Packers still heavily favored to hold off Vikings for NFC North crown


Despite the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers being dead even at the top of the NFC North half way through the 2015 season, the Packers remain heavy favorites to win the division.

Both teams have an identical 6-2 mark, but it seems that most NFL experts and even the oddsmakers still aren't taking the Vikings as very seriously as a threat to dethrone the Packers atop the conference.

The site most heavily favoring the Packers is FiveThirtyEight Sports. According to those numbers, the Packers still have a 74 percent chance of winning the NFC North. They also have a 54 percent chance of securing a first round bye and a 93 percent chance of making the playoffs.

Despite having identical records, things are quite a bit different for the Vikings. Minnesota has a 26 percent chance of winning the NFC North, a 15 percent chance of securing a first round bye and a 66 percent chance of making the playoffs.

And it's not just FiveThirtyEight either. ESPN also heavily favors the Packers over the Vikings, noting that Green Bay has a 71 percent chance to win the division.

And the gamblers in Las Vegas favor the Packers over the Vikings as well, according to Bovada.

The Star Tribune's Michael Rand believes one reason for the big discrepancy is the difficulty of the games left on the Vikings schedule.

Another theory is that four straight Vikings victories – the last two on game-winning field goals – have allowed the Vikings to sneak up on people, who don't yet think they're for real.

Minnesota still has two division games left against the Packers, one against the Bears and tough games remaining against Carolina and Atlanta.

The Packers schedule is perceived to be a little easier.

What could the Vikings do to even the odds a bit? Well they host the Packers at TCF Bank Stadium in just two weeks.

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