Football Betting Odds – Vikings Have Difficult Task vs Patriots
It looks, at least on paper, as a really ideal matchup, pitting a team that has been known through the years for an explosive offense, going up against of vaunted defensive unit. So that’s the picture being painted about Sunday afternoon’s encounter between the New England Patriots and the Minnesota Vikings, which is scheduled to get underway at 4:25 PM ET at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro. It will be televised by Fox Network, and BetAnySports customers will be able to watch the game and place wagers while it is in progress, as they access what is available through Live Betting Ultra.
The Patriots are once again very much in control of the AFC East, leading the Miami Dolphins by three full games with an 8-3 record (7-4 ATS). Tom Brady has been efficient, as usual, but he’s not having his greatest statistical season, throwing for just 19 touchdowns in eleven games, with seven interceptions. This team will be okay, however, as they have those nice components of the passing game – Julian Edelman (44 catches, 510 yards) filling the slot, with Josh Gordon (17.6 yards per reception) stretching the field, and All-Pro Rob Gronkowski exploiting matchup advantages at tight end, with the leading receiver being James White out of the backfield (67 catches, 567 yards).
It was the Vikings who had to undergo an offensive restructuring of sorts this season, as they brought a new, expensive quarterback on board. Kirk Cousins came with a huge price tag, and that had been expected for a couple of seasons. Of course, there were critics who questioned whether he was worth it, or was instead just a cookie-cutter quarterback. But the Vikings saw him as the missing ingredient to a genuine Super Bowl run. So far Cousins has completed 71% of his passes with 22 touchdowns, and he has made an historic connection with Adam Thielen, who already has 93 catches for 1138 yards. Stephan Diggs is Thielen’s sure-handed complement, and of course there is tight end Kyle Rudolph. So it can be concluded that the Vikings are a little more dangerous in the passing than they were with journeyman Case Keenum. But they are chasing the Chicago Bears, who lead them by a game and a half in the NFC North.
Perhaps the most important connection Cousins could make in this one is to running back Dalvin Cook, because of the fact that New England hasn’t necessarily been all that efficient defending backs coming out on pass routes. But we’re interested as well in how Minnesota defends against White. This is a team that gets a lot of pressure on the passer (36 sacks) and they may try to prevent Brady from being able to step up in the pocket very effectively.
The Pats are just a little below 40% in converting third downs, but the evidence indicates that Minnesota is one of the NFL’s best, if not THE best, on defense in that situation, limiting foes to just 27.6%.
And New England is going to be very hard-pressed in maximizing its scoring opportunities; Minnesota’s defense has the best touchdown-allowed rate in red zone situations, as well as the best touchdown-field goal ratio. Of course, the flip side is that the Vikings have been rather poor in converting red zone chances into touchdowns on offense (just 25th in the league).
Minnesota has been a righteous dog under the leadership of Zimmer (23-12 ATS), and it appears as if they have what it requires to take this one to the wire.
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