This week’s NFL playoff game between the New York Giants and the Minnesota Vikings features a clash of styles.
The Giants tend to play conservative, boring, “New York Giants” football and the Vikings can’t seem to play a game that doesn’t come down to the final, nail biting seconds.
It also features two of the most explosive offensive players in the league with Giants running back Saquon Barkley and Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson, who both could be in line for huge performances.
The Vikings won the NFC North with a 13-4 overall record (7-9-1 ATS), while the Giants are the number 6 seed after a 9-7-1 regular season (13-4 ATS). The Vikings are 3 point favorites at home, and the O/U is set at 48. The Vikings are 11-6 versus the O/U this season, while the Giants are 6-9-2.
Both of these teams overshot expectations by a mile this season and neither will want the dream to end this weekend. The Giants got off to a hot start and overcame a mid season slump to clinch a playoff spot in week 17.
The Vikings were only one game away from the best record in the league, finishing 13-4. However, ELEVEN (!) of those wins were by a margin of one score or less and two of those went to overtime.
If you just look at the records, this seems like an easy win for the Vikings, but the way they have kept their opponents in games this season suggests a much closer outcome. Read on to find out what our experts think.
Giants vs.Vikings Game Info
- Teams: Minnesota Vikings (13-4) vs. New York Giants (9-7-1)
- Game Date: Sunday, January 15
- Time: 4:30 p.m. EST
- Location: US Bank Stadium, Minneapolis Minn.
- Channel: FOX
- Odds: See here
Giants vs. Vikings History
This game features two storied NFC franchises with a combined 9 Super Bowl appearances and 4 Super Bowl victories. Unfortunately for the Vikings, none of those victories occurred in their 4 appearances.
The teams have played 27 times in the regular season with the Vikings holding a 17-10 advantage, with wins in the last 4 matchups and 8 of the last 10, including a 27-24 victory in week 16 this season. However, the Giants hold a 2-1 edge in the postseason with all 3 playoff games being played between 1994 and 2001.
While the Vikings are an historically successful team with an all time .538 win percentage and 31 playoff appearances, the Lombardi Trophy has eluded them. They’ve been to the Super Bowl four times,but all of those games ended in losses with the most recent occurring in 1976, long before any current NFL players were even born.
Except for Tom Brady, of course.
The Giants are one of the oldest franchises in the NFL, having joined the league in 1925. They spent their first 32 years playing second fiddle to a Baseball team with the same name, but have had the good fortune of sharing the Big Apple with the New York Jets since 1963.
The Giants have been to the playoffs 33 times, two more than the Vikings, though they had a 30-something year head start. Their all time winning percentage is impressive, even if it falls a little short of Minnesota’s at .528.
When it comes to the Super Bowl, the results have been much kinder to the Giants, who own a 4-1 record in those games, the most recent their 21-17 victory over the Patriots in 2012.
The Game will feature two first year coaches who might be seeing one another in the playoffs frequently over the next several years.
After helping Josh Allen become an MVP level player in Buffalo, Giants head coach Brian Dabol seems to have revived the career of NY QB Daniel Jones, while putting himself in contention for NFL Coach of the year.
Speaking of Coach of the year candidates, the Vikings Kevin O’Connell has made quite a case for himself after winning the NFC North by four games. The fact that the team was 11-0 in one score games might be a point in his favor, unless you believe it’s an anomaly just waiting to correct itself.
The Giants and Vikings share a bit of history as they BOTH traded Quarterback Fran Tarkenton to the other team! The Hall of Famer was a third round pick by the Vikings in the 1961 draft. He spent his first six years in Minnesota before being traded to the Giants.
After five years in New York, he was shipped back to the Vikings, where he played seven more seasons before retiring in 1979.
Previously in NFL (Week 18):
- Giants vs Eagles
- Vikings vs Bears
- Jets vs Dolphins
- Chargers vs Broncos
- Titans vs Jaguars
- Lions vs Packers
- Texans vs Colts
Keys to the Giants vs Vikings Game
When these teams met earlier this season the Vikings T.J. Hockenstein and Justin Jefferson combined to haul in 25 catches for 242 yards and 3 touchdowns. Giants QB Daniel Jones was chucking it as well with 334 yards passing and three different wide receivers registering at least 79 yards.
If either defense can shut down the opposing passing game it will go a long way towards securing the win. That may prove difficult for the Giants as the Vikings feature Justin Jefferson, the most dangerous wide receiver in the game, who averaged 106.4 yards per game this season.
The Giants receiving corps doesn’t have the pedigree or statistics to compare with the Vikings. Luckily for them they will be going up against the Vikings defense, which gave up 4515 yards passing this season, second worst in the league.
Minnesota Will Win If:
- The Defense can force turnovers: While the Vikings defense gives up a lot of yards, they did tie for ninth in the league by forcing 25 turnovers.
They won’t shut down the Giants, but If they can force multiple turnovers, it will give their offense more opportunities to ring up points.
The Giants don’t turn the ball over a lot, but Daniel Jones is a running QB in his first playoff game and while ball control has improved over his career, the Vikings should have some opportunities to force a fumble.
- The running game takes advantage: Given the way T.J. Hockenstein and Justin Jefferson shredded the Giants secondary in week 16, you have to expect that those two will be drawing a lot of attention from the G-men defense.
That should provide plenty of room for Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison to run wild.
If Cook can break a couple of long runs early on it will force the Giants to move their safeties closer to the line of scrimmage, and that would lead to single coverage on Justin Jefferson, which leads to bad things for the defense.
- Their offense has the ball last: So many of the Vikings games this season have come down to the last possession.
It doesn’t matter if they have a big lead or are down 33-0 at halftime (like they were against the Colts in week 15 before coming back to win in overtime.) The Vikings always seem to keep it close and their 11-0 record in one score games suggests they are ready for the pressure cooker of the playoffs.
The Vikings would love to see a deja-vu of their week 16 victory over the Giants, when kicker Greg Joseph booted a game winning 61 yard field goal as time expired.
New York Will Win If:
- They Can Catch the Ball: The Giants offense is clearly a level below the Vikings’ and they need to be firing on all cylinders if they hope to keep up with Minnesota.
Dropped passes have been an issue all year for the Giants, who tied for the fifth most in the NFL this season with 27. Saquon Barkley led the team with 6.
If the team can avoid drops they can win the possession battle and limit the Minnesota offense simply by keeping the ball away from them.
- KT turns into LT: Rookie linebacker (and #5 pick in the 2022 draft) Kavon Thibodeaux started the season slowly while recovering from injury. He’s come on strong the past month though, highlighted by his monster game in week 15 against Washington when he had 12 tackles, including a sack and a fumble recovery for a touchdown.
If he can be disruptive with his pass rush, it could neutralize Justin Jefferson’s ability to get open downfield.
- Kirk Cousins suddenly realizes he’s on TV: The Vikings QB has had a reputation for coming up short in high profile games (0-9 on Monday Night Football) and while he’s come up big in tough spots this season, the lights will be brighter than ever.
If Captain Kirk can match his typical regular season performance it should be enough for the Vikings, and it would go a long way in dispelling the belief that Kirk Cousins can’t handle the spotlight.
With two rookie coaches headed into their first playoff game there’s not a lot of history to base our predictions on. Despite their impressive record the Vikings have kept their opponents in games all season and that could prove fatal in the playoffs.
The Giants don’t have the firepower of the Vikings, but they are well coached and can play ball control offense, limiting possessions and keeping the Vikings best unit off the field.
Here are some bets we like for this matchup, courtesy of BetOnline:
When you see that a team is 11-0 in one score games, it’s easy to think that the pendulum is going to swing the other way eventually, but we just think the Vikings have too much firepower for the Giants to handle, especially playing in Minnesota.
This is based almost entirely on the Vikings, who have an explosive offense and a defense that doesn’t stop anyone. If the Giants can’t muster a pass rush, this game could hit the over before the fourth quarter.
The Giants are going to be determined to stop Justin Jefferson. That should open up a lot of room in the running game for Dalvin Cook. If he can get through the first line of defenders there is potential for some long runs.
Get a Bonus to Bet on the Vikings vs Giants
Wild Card weekend is as close as the NFL gets to March Madness. Non-stop games and the potential for some big upsets. And it’s the last chance for a 6 game parlay!
BetOnline is wanting to drum up as much interest in this game as they can, which is why they’re currently running a special in which you can get a 50% deposit match up to $1,000 by using code BOL1000.
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We doubt that you needed another excuse to bet on this game — but BetOnline just provided you with one anyway.
The Best Places to Bet on Giants vs.Vikings
You can bet on this game at any number of football betting sites, or even at your local brick-and-mortar establishment. We’d recommend spending your money at a big, established online bookie like BetOnline or Bovada, though.
These sites have been around for years, building up a reputation for treating players fairly. That’s far from the only reason to bet with them, though:
- They’re convenient: you can get the most up-to-date lines anytime you want, simply by refreshing the page. That’s huge in a game like this, where the outcome of earlier games could have a massive effect on the lines in this one.
- They reward players: we’ve already mentioned the special that BetOnline is running, but that’s just one of the many rewards these sites offer new and existing players. They’re always looking for ways to get you into the action — other sportsbooks simply can’t compete with that.
- They offer round-the-clock action: you can bet on Minnesota-New York leading up to the game, and then you can get live bets in during the game. If that’s not enough, you can also find action on every other NFL wild card game, as well as just about every other domestic and international sport you can think of.
Why Bet on the Giants vs. Vikings Game?
Wildcard weekend offers six fabulous matchups to wager on while also signaling that your NFL betting opportunities will soon be gone.
Here are some reason why the Giants-Vikings game represents unique value:
- Offensive Props: There are just so many dynamic players in this game and at least one of them is going to go off. Dalvin Cook, Saquon Barkley and Daniel Jones could eclipse their rushing overs in the first half and while Justin Jefferson’s O/U receiving yards is a robust 98.5 — nearly 8 yards under his average receiving YPG for the season.
- Minnesota’s Record in 1 score games: There are two ways to look at the Vikings 11-0 record in one score games this season: They are a well coached team that doesn’t choke when things get tight or they’ve been incredibly lucky this season. No matter what you think, there’s a wager out there that agrees with you.
- Kirk Cousins: There isn’t a quarterback in the league as polarizing as Kirk Cousins. His overall statistics suggest that he’s one of the ten best QB’s in the league, but his record in prime time games leaves a lot to be desired. Where you fall on the Cousins debate should inform your wagers in this one.
NFL Wild Card Weekend Highlights:
What’s at Stake in the Giants-Vikings Game?
Everything is at stake in the Giants-Vikings game. Put simply, it’s win or go home.
Are Either of These Teams Real Contenders?
Both teams are real contenders, although neither would be considered favorites. The NFC playoffs are up for grabs, every team in the tournament has question marks and whoever wins this game will have a legitimate chance to advance to the NFC championship or even the Super Bowl.
Who is Favored to Win Between Vikings vs Giants?
The Minnesota Vikings are favored to win by 3 points at home. Generally it’s assumed that home field advantage is worth 3 points, so with this game being played in Minnesota these teams seem to be pretty evenly matched.
Where Will the Vikings vs Giants Game Be Played?
The game will be played at US Bank Stadium Minneapolis, Minn. The stadium is a dome, which should favor the offenses, which is why we are recommending betting on the over (48.0 pts).
What Happened the First Time These Teams Played This Season?
The first time these teams played, the Vikings kicked a last-second field goal to escape with a 27-24 victory. That was just a few weeks ago, in week 16, so it would seem likely that these two teams are still pretty evenly-matched.
Wildcard Round Giants vs. Vikings Game Odds: Final Words
It’s easy to predict a Vikings blowout, but there is some compelling evidence that this game is going to stay close.
We’ve already mentioned the Vikings stellar 11-0 record in one score games. The Giants have played an astounding 13 one-score games, and while they aren’t perfect like the Vikes, their 8-4-1 record in those games is impressive.
You only have to go back a few weeks to the last game between these two teams to see how the game might play out. That one went down to the wire and ended with a 61-yard field goal.
We see this week’s matchup following a similar path with the teams trading leads throughout the game. Ultimately the Vikings have too much firepower and will put the ball in the end zone, while the Giants may have to settle for field goals.
We like the Vikings to cover, though based on recent history we hesitate to say “easily.”
We think the Vikings beat the Giants, 31-26. Regardless of whether you agree or disagree, you can head over to BetOnline to put money on the outcome, or simply pick your favorite props.
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