meetings between the sides, the final score has only fallen under 38 three times, the last coming in 1999.

Indianapolis Colts (7-4) at Detroit Lions (4-7)

Sunday 1 PM ET

Ndamukong Suh will be $30,000 lighter in the pocket following last week's Thanksgiving shenanigans.

Detroit (4-7, 2-3 home) dropped a close (and controversial) game to the Houston Texans in overtime on Thanksgiving Day, a third straight loss. The Lions now look well and truly out of the playoff picture. However, until the side is mathematically eliminated, Detroit is going to play to win.

This weekend, the Lions host Indianapolis (7-4, 2-3 road), a team coming off a fifth win in six games. Powered by Andrew Luck, the Colts have been the surprise package of this season, and continue to hang around in the Wild Card race.

The two sides have met six times since the Colts relocated from Baltimore in 1984, with the Indiana side winning four games, including the last three. It’s been 15 years since the Lions managed to defeat the Colts.

Despite this long drought, the Lions are 3.5-point favorites heading into the game at Ford Field, which will host the Mid-American Conference Championship Game on Friday night. The Colts have fared well against the spread this season though, recording a 7-4-0 ATS tally.

The over/under is 51. The total has gone over in seven Lions games this season, but only four Colts games. The final score has exceeded 51 in just two games between the sides since the Colts’ relocation.

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