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NFL Expert Picks: Close Contest Expected in Vikings vs. Giants Wild Card Game

The Vikings will do something this weekend they've never done in franchise history: open a postseason by hosting the team it hosted in its previous home game.

Minnesota (13-4) will host the New York Giants (9-7-1) at 3:30 p.m. (CT) Sunday in the NFC Wild Card Round.

In the two team's first meeting on Dec. 24, 2022, Minnesota edged New York 27-24.

The Vikings and the Giants have met 30 times, with Minnesota holding an 18-12 advantage in the series. Minnesota has won eight of the past 10 matchups, including the past four meetings.

Let's see who the experts are picking to win the game:

View photos of the Vikings during practice on Jan. 12, 2023 at TCO Performance Center.

Giants 27, Vikings 26 — Gregg Rosenthal, NFL.com

Kirk Cousins gets hit more than any quarterback in football. That was the case during the Vikings tight win over the Giants just three weeks ago and will be the case again with the Vikings on Sunday without right tackle Brian O'Neill. All season, the Giants made do with scheme over talent. But with Dexter Lawrence dominating alongside Leonard Williams, Kayvon Thibodeaux and Azeez Ojulari, defensive coordinator Don "Wink" Martindale can get truly wild with his blitzes and stunts. They are healthy and peaking at the right time. When the Vikings have the ball, the coaching matchup should be a fascinating back-and-forth. When the Giants have the ball, give [New York Head Coach] Brian Daboll the edge.

I've been picking against the Giants all year as they searched for the right mix of players and cohesion. They finally found it in December. This receivers group is good enough. The Vikings played more man coverage and blitzed more late in the season, but they are ultimately a passive defense that struggles against RPOs. I hate picking the trendy upset of the week, but the Giants wanted this matchup for a reason. It will be cruel when Minnesota's first one-score loss of the season comes when it matters most.

Giants 30, Vikings 28 — Pete Prisco, CBS Sports

These two played on Christmas Eve, and the Vikings needed a 61-yard field goal by _Greg Joseph__ to win it. The Giants gained 445 yards of offense that day and probably should have won the game. But they didn't. Now it's a road playoff game, which will be a challenge. Even so, I think [Giants Head Coach] Brian Daboll will take advantage of a bad Minnesota defense. This one should be high scoring, asKirk CousinsandJustin Jeffersonwill make some plays, but it will be the Giants that win it with a late field goal this time to advance.

Vikings 28, Giants 22 — Bill Bender, Sporting News

This is the best chance for a road upset. The Giants took the Vikings to the limit in Week 16, and Saquon Barkley had 133 total yards and a TD. The Giants are 5-1 when Barkley gets 20 carries or more, and he needs to have a monster performance in his first playoff game for New York to have a chance. The spotlight will be on Kirk Cousins, too. He's 1-3 in the playoffs, and this is his first home start for the Vikings. The difference in that first matchup was Minnesota did not have a turnover. If the Giants can force a few miscues, then they will have a chance. We are still sticking with the home team. Justin Jefferson – who had 12 catches for 133 yards in the first meeting – busts loose again.

Vikings 21, Giants 20 — Michael David Smith, Pro Football Talk

Brian Daboll getting that roster to the playoffs was a great coaching achievement, but the Giants run ends on Sunday. The Vikings have been winning close games all year, and they'll do it again.

Vikings 24, Giants 22 — Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk

For as long as they are alive in the playoffs, the Vikings will either win by 2-4 points or lose by 20-40.

Pre-game win probabilities: Vikings 67% — FiveThirtyEight.com

2 of 5 experts (4 didn't pick) pick the Vikings, ESPN

9 of 10 experts pick the Vikings, The Athletic

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