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Packers open as 3.5-point favorites vs Vikings

The playoffs are in sight and Green Bay is in a near win-or-go-home situation.

Green Bay Packers v Minnesota Vikings Photo by David Berding/Getty Images

Following a win against the Miami Dolphins spurred by quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s three interceptions, the Green Bay Packers’ playoff odds have surged all the way up to 27 percent per FiveThirtyEight’s NFL model. According to the site, the Packers’ chances to make the postseason jump up to 56 percent with a win over the Minnesota Vikings next Sunday but drop down to just two percent with a loss.

On DraftKings, Green Bay is set to be a 3.5-point favorite over the 12-3 Vikings — who are 11-0 in games when just a single possession has decided the score. The moneyline of -180, implies that the Packers will win the game 64 percent of the time. The total in the game — 45.5 — is the third highest of the week behind Bills-Bengals and Bears-Lions. Expect some points, as both defenses have struggled this season.

This upcoming game will have a dramatic impact on the Packers’ playoff path, as the team might not be able to overcome adding another loss to their record. If Green Bay wins out their final two games against Vikings and Lions, FiveThirtyEight’s model projects the Packers to make the postseason in 90 percent of their simulations.

Here are the two easiest paths to Green Bay punching a card for the playoffs:

  1. They win out and the Washington Commanders lost at least one more game.
  2. They win out and the New York Giants lose their final two games.

The Giants play the Indianapolis Colts this week and DraftKings has yet to hang a line on the game as the Colts play the Los Angles Chargers on Monday Night Football, but the Commanders are two-point favorites against the Cleveland Browns in Week 17. Packers fans should be rooting for Cleveland, if they’re hoping for their team to advance into the postseason.

The other games that Green Bay fans are going to want to keep an eye on this week are the Eagles-Saints and Cowboys-Titans. There’s a real chance that the NFC East games in Week 18 will have no meaning if Philadelphia locks up the division with a win over New Orleans this weekend.

If the Eagles beat the Saints and rest their starters in the final week of the season against the Giants, the Packers’ playoff chances will drop. If the Eagles earn the one seed on Sunday, the Cowboys won’t have a reason to play their starters in Washington the following week, either.

One of the Browns or Saints needs to win in Week 17 to ease the minds of Packers fans, who would otherwise have to root for the Eagles’ and/or Cowboys’ backups to pull off an upset on the final day of the regular season.