New York Giants (8-5-1) at Minnesota Vikings (11-3)
Both of these teams have impressive records, but both teams have needed to have a lot of success in close games to get to these records, which tends not to be sustainable long-term, as victories by larger margins are more predictive of future success than close victories. The Vikings have gone a ridiculous 10-0 in one-score games, with just a 1-3 record in games decided by more than one score, while the Giants are 8-2-1 in one-score games and don’t have any wins by more than one score, going 0-3 in games decided by more than 8 points.
As a result, the Vikings have just a +2 point differential and rank just 20th in schedule adjusted efficiency (-1.13), while the Giants have a -25 point differential and rank 27th in schedule adjusted efficiency (-4.81). This line seems to take into account that the Vikings are not as good as their record, but I think it overrates the Giants, only favoring the Vikings at home by four points, even though the Vikings have a 3.5-point edge in schedule adjusted efficiency. The difference is even bigger in my roster rankings, with the Vikings being relatively healthy and the Giants having significant injury concerns, including the absence of their two best cornerbacks and their top safety, leading to the Vikings having a 7-point edge in my roster rankings.
Overall, my calculated line favors the Vikings by seven, which might seem high, given how many close games the Vikings play, but, while they don’t have many wins by more than one-score, seven of the Vikings’ eleven wins have actually come by four points or more, while all five of the Giants’ losses have come by more than four, so I feel confident in the Vikings at this number. This isn’t a big play, but Minnesota should be bettable this week.
Minnesota Vikings 27 New York Giants 20
Pick against the spread: Minnesota -4