In the second game of Sunday‘s wild-card tripleheader, the Giants will make the trek to Minneapolis to play the Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium (4:30 p.m. ET, FOX). This is the Giants’ first playoff appearance since 2016 when they lost in the wild-card round to the Packers. As for the Vikings, this will be their first postseason appearance since ’19 after finishing the season 13-4 and capturing the NFC North crown.
The third-seeded Vikings are looking to pick up their second-consecutive win over the sixth-seeded Giants this season after defeating them 27-24 in Week 16. Vikings kicker Greg Joseph hit a game-winning 61-yard field goal with time expiring in the fourth quarter. The Giants will hope for a better result after surviving a brutal NFC East schedule and finishing 9-7-1. Both teams have first-year head coaches making their playoff debuts in Brian Daboll (Giants) and Kevin O’Connell (Vikings), which should make things interesting on Sunday.
Below, we’ll give you all the information you need before placing a wager on Giants-Vikings, including the updated odds from Sports Interaction, tips, and our prediction for this NFC wild-card game.
Betting odds courtesy of Sports Interaction
- Spread: Vikings -3
- Over/Under: 48.5
- Moneyline: Vikings -156, Giants +130
The Vikings are only field goal favorites heading into Sunday afternoon’s game, which makes sense after they won an NFL-record 11 one-score games this season. However, bettors should not sleep on the Giants, who have been one of the best teams against the spread this season (13-4). They’ve also covered as road ‘dogs this season (6-1). If this game turns out to be anything like we saw in the first meeting, we could see a lot of points scored, which is excellent for the total (48.5).
Giants vs. Vikings all-time series
The Vikings lead the all-time series against the Giants with a record of 17-10, with Minnesota winning the past four games. The last time these two teams faced off against each other in the playoffs was in the 2000 NFC Championship Game, where the Giants defeated the Vikings 41-0. Minnesota quarterback Daunte Culpepper completed 13-of-28 passes for 78 yards and three interceptions. Meanwhile, New York QB Kerry Collins had a field day against the Vikings’ secondary, completing 28-of-39 passes for 381 yards, five touchdowns, and two interceptions.
Three trends to know
— The Vikings are 12-0 on the moneyline as a favorite this season, according to BetQL.
— The Giants are 10-2 ATS when listed as an underdog and 8-4 ATS in conference games this season.
— Minnesota head coach Kevin O’Connell is 11-2 on the moneyline when the total is between 42.5-49 points, per BetQL.
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Three things to watch for
Can Saquon Barkley lead the way against this Vikings’ defense?
In the Giants’ first meeting against the Vikings on Christmas Eve, Barkley made an impact both on the ground and as a receiver. The star running back had 84 rushing yards and a touchdown on 14 carries and eight receptions (10 targets) for 49 yards. If the Giants want to pull off the upset on Sunday, they will need a similar performance from Barkley.
This season, the Vikings have not done a great job stopping the run, allowing 123.1 yards per game, including 135.7 yards per game over the past three games. The Giants need to lean on Barkley on the ground, which should help open up the passing game for Daniel Jones. In the four games the Vikings have lost this season, they have given up 152.7 rushing yards per game.
Justin Jefferson vs. the Giants’ secondary
Jefferson had a quiet couple of games to end the regular season, but he should have a monster performance against this Giants’ secondary on Sunday afternoon. In the first matchup in Week 16, the young wide receiver had 12 receptions (16 targets) for 133 yards and a touchdown. Giants defensive coordinator Wink Martindale had no answer for Jefferson, who did whatever he wanted.
New York tried to put Fabian Moreau on Jefferson, but that didn’t work, as he allowed seven receptions (nine targets) for 78 yards and four first downs. The Giants hope to have Adoree’ Jackson (knee) back for Sunday’s game, but it won’t be an easy matchup for him, as he hasn’t played since Week 11.
Giants’ 3rd-down offense
New York’s offense must play better on third down on Sunday afternoon if they want to keep this explosive Vikings’ offense off the field. In their heartbreaking Week 16 loss to Minnesota, the Giants were three-for-11 on third down. The fact that they still had a chance to win is remarkable. New York’s offense has been horrible on third down this season, only converting at a 36.7-percent clip (ranked 22nd in the NFL). Furthermore, the Giants’ third-down offense is converting at a 33.6-percent clip on the road this season. If New York cannot convert on third down, they will have a tough time on Sunday afternoon.
Stat that matters
5.2 This is the number of rushing yards per attempt the Giants’ defense has allowed this season. New York’s defense has struggled to stop the run this season, which should be good news for the Vikings, who have two standout running backs in Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison. However, Cook injured his knee last week and sat out the second half. If he can’t go, Alexander Mattison, who averaged 4.3 yards per attempt against New York in Week 16, will have to shoulder the load. Minnesota can throw the ball around the field with Jefferson, Adam Thielen, K.J. Osborn, and T.J. Hockenson, but Cook and/or Mattison will have to step up, too.
Giants vs. Vikings prediction
This could be the best game on Sunday, as the Giants won’t back down to anybody. Daboll will have his team ready to go, and bettors should feel comfortable laying the points with the G-Men. However, the Vikes have been one of the best home teams this season (8-1) and will find a way to win in the fourth quarter, thanks primarily to the duo of Kirk Cousins and Justin Jefferson.
PREDICTION: Vikings 24, Giants 21. The Giants will cover (+3), and the total will go UNDER (45).