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Packers Favored at Vikings in NFL Season Opener

The Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings have undergone offseason makeovers. They'll play each other in Minneapolis in Week 1.

GREEN BAY, Wis. – The Green Bay Packers are 1 1/2-point favorites for their season-opening game at the Minnesota Vikings on Sept. 11.

The NFL schedule was released on Thursday and FanDuel Sportsbook quickly produced Week 1 lines.

The Vikings won last year’s meeting at U.S. Bank Stadium, 34-31, on a last-play field goal. While it was a loss for Green Bay, it was a game that jump-started what had been a struggling offense. Aaron Rodgers went 23-of-33 passing for 385 yards and four touchdowns, good for a 148.4 passer rating. Davante Adams (seven receptions, 115 yards, two touchdowns) and Marquez Valdes-Scantling (four catches, 123 yards, one touchdown) combined for 238 yards and three scores.

Of course, neither of those receivers are on the team, with Adams traded to the Raiders and Valdes-Scantling signing with the Chiefs.

The Vikings are different, too. Following a season in which they alternated two-game winning streaks with two-game losing streaks six consecutive times, the Vikings fired longtime coach Mike Zimmer. Kevin O’Connell was plucked off the Mike Shanahan coaching tree, and he hired former Packers defensive assistants Mike Pettine and Mike Smith.

Without Adams and Valdes-Scantling, rookies could play a key role in Green Bay’s remodeled receiver corps. They’ll face a defense that switched from Zimmer’s 4-3 scheme to a 3-4 alignment. From 2015 through 2019, the Vikings recorded five consecutive top-10 finishes in points allowed. They ranked 29th in 2020 and 24th in 2021. Their new scheme will feature Za’Darius Smith and Danielle Hunter as the pass-rushing outside linebackers.

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Speaking of Smith, he is thrilled about Week 1 (and Week 17).

In other games at FanDuel, the host Los Angeles Rams are 1-point favorites over the Buffalo Bills in the Thursday night kickoff to the season, the Los Angeles Chargers are 4-point home favorites against Adams and the Raiders, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are 2 1/2-point favorites at the Dallas Cowboys and the Denver Broncos are 4 1/2-point road favorites over the Seattle Seahawks in the Russell Wilson Bowl.

In the NFC North, Chicago is a 6 1/2-point home underdog against San Francisco and Detroit is a 4 1/2-point home underdog against Philadelphia.

Also at FanDuel, the Packers are 6-point favorites for their Week 5 game against the New York Giants in London.

At SI Sportsbook, the Packers are -200 to win the NFC North, far shorter odds than the Minnesota Vikings (+275), Chicago Bears (+800) and Detroit Lions (+1100).

In the Super Bowl race, the Buffalo Bills remain the favorites at +650, followed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+700) and Kansas City Chiefs (+900). The Packers and Rams are next at +1000. The Packers will face the Bills, Bucs and Rams in 2022, part of a challenging schedule in which Green Bay faces the biggest disadvantage in the NFL.

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