Giants vs. Vikings: Wild Card Game staff picks and predictions

The New York Giants (9-7-1) will take on the Minnesota Vikings (13-4) this Sunday afternoon at U.S. Bank Stadium in their first playoff game since 2016.

Experts are leaning slightly toward Minnesota this week with many of them expecting a one-score game.

How does the Giants Wire staff see this Wild Card battle shaking out? Here’s a look at our picks and score predictions:

Dan Benton: Giants 30, Vikings 27

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The Giants brought it down to the wire last time and the Vikings needed to set a franchise record to beat Big Blue as time expired. Since then, the Giants have gained both health and confidence. The returns of Adoree’ Jackson and Xavier McKinney can not be overstated. Meanwhile, the Vikes have some OL issues they’re dealing with and that will play into the Giants’ favor. I once again expect a very close game that comes down to the end but this time, I think New York takes it in an upset.

John Fennelly: Giants 26, Vikings 23

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Many are picking the Giants to win here based on two factors: the last meeting (a Week 16 27-24 Minnesota win) in which the Giants outplayed the Vikings and the performance of each team since then. The Giants’ defense is ascending and getting healthy and their offense is beginning to realize its identity. The Vikings have been skating by all year in close games (10-0 in games decided by 8 points or less) and it’s time they finally lose one.

Tyler Henry: Giants 24 Vikings 18

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While I have some concerns over the Vikings’ home record and the confidence of the fans and media going into the matchup, I am also sipping the Kool-Aid on this one. It will be close without a doubt but I am feeling as if the Giants find a way to get it done.

Kevin Hickey: Giants 27, Vikings 24

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The last time these two teams played, the Giants should have come away with a victory. They get that corrected when it matters most. Big Blue gets a massive game from Saquon Barkley, who goes over 100 total yards and finds the end zone. Meanwhile, Daniel Jones stays hot by tossing two touchdowns — one to Isaiah Hodgins and another to Darius Slayton. Wink Martindale’s defense contains Justin Jefferson as much as they can while Dexter Lawrence has a big day from the interior. When it comes down to it, Graham Gano sends the Giants to the divisional round.

Jeevan Kirkland: Giants 30, Vikings 23

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It all comes together for the Giants on Sunday as they make their first playoff appearance of the decade. They lost to the Vikings in the last seconds before but they will not let it happen again. With a week of rest this team will be coming out ready to make some noise. For a lot of these players it is their first trip to the playoffs and they will be sure to make it count as they attempt to survive for another week. This will be a tough game but New York wants this one badly and should have a good shot to get the win.

Serena Burks: Vikings 28, Giants 20

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While I really want to pick the Giants to win because I’m rooting for Brian Daboll, I’m just not convinced they can get it done against a Vikings team that ran away with the NFC North. Granted, the rest of that division wasn’t great this year, the Vikings are on a tear. The Giants have the talent to win, but their execution is questionable, even with players returning from injury.

Story originally appeared on Giants Wire