MIN Vikings at NE Patriots: Predictions, Odds and Betting Tips
Sunday 12/2 4:25 PM (ET),
The Vikings are coming off a big divisional win a week ago, as they continue to separate themselves from the pack of NFC Wild Card teams. New England, while not pretty, returned to their winning ways against the New York Jets, as Gronk and Sony Michel made their returns to the playing field.
Minnesota is beginning to look like the Super Bowl contending team so many thought they could be this season. In a 24-17 divisional victory over the Packers, Kirk Cousins outdueled the “bad man” himself, Aaron Rodgers, throwing for nearly 150 more yards and 2 more touchdowns than Rodgers’ 198 and 1 TD pass. Cousins spread the ball around, hitting three different receivers for 7+ completions on the day. Cousins should have no issue continuing his hot streak through the air on Sunday, when he faces off against the league’s 25th ranked defense against the pass.
The Patriots were huge beneficiaries of their week 11-bye week. Maybe their two most important playmakers, Gronk and Sony Michel, returned in time to be major contributors in the 27-13 victory over the Jets last Sunday. Michel, who has been injured on and off for the better part of a month, looked to be back to full strength, as he ripped off 133 yard on 21 carries with a touchdown. Gronkowski also made an appearance in the end zone in his return, his first since week 1 of this season.
The Patriots hold a huge lead in the AFC East and are almost all but destined to once again represent their division in the playoffs. While their record hasn’t differed much from years past, their play has. Tom Brady has tossed seven interceptions on the season, and currently holds his worst QB rating in five years. While Josh Gordon has added a nice spark to the Pats passing game, they still lack a trustworthy game breaker. Gronk does not move the way he use to, and Julian Edelman ranks 4th in the league in drops, despite missing the first month of the season due to a suspension. New England’s passing game will continue to have their lapses against the league’s 5th ranked pass defense of Minnesota’s. Sony Michel will be leaned on heavily, as he has been whenever healthy this season (averaging 20+ carries in games that he’s started and finished), but the Vikes defense is even better against the run than against the pass.
Score prediction: Vikings win 27-24
I have the Vikings going into Foxborough, and leaving with a victory, so the benefit of getting five points should make your mouth water. The Pats had issues putting away a struggling Jets team just one week ago, and are only two games removed from being manhandled by the Titans. Xavier Rhodes and Harrison Smith will man up Gronk and Gordon, and make Sony Michel attempt to beat the league’s 5th ranked run defense on his own. Not a good formula for New England.
New England is the 7th highest scoring team in football, while both teams rank in the top ten in passing ypg. A game that features Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Sony Michel, Kirk Cousins, Adam Thielen, and Stefon Diggs seems like a safe bet to go over.
Head to Head
New England holds a 4-2 record over Minnesota in their last six meetings. The Pats have won four games in a row over the Vikes, with their most recent being a 30-7 victory all the way back in September of 2014.
- Minnesota is 18-6-1 SU in their last 25 games.
- Minnesota is 1-4 SU in their last 5 games when playing New England.
- Minnesota is 2-3-1 ATS in their last 6 road games.
- New England is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games.
- New England has won 12 straight games at home.
- New England is 7-1 SU in their last 8 games.