Free Pick Breakdown, Odds & Prediction: Giants vs. Vikings (12/24/2022) - Taking Vegas

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Free Pick Breakdown, Odds & Prediction: Giants vs. Vikings (12/24/2022)

By Michael Savio
December 21, 2022
Photo by: Robert Deutsch - USA TODAY Sports

New York Giants vs Minnesota Vikings

Spread: Vikings -3.5
Money Line: Giants +165 / Vikings -190
Total: 48.5

Overview and Betting Info

The New York Giants (8-5) will head to the Twin Cities on Saturday night for a holiday showdown with the Minnesota Vikings (11-3). The Vikings lead the overall series 16-10 and have won the last three, but the two teams haven’t played since 2019. The Vikings have clinched the NFC North, while the Giants currently hold a wild card spot.

The Giants are 10-4 against the spread and have covered in four of their five road games. They are 5-8-1 in favor of the under but have gone over or pushed in four of their last five games.

The Vikings are 6-7-1 versus the spread, covering four of their eight home games. They are 9-5 in favor of the over and have done so in their last four games.

New York Giants

The Giants’ offense averages a mediocre 342.8 yards and 20.5 points per game. They are led by quarterback Daniel Jones who has 2,964 passing yards to go with 12 touchdowns. Jones has been a dangerous runner, too, with another 583 yards and five touchdowns on the ground. The quarterback has been quiet the last two games, being held to under 170 passing yards in both. While his numbers are underwhelming, Jones does hold on to the ball well, with just one game with an interception since September 26th. He’ll be working with top receiver Darius Slayton, who leads the team with 631 yards and two touchdowns. When Jones doesn’t look Slayton’s way, expect to see Richie James (403 yards, 3 TD) featured heavily. All three of James’ touchdowns have come in the last two games, along with over half of his total yards.

The Giants’ run game has been the cornerstone of this offense, thanks to the resurgence of Saquon Barkley. The veteran back has 1,170 yards rushing to go with nine touchdowns. He’s also been involved with the passing game, with another 294 yards through the air. While Barkley is coming off a game that saw him gain a combined 120 yards, he’s struggled recently and is averaging just 3.4 yards per carry over his last five games. Jones can make plays, but the Giants will need Barkley to build off his last game if they want to get a badly needed win in Minnesota.

The Giants’ defense allows 381.8 yards and 22.3 points per game this season. They are 26th in yards allowed, thanks to a rush defense that ranks 29th in the NFL. The defense has been faltering late, allowing 27.7 points over their last five games. One thing they do well is getting to the quarterback, with 15 players registering sacks this season. They are led by the play of Dexter Lawrence (6.5 sacks) and Azeez Ojulari (4.5 sacks). We’ll keep an eye on Ojulari, as he has 4.5 sacks and 3 forced fumbles in just five games. In the secondary, the Giants rely on safety Julian Love to make big plays. Love leads the team in tackles (114) and interceptions (2), with six tackles for loss. He leads a Giants secondary that is 31st in interceptions (4) and will be challenged to slow down the NFL’s top receiver, Justin Jefferson.

Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings’ offense is averaging 375.1 yards and 25.1 points per game. They are again led by Kirk Cousins, who has 3,818 yards and 24 touchdowns. He’s been on fire recently, throwing for 885 yards and six touchdowns. Cousins is helped by the league’s leading receiver, Justin Jefferson (1,623 yards, 7 TD). He’s gone for over 120 yards in three of his last four games, scoring three touchdowns during that span. Jefferson is joined by Adam Thielen (686 yards, 5 TD), KJ Osborn (457 yards, 4 TD), and tight end TJ Hockenson (335 yards, 1 TD with Minnesota). Keep an eye on Osborn in particular, as he has scored in back-to-back weeks and went for 157 yards on 10 catches last week.

The Vikings’ run game is led by the talented Dalvin Cook, who has 1,045 yards (6th in NFL) to go with eight touchdowns. While he hasn’t gone for over 100 yards on the ground in his last five games, he is coming off a game that saw him go for 190 combined yards and score a touchdown. His ability to pass catch makes him especially dangerous, and he should be in for a big day against a Giants pass rush that is 29th in the NFL. 

The Minnesota defense allows 413.8 yards and 24.9 points per game. That puts them dead last in the NFL in yards allowed, thanks to one of the worst pass defenses in the league. While they are allowing 31.6 points over their last five game, that number is inflated a bit due to the Colts scoring two touchdowns on defense/special teams last week. The Vikings’ defense is led by Za’Darius Smith, who has 10 sacks and 15 tackles for loss (4th in NFL). He joins Danielle Hunters (8.5 sacks, 12 TFL) to form one of the better pass-rushing tandems in the NFL. In the secondary, the Vikings are led by Harrison Smith, who has five interceptions (2nd in NFL) to go with 10 pass deflections and 77 tackles. He will join Patrick Peterson (3 INT, 12 PD) to try and contain the mediocre pass attack.

Free Pick: Over 48.5

It’s becoming more apparent that the Vikings are not as good as their record shows. While last week’s comeback was impressive, it was against a mediocre Colts team. In fact, their previous three wins were against mediocre competition, and all were decided by a score or less. With both teams notoriously unreliable and the Giants desperate for a win, we don’t see value in taking the spread either way. This is why we are looking at the point total instead, especially with the game being played in a dome and the Vikings’ defense being very vulnerable. The last four games for the Vikings have eclipsed the 48.5 point mark. The Giants eclipsed that total in three of their previous five games. With the Giants desperate to hold onto their wild card spot, we expect to see their offense come out firing against a weak Minnesota defense.

We’re taking over this one as we expect to see a close one on Saturday.

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