Giants at Vikings NFL wild card playoff odds preview: New York looks for upset

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Minnesota Vikings tight end T.J. Hockenson, right, catches a 15-yard touchdown pass over New York Giants cornerback Darnay Holmes (30) and safety Julian Love (20) during the second half of an NFL football game, Saturday, Dec. 24, 2022, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)

The New York Giants and Minnesota Vikings square off in Minnesota on Saturday in the first round of the NFL playoffs.

These two teams played in Week 16, and it was a classic as the Vikings won in the final seconds on a 61-yard field goal by Greg Joseph. In that game, Giants quarterback Daniel Jones was very good, throwing for 342 yards and a touchdown, while Saquon Barkley rushed for 84 yards and a touchdown. This is new territory for the Giants, who have not been to the playoffs since 2016 or won a playoff game since 2011.

The Vikings are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2019 when they won an overtime thriller against the Saints before losing to the 49ers. In the regular-season win against the Giants, Kirk Cousins had a monster game, throwing for 299 yards and three touchdowns. As has been the case nearly all season, Justin Jefferson was unstoppable, as he had 12 catches for 133 yards.

FanDuel Sportsbook lists the Vikings as a 3-point favorite with an over/under of 48.5.

Let’s take a closer look at the odds and trends:

New York Giants at Minnesota Vikings

Time/TV: 4:30 p.m. ET Sunday, Fox

Point spread (from FanDuel Sportsbook): Minnesota -3 (-112); New York +3 (-108)

Money line: New York +136, Minnesota -162

Over/under: 48.5

Analysis: The Giants got a terrific year from Daniel Jones, who has become the quarterback they envisioned when they drafted him with the sixth pick in the 2019 draft. He limited his mistakes, turning the ball over only six times. He set career highs in completion percentage (67.2%), passing yards (3,205 yards), QBR (60.7) and overall rating (92.5). With Saquon Barkley ranked fourth in rushing yards (1,312), Jones’ steady play has given the Giants a solid balance on offense.

Kirk Cousins has been called out in the past for his play at times, but he was outstanding this year. He was fourth in passing yards (4,547 yards) and fifth in touchdowns (29). However, at times, he was careless with the ball, throwing 14 interceptions. The Vikings have tremendous talent at the receiver position with Justin Jefferson (1,809 yards) and Adam Thielen (706 yards), and the mid-season acquisition of tight end T.J. Hockenson made the Minnesota offense even more explosive. Pair that passing attack with running back Dalvin Cook (1,173 yards), and the Vikings have one of the most balanced offenses in the league. However, if this turns into a defensive struggle, that favors the Giants as the Vikings’ defense ranks 27th in points allowed (25.1).

These two teams played a classic game just a couple of weeks ago, and this game should be no different, with the Vikings making one more play on offense

Prediction: Minnesota 28, New York 24

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