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Laying the points against history with Kirk Cousins

Vikings QB Kirk Cousins has never won on Monday Night Football. I think we see that change against the Packers and am laying the points in Week 16.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins hug after the game at U.S. Bank Stadium. Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings host the Green Bay Packers in the Week 16 Monday Night Football finale, with plenty on the line. The 11-3 Packers can clinch the NFC North with a victory, while the Vikings can climb into a tie in the division and keep open their chances of winning the division.

The Vikings are a 4.5-point favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook, with the point total installed at 47. The Vikings are -220 on the money line and the Packers are +190. The Vikings are 8-6 against the spread and have gone over the point total eight times this season. The Packers are 9-5 ATS and have gone over the point total six times.

Injury Report

The Vikings will be without running back Dalvin Cook and likely without his backup Alexander Mattison. That leaves Mike Boone as the starting running back. Last week, he came on after Cook got hurt and rushed 13 times for 56 yards and two touchdowns.

The Packers listed defensive end Dean Lowry as questionable. He was limited on Thursday and Friday but was a full participant on Saturday, so he should be good to go.

Pick Against The Spread

I’m going against history tonight and laying the points with the Vikings. Kirk Cousins is winless on Monday Night Football, currently 0-8 during his career. If the Vikings cover, he’ll break that streak. Given how he has played this season, it feels like it would be fitting for him to make that happen.

The Packers are an inflated 11-3 team right now. They’re not a bad football team, but they’re not as good as their record suggests. They have the eighth best point differential among the current playoff teams, and they rank 21st in net yards per play. That’s a stat that tries to take some of the randomness out of assessing teams. The Vikings have the fifth best point differential and rank seventh best in net yards per play. Football Outsiders ranks the Vikings sixth in total defense and seventh in total offense. By comparison, the Packers rank 17th and sixth, respectively.

I don’t think the Vikings are going to win this game in a walk, but I think they walk away with a touchdown or so victory.