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Wild Card Weekend: Giants-Vikings Preview, Props, Prediction

Dec 24, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) is tackled by Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Harrison Phillips (97)  during the fourth quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants and Minnesota Vikings will meet at U.S. Bank Stadium for the second time in less than a month on Sunday.

This time, it’s win-or-go home in the wild-card matchup.

The Vikings won the Christmas Eve meeting 27-24 on a 61-yard field goal by Greg Joseph as time expired. Both coaches said this week that while the first meeting will provide some help in planning for the rematch, every game also plays out differently.

Minnesota is a 3.0-point favorite at most sportsbooks courtesy of playing at home, where they were 8-1 during the regular season. Overall, it has been the most evenly-bet game among the six this weekend.

The line has held steady at BetMGM, where the Vikings have drawn 58 percent of the spread-line bets while the Giants (9-7-1) have been backed by 63 percent of the money. The action has been similar at DraftKings, with Minnesota supported by 55 percent of the bets but New York backed by 53 percent of the money.

The Christmas Eve game was one of a whopping 11 one-score wins for Minnesota (13-4). Only the season opener against Green Bay (23-7) and last week’s 29-13 victory over Chicago could be classified as comfortable wins.

Giants coach Brian Daboll said his team was preparing for the rematch similar to a division rival they play twice a season.

“I think any time you play a team for a second time, you always watch the previous game,” he said. “That’s part of the preparation process. But we are full steam ahead on preparing, watching the games that they have played after us. We’ve already watched all the games before that.

“So, it’s really like playing another division team that you just played a few weeks ago and doing everything you can to prepare the right way.”

PROP PICKS

Giants QB Daniel Jones Over 38.5 Rushing Yards (-112 at BetRivers): BetMGM and DraftKings are offering -115 on 40.5 yards. Given every yard could count in this prop, we’ll take the lowest of the three available. Jones has rushed for at least 39 yards seven times this season. The Vikings “held” him to 34 yards but on only four carries. Expect Jones to be more involved in the ground game as the Giants attempt to keep the Vikings from keying in too heavily on Saquon Barkley.

Vikings WR Justin Jefferson Over 91.5 Receiving Yards (-120 at BetMGM): Another good example of price shopping as the same yardage is being offered at -125 at DraftKings, while BetRivers is offering Jefferson at -113 with the Over set at 96.5 yards. Jefferson caught 12 passes on 16 targets for 133 yards in the first meeting. While Jefferson was largely contained the final two weeks of the regular season, the Vikings are not going to go down at home in the playoffs without making every effort to get their record-setting receiver heavily involved.

Vikings DE Danielle Hunter Over 0.75 sacks (+135 at DraftKings): BetRivers is offering Hunter at +100 to get Over 0.5 sacks, so why not take the higher payout since he needs to get credit for at least 1.0 sacks to win either bet? Hunter had a pair of sacks in the first meeting and had at least one in eight regular-season games. The Giants will no doubt focus more attention on Hunter in the rematch, but he also had four QB hits in that game and presents a matchup issue for New York.

INJURY REPORT
Giants: The team reported everyone participated in full Friday.

Vikings: CB Cameron Dantzler (ankle), FS Harrison Smith (knee) and RB Kene Nwangwu (illness) were listed as questionable. C Garrett Bradbury (back) returned to full practice Thursday and Friday and is expected to play, while RT Brian O’Neill was not listed on the final injury report.

PREDICTION
The Giants have been pegged as one of the teams most likely to pull an upset on wild-card weekend. That’s in large part due to a lack of faith in the Vikings outside of Minnesota.

There’s also a reason the Vikings won 11 one-score games, including the Christmas Eve game over the Giants. They continue to find ways to eek out victories, and do so again against a young New York team with precious little playoff experience on the roster.

–Vikings 31, Giants 27

–Field Level Media