Line: Vikings -3
New England Patriots vs Minnesota Vikings Breakdown and Betting Odds
The New England Patriots (6-4) are heading to Minneapolis to play the Minnesota Vikings (8-2) Thursday night at 8:20 ET. The Vikings are 3-point favorites. The over/under is set at 42 points.
The Patriots lead the all-time series 9-4, winning the last five games. In this stretch, the Patriots won three games at home and two games at Minnesota. Out of those five wins, the Patriots won four of them by double-digits including a 24-point win in Minnesota on Monday Night Football in 2006. The last Vikings quarterback to beat the Patriots is Brad Johnson.
New England Patriots Overview
It has been a tail of two seasons in some ways for the Patriots. They began the season with a 1-3 stretch, dropping a pair of conference games. After their 1-3 start, the team had an infatuation with rookie quarterback Bailey Zappe. Zappe started and won both of his starts, getting the Patriots back to 3-3. They lost their next game with Zappe coming off the bench, but they have won their last three games. On one hand, they played the New York Jets (twice) and Indianapolis Colts (with Sam Ehlinger), but on the other hand, they have allowed 23 points in three games. Overall, the Patriots are No. 6 in the AFC, holding a conference record tiebreaker over the Cincinnati Bengals.
Offensively, the Patriots have been generally inept. They rank 20th or worse in points, yards, passing yards, and rushing yards per attempt. They have 17 turnovers, bottom five in the NFL. Their offense has been aided by the league’s best starting field position. Mac Jones has been the primary quarterback, and he has regressed from a solid 2021 season. He has more interceptions than touchdowns, and his passer rating is in the 80s. The rushing offense has been a bright spot with Rhamondre Stevenson and Damien Harris combining for more than 1,000 yards and seven touchdowns. Both players are averaging at least 4.5 yards per rush. In the receiving game, Jakobi Meyers leads the way with 44 catches, 509 yards, and three touchdowns.
The Patriots have been red-hot defensively. They have held their last three opponents under 20 points, and they have allowed six points in their last two games. In those games, they have allowed a total of 14 first downs and 224 yards. They have had a few defensive meltdowns, but those took place early in the season. The star of the defense is Matt Judon. Judon leads the NFL with 13.0 sacks, and he has 11 tackles for loss. Beyond Judon, the Patriots have gotten good cornerback play from Jonathan Jones and Jack Jones. Four different Patriots have multiple interceptions. The unheralded stud has been Deatrich Wise who has 6.5 sacks.
The Patriots are 4-1 ATS in their last five games. They have been favored in their last four games, winning the last three outright. Their only loss came as 9-point favorites against the Chicago Bears (losing by 19). In the last game the Patriots were underdogs, they beat the Cleveland Browns by 23. The under is 3-2, hitting three consecutive weeks. The Patriots defense has kept teams from having any shot of sniffing the over.
Minnesota Vikings Overview
The Vikings had rattled off seven consecutive one-score wins to jump to 8-1 and a dominant spot in the NFC North. However, they were blown out at home last week, losing to the Dallas Cowboys by 37. The Vikings are the No. 2 seed in the NFC, trailing the Philadelphia Eagles. The Vikings were on an incredible streak of close games which speaks to the depth of talent on the roster and the fickle nature of football. Despite the dominant 8-2 record, the Vikings have a negative point differential.
Minnesota has had a good, not great, offense in 2022. They have been generally consistent, scoring 20 points in eight of 10 games. However, they have two single-digit performances as well as a win over Miami in which they had just 11 first downs. Kirk Cousins has had a solid season, throwing 14 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He is on pace for more than 4,000 passing yards. His top target has been the ever-dynamic Justin Jefferson. Jefferson has 72 catches for 1,093 yards and four touchdowns. Dalvin Cook is averaging 5.1 yards per carry, and he has punched in six touchdowns. Overall, the Vikings are 13th in scoring and 18th in total offense.
The Vikings will likely be without left tackle Christian Darrisaw who is dealing with a concussion.
After a meltdown against the Cowboys, the Vikings have slumped to being the No. 19 scoring defense. They are also 29th in total defense. They have forced 18 turnovers, the third-most in the NFL. The Vikings rank 31st in passing yards allowed and 30th in yards per pass allowed. The duo of Za’Darius Smith and Danielle Hunter has been among the best in the league, combining for 15.5 sacks. D.J. Wonnum has also pitched in with 3.5 sacks. Patrick Peterson has had a solid season at cornerback, picking off three passes and swatting away nine more.
The Vikings are 3-1-1 ATS in their last five games. Their only loss came in their 37-point loss against Dallas. They covered small numbers against the Miami Dolphins and Arizona Cardinals, and they pushed -3 against the Washington Commanders. In their last three games as favorites, they are 2-0-1 ATS. The under is 3-2, alternating between unders and overs in the last five games.
Free Pick: Vikings -3
The Vikings burned me last week, but they are a solid matchup against the Patriots. Their defensive strength is their league-average rush defense which should neutralize what Harris and Stevenson can do. The Vikings should be able to move the ball and expose a defense that has faced a slew of easy matchups. The Vikings might not blow out the Patriots, but Vikings -3 should hit.