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APC Week 17 NFL Picks: Will the Packers earn a W over the Vikings as a home favorite?

Green Bay is favored by about a field goal despite a big disparity in records between the two teams.

Minnesota Vikings v Green Bay Packers Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Throw the records out. When looking at the underlying numbers, the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings are teams of roughly equivalent quality. The Packers’ point differential is -23, yielding an expected Win/Loss record of 7-8, which matches their actual record. The Vikings, meanwhile, are just +5, the type of result expected from a team that is hovering around .500, not 12-3 and in the thick of the race for the top playoff seed.

According to DVOA, the Packers are a more efficient team, and it’s not actually close. Green Bay’s total DVOA is 11th in the NFL at 4.1%, compared to the Vikings’ 25th-place ranking at -9.4%. Weighted DVOA, which takes recent performance more heavily into account, shows an even greater disparity, with the Packers ranking 10th and the Vikings 27th.

Those underlying stats help to explain why DraftKings Sportsbook sees the two teams about equal on a neutral field despite the difference in the teams’ records. With the game between the two teams taking place at Lambeau Field, the Packers therefore get the three-point home-field advantage swing, making them favorites by a field goal on Sunday.

But will the Packers keep their playoff hopes alive with a win? APC’s writers are bullish on the idea, as well as the possibility that they get the help they need from the Cleveland Browns. Those Browns are 2.5-point underdogs against the Washington Commanders, whom the Packers need to lose once in the final two weeks to help open up their path to the postseason.

Check out our picks for these games and all the others across the NFL this week below!