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NFL Expert Picks: Vikings Underdogs Against Packers in Week 1

When it comes to rivalries in sports, many come to mind.

Very few in the NFL, however, are quite like the one between the Minnesota Vikings and the Green Bay Packers.

The matchup between the two teams, better known as the Border Battle has had hot stretches by either team since the Vikings joined the NFL in 1961.

The Vikings and Packers have met 123 times, with Green Bay currently holding a slight lead (64-56-3) in the all-time series that has evened off over the past few years.

Minnesota will open its 62nd NFL season Sunday against Green Bay at U.S. Bank Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:25 p.m. (CT).

This will be the second season that features a 17-game schedule after making its debut in 2021.

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

Vikings 26, Packers 23 — John Breech, CBS Sports

Cousins will be in charge of a high-powered offense that includes Justin Jefferson and Dalvin Cook. Although I'm picking the Packers to get to the Super Bowl out of the NFC this year, I'm NOT picking them to win this game, and that's because I think it's going to take a week or two for them to adjust to life without Davante Adams.

Packers 24, Vikings 19 — Pete Prisco, CBS Sports

Aaron Rodgers has 13 touchdown passes and no picks in his past four games against the Vikings. But he went 2-2 in those games. The difference this time will be the Green Bay defense. That unit has a chance to be special. The Vikings counter with an explosive offense, but in this one, that offense doesn't get rolling like it will. Packers take it.

Packers 26, Vikings 23 — Staff, Bleacher Report

For starters, the Minnesota Vikings have a new coaching staff led by Kevin O'Connell, who may push the tempo offensively. They'll face a Green Bay Packers team that must adjust without two-time All-Pro wide receiver Davante Adams, whom the club traded to the Las Vegas Raiders in March.

Aaron Rodgers doesn't have an elite perimeter playmaker, but Head Coach Matt LaFleur could transform his offense into a ground-heavy attack, which doesn't bode well for a Vikings defense that ranked 26th against the run in 2021. He called running backs Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon 1A and 1A in the backfield.

Sure, Za'Darius Smith can rush the passer, but the Vikings may need more than the addition of nose tackle Harrison Phillips to stop Jones and Dillon.

Packers 28, Vikings 22 — Bill Bender, Sporting News

This is a tough one to pick. Aaron Rodgers has an unproven group of receivers at U.S. Bank Stadium, which is one of the tougher venues. The Vikings have a new coach in Kevin O'Connell, and Kirk Cousins will be aggressive with Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen. The Packers are 2-4 in their past six trips to Minnesota. This won't be easy, but we'll trust Rodgers to be better than last year's Week 1 disaster.

Vikings 24, Packers 20 — Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News

Look back at photos through the years featuring games between the Vikings and Packers.

Kevin O'Connell should be the most successful of the rookie coaches as implementing his Rams-enhanced offensive acumen in Minnesota, raising the elite games of wide receiver Justin Jefferson and running back Dalvin Cook. The defense also should play more inspired in a new scheme with a pass rush revamped by a healthy Danielle Hunter and former Packer Za'Darius Smith, plus better secondary help from Patrick Peterson and others.

Green Bay's defense and running game will operate well out of the gate to keep it in the game but there will be some key kinks around Aaron Rodgers with a Davante Adams-less receiving corps. The Vikings sound the early horn at home toward an NFC Playoffs berth.

Packers 28, Vikings 21 — Michael David Smith, Pro Football Talk

The Packers should cruise to their fourth straight NFC North title and get it started with a road win against the second-best team in the division.

Vikings 28, Packers 24 — Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk

The Vikings will instantly be better than they were last year. The Packers may eventually be better, too. It will take them some time to get there, however.

Pre-game win probabilities: Vikings 47% —

2 of 5 experts pick the Vikings, The MMQB

2 of 9 experts (one of 10 total had not submitted) pick the Vikings, ESPN

2 of 7 experts pick the Vikings, Bleacher Report