Minnesota Vikings (2-2) at New York Giants (2-2)
The Giants blew out the hapless Redskins last week 24-3, while the Vikings lost 16-6 to a Bears team that lost it’s starting quarterback to injury in the first half. The Vikings were favored over the Giants by 5 points on the early line last week and I was hoping the line would move significantly as a result of last week, because I was looking forward to betting the Vikings, but for some reason the line has stayed still at 5.
The Vikings seem like the kind of team that is going to struggle against top level teams, as quarterback Kirk Cousins has done throughout his career, and then look great against everyone else. They’ve lost to the Packers and Bears already this season, but they won their other two games by a combined 36 points. Much has been made about the Vikings’ passing game struggles, but they have a great defense and a strong running game, which allows them to build and hold leads against less than top tier teams.
The Giants have won back-to-back games since switching from Eli Manning to rookie quarterback Daniel Jones, but one win came against the Buccaneers, who would have won if they hadn’t missed a very makeable game winning field goal, and against the Redskins, who are one of the worst teams in the league. Jones has yet to face a defense anywhere near as tough as the Vikings. He’ll get wide receiver Golden Tate back from suspension, but he’ll also likely miss running back Saquon Barkley much more than he has so far in a much tougher matchup.
The Giants are also in a tough spot, having to play in New England on Thursday Night Football 4 days after this game. Teams are 64-114 ATS since 2012 before being double digit underdogs, including 2-6 ATS before a short week. The Giants may not be full focused, while the Vikings should be able to execute their ball control offensive strategy much better against a mediocre opponent, especially with right guard Josh Kline back from a one-game absence. Unfortunately, we simply aren’t getting any line value with the Vikings as 5-point road favorites, so I wouldn’t recommend a bet.
Minnesota Vikings 20 New York Giants 13
Pick against the spread: Minnesota -5