By: Jason Green
Minnesota Vikings (10-2 SU 9-3 ATS) vs. Carolina Panthers (8-4 SU 7-5 ATS)
The Vikings are coming off a big win over the Atlanta Falcons and with the Eagles losing last week Minnesota is now tied with them for the best record in the NFC. The Vikings are riding an 8-Game winning streak and they have won five of their six road Games on the season. They are a balanced team that ranks 11th in the league in ppg and 2nd in points allowed and their D came up big in their last win over the Falcons holding them to only nine points.
5Dimes sportsbook has the Vikings as the 2.5-point favorite with a total of 41`.
While the Vikings are coming off a big win the Panthers are coming off a big loss to the New Orleans Saints. With the loss they are now one Game back of the Saints in the NFC South with the Falcons two Games back in a tight division. Carolina ranks 5th in the league in rushing yards and Cam Newton has been playing well, but will need protection, as when they faced Minnesota last season in a loss Newton was sacked eight times.
The Vikings have covered the spread in five of the last seven Games facing the Panthers.
Minnesota rode their D in their last Game, which was a 14-9 win over the Falcons. They held Matt Ryan in check and held Atlanta to only three field goals. The Vikings only had 37 more total yards, but they had a balanced attack on offense and in a key defensive stat they held the Falcons to only 1/10 on 3rd down conversions. Case Keenum continued his solid play passing for 227 yards with 2 TD and 0 INT and six players had at least 20 receiving yards. They rushed for 105 yards led by LAtavius Murray, who rushed for 76 yards and averaged a solid 5.9 yards per carry. After a slow start to the season Murray has picked it up in the last few Games and in his last Four Games he has rushed for at least 68 yards and averaged at least Four yards per carry in every Game.
The Panthers’ D GAve up 31 points in their last Game, rank tied for 10th in the league in points allowed, and rank 7th in pass defense and 4th in run defense.
Carolina fell to the Saints 31-21 last week on the road and they do not face them again so their playoff fate is not in their hands in winning the NFC South. They were out-GAined 400 yards to 279 yards, were only 3/10 on 3rd down conversions, and they GAve up 148 rushing yards. Newton passed for 183 yards with 2 TD and no INT and also led the team with 51 rushing yards. Jonathan Stewart, who leads Carolina in rushing yards, had 45 yards on the ground and he has to help out his QB in this Game. The same goes for the line, who will be key in this Game facing a solid Minnesota pass rush and run defense that ranks 2nd in the league.
The Vikings are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 road Games, 40-15 ATS in their last 55 Games, and in their last 26 Games facing a team with a winning record the Under record is 20-6.
The Panthers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 Games, 6-2 ATS in their last 8 Games after an ATS loss, and in their last 10 Games they have an Over record of 7-3.
Jason’s Pick; I think the Vikings will stay hot in this Game even facing the Panthers in their house. They will play well on both sides of the ball and defend the run well and that will be key in this NFC match up. Minnesota will not blow out Carolina, but they will get the win and cover the spread winning their 9th in a row.