New England Patriots at Minnesota Vikings: 2022 Week 12 NFL Pick

New England Patriots (6-4) at Minnesota Vikings (8-2)

Normally the rule of thumb on a short week is to take the home team as long as they are favored and as long as it is a non-divisional game, as it’s very tough for a team to go on the road on a short week and face an unfamiliar opponent, unless they happen to be significantly better than their opponent. All in all, non-divisional home favorites cover at a 62.0% rate on Thursday Night Football and that trend applies to this game, with the Patriots on the road facing the Vikings in this Thanksgiving matchup.

It’s also typically a good idea to bet on teams who were just blown out, like the Vikings were last week against the Cowboys, as teams tend to be overlooked, underrated, and embarrassed after a blowout loss, with teams covering at a 58.6% rate after a loss by 35 points or more. That drops to 52.1% if we just look at teams that are favored, but, at the very least, that’s a good sign that we shouldn’t avoid the Vikings just because they were blown out last week and are now favored.

I can’t guarantee that the Vikings will be overlooked or embarrassed, but we are getting more line value with them than we were a week ago, as this line has shifted from favoring the Vikings by 3.5 points on the early line last week to favoring them by 2.5 points this week, a bigger shift than you might realize, with 1 in 6 games decided by exactly a field goal. Despite that, it’s hard to get excited about betting on the Vikings this week as, even with that line movement, we’re still getting some line value with the Patriots.

The Vikings are 8-2, but they’ve benefitted from a 7-0 record in games decided by one score and they actually have a significantly worse point differential (-2) than the 6-4 Patriots (+44). The gap between these two teams is significant in terms of schedule adjusted efficiency as well, with the 20th ranked Vikings being 1.5 points below average and the 14th ranked Patriots being a half point above average. 

Minnesota is more talented than that suggests, but they’re missing three of their top-4 cornerbacks and their stud left tackle Christian Darrisaw, so I have the Patriots as the slightly better team overall, giving us a calculated line of Minnesota -1. That’s not much line value with the Patriots, but it’s enough to give me pause about betting on the Vikings, even in a good spot. I would still consider betting on the Vikings if Patriots center David Andrews doesn’t play and Vikings’ interior defender Dalvin Tomlinson does, but both players are likely game time decisions, so I’m leaving this as a low confidence pick for now.

Minnesota Vikings 20 New England Patriots 16

Pick against the spread: Minnesota -2.5

Confidence: Low

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