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NFL Expert Picks: Pundits Predict Vikings-at-Packers

The Vikings are on the road for the first time in the 2019 season.

Minnesota (1-0) will take on the Green Bay Packers (1-0) on Sunday at Lambeau Field.

Experts across the internet submitted their predictions to all NFL games ahead of the much anticipated Week 2 matchup.

Let’s see what is expected in the 118th Border Battle.

Packers 19, Vikings 16, Gregg Rosenthal*, NFL.com*

The Packers' impressive opener was all about their new additions. If defensive pickups Za'Darius Smith, Preston Smith, Darnell Savage and Adrian Amos play that well all year, General Manager Brian Gutekunst will garnish some Executive of the Year love. The Vikings opening stroll over the Falcons, on the other hand, was more about their returning players looking better than last season. From running back Dalvin Cook to safety Anthony Harris to cornerback Xavier Rhodes, Mike Zimmer's familiar roster did what became expected of it back in 2017. Rhodes could be the key this week because of his assignment against Davante Adams, one week after shutting down Julio Jones.

The Favre-Rodgers shootouts from this rivalry are now a distant memory. Despite the incredible investments at quarterback in the division, the NFC North is starting to resemble Chris Berman's old "NFC Norris." It's a division where defense predominates and the Packers are better equipped to win a rock fight than they have been in a long time.

Vikings 21, Packers 16, Zach Buckley, Bleacher Report

Two words can turn virtually any game into can't-miss TV: rivalry game. Then again, these two words usually get football fanatics flocking around big screens, too: Aaron Rodgers.

The Vikings-Packers Week 2 collision has both of the above, but this game intrigues for other reasons.

Predicting a 1-0 start for either side would've hardly been shocking. But forecasting how those victories came about could've been an indication of legitimate psychic powers.

Green Bay's guide to a Week 1 win over Chicago seemingly would've included mind-numbing production from Rodgers and Davante Adams. But Rodgers passed for a modest 203 yards, Adams had a forgettable four grabs for 36 and, yet, the Packers emerged victorious due to a dominant showing from the defense. Green Bay prevailed 10-3 and held Chicago to 3-for-15 on third downs and 46 total rushing yards.

"That defense was smothering," Packers coach Matt LaFleur told reporters. "It's been a while since a (Packers) defense came in and saved the day."

In Minnesota, one might've assumed the Vikings needed plenty of mileage from their aerial attack to keep up with the Falcons. Instead, Minnesota responded to Matt Ryan's 33 completions on 46 pass attempts by having Kirk Cousins only air it out 10 times. The Vikings preferred to ground-and-pound it with Dalvin Cook leading the way for a rushing attack that piled up 172 yards and three scores on 38 attempts.

Packers 24, Vikings 21, Bleacher Report Staff

Speaking of games to avoid, we have the Green Bay Packers beating the Minnesota Vikings by exactly three points. In other words, while two of our three experts are leaning toward the home favorite on a three-point spread, we're basically projecting a push at Lambeau.

"We just don't know what to expect from the Packers," Brad Gagnon said. "They've had extra time to get the offense on track after struggling for much of their opener in Chicago. But that doesn't mean they'll suddenly turn a corner, and the defense could have more trouble with Minnesota's new-look, smashmouth offense."

Noting that the talented Vikings are now 7-1-1 straight up and 6-2-1 against the spread in 1 p.m. ET Sunday kickoffs since the start of last season, Gagnon is a dissenting voice here. But the element of surprise has faded after Minnesota threw only 10 passes in an elementary Week 1 victory over the Atlanta Falcons. The Vikings might not be able to get away with that against a Green Bay defense that dominated the Bears.

This is also Rodgers vs. Cousins, and the latter is 4-25 in his career against winning teams. So our guys are giving the edge to Green Bay, but this is a divisional matchup between two strong teams that could go either way.

Vikings 27, Packers 20, Tadd Haislop, Sporting News

The performance of the Packers' new-look defense was the takeaway of their season-opening win in Chicago, but because Mitchell Trubisky played so poorly in that game, this matchup with Minnesota will be a tougher test. The Vikings pounded the Falcons so badly in all three phases of the game last week that Kirk Cousins only had to throw 10 passes. He'll have to do more with Aaron Rodgers on the other side this week, of course, but Minnesota as a whole seems set on making a statement in a division few predicted it to win. This is the first chance.

Packers 19, Vikings 16, Pete Prisco, CBS Sports

This is one of the best games of the weekend. The Packers will be more rested after playing on Thursday. Their offense was awful against the Bears, but I think it's better here. Both defenses are top notch. This could be a low-scoring game, but I think the home team will take it behind their defense.

Vikings 19, Packers 16, Bryan DeArdo, CBS Sports

Both teams enjoyed stellar defensive performances in Week 1, with Green Bay's defense bailing out a lackluster offense in the Packers season-opening win over the Chicago Bears. While Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay's offense will have a better outing this Sunday, the Vikings will outplay the Packers on both sides of the ball while getting their second victory of the season.

Vikings 23, Packers 20, Mike Florio, Smith Pro Football Talk

It’s Hair Gel vs. Chewing Tobacco in Green Bay as a new coach takes on a guy who has been doing it forever. The similarities between Matt LaFleur’s offense and the Vikings new attack gives both defenses an edge, and it should keep the scoring lower than it was last year in Week Two at Lambeau Field.

Vikings 17, Packers 10, Michael David, Smith Pro Football Talk

Aaron Rodgers did not play well in the Packers’ Thursday night win, and the Vikings’ defense on Sunday looked like it’s going to be ready to take advantage of quarterbacks who struggle. I think the Vikings make a big statement that they’re the favorites in the NFC North with a road win.

Vikings Pregame Win Percentage: 51 %, FOX Sports.com

FoxSports.com utilizes its football simulation to predict the outcome for this week's games. Each game is simulated 501 times to generate an average score and winning percentage. The predictions use the most up-to-date stats, rosters and depth charts.

Vikings Pregame Win Percentage: 44 %, FiveThirtyEight

FiveThirtyEight’s 2018 NFL forecast uses an Elo-based model to calculate each team’s chances of winning each game of the season.

3 of 9 experts picked the Vikings, SB Nation

3 of 8 experts picked the Vikings, CBS Sports

2 of 5 experts picked the Vikings, USA TODAY Sports

6 of 9 experts picked the Vikings, MMQB Staff

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