The Oddsmakers have seemingly learnt their lesson and have decided to place the Minnesota Vikings as favorites for their Monday Night Football matchup against the New York Giants. This is after the Vikings won outright as underdogs against Green Bay and Carolina over the past two weeks, respectively, to take their season record to 3-0 SU and 3-0 ATS. The Vikings, mind you, finished the 2015 season with an NFC North-best 11-5 SU record and an NFL-best 13-3 ATS mark, so the fact that they are on a perfect roll shouldn’t be that much of a surprise.
Things, however, won’t be getting any easier for the Vikes, who will be putting their perfect start on the line this Monday when they host the Giants (2-1 SU and 0-2-1 ATS) under the bright lights of the new U.S. Bank Stadium. Advice your wagers for this game with the NFL betting lines preview detailed below.
Analyzing The New York Giants at Minnesota Vikings Monday Night Football NFL Winning Favorites
Where: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis
When: Monday, October 03, 2016 8:30 PM ET
Live Stream: Watch ESPN
NFL Lines: Minnesota (-5), OVER/UNDER 43.5
Why Bet on the Giants
The last time the New York Giants played the Vikings in Minneapolis on Dec. 27, 2015, the visitors were totally outclassed, as quarterback Eli Manning was picked off three times and Minny’s offense scored four offensive TDs (including three scores on the ground) en route to a dominant 49-17 win. The Giants are a different team this year, but the protection for Manning is still questionable; something that will need to change for the better. On top of that, the Giants will need to have more of the two-pronged rushing attack we saw in Sunday’s game against Washington, where Shane Vereen had 11 carries for 67 yards and a TD, and Orleans Darkwa also added 10 rushes for 53 yards and a TD. Vereen, of course, was injured on Sunday and is set to miss this game, but with players like Paul Perkins and Bobby Rainey in the roster, there should be no lack of rushing options to use here. In the D-line, there are several concerns, including the fact that the Giants are the lone team to have not yet recorded an interception this season, and NY’s leaky defense when it comes to giving yardages (for example, the Giants allowed more than 400 yards of offense in Sunday’s loss to Washington). Without forced turnovers and better performance in terms of limiting big plays, it will be tough to beat the disciplined Vikings that lead the NFL with a plus-eight turnover margin.
It should, nonetheless, be noted that the Giants have tools to use against Minnesota. For one, Manning—a two-time Super Bowl MVP—is one of the best passers in the league, currently leading the entire NFL with a 71 percent pass-completion rate this season. This should allow him to connect efficiently with his bevy of aerial targets, including Odell Beckham and Victor Cruz. Plus, despite their defensive deficiencies, the G-Men are allowing 20.3 PPG this season, a huge improvement from their bad scoring defense numbers of last season.
Why Bet on the Vikings
Sam Bradford’s transition into Minnesota has been better than just fine, as the QB has thrown for 457 yards and three touchdowns with zero picks since taking over as a starter in Week 2. Playing against the Giants should be no different for the former Philly quarterback, considering he is 2-1 in his career against the Yorkers, including a 2-0 sweep in 2015 when he played the Giants twice as a member of the Eagles team. In addition to his history, Bradford will receive plenty of support from better weapons than he had in Philly, none more important than WR Stefon Diggs (second in the league with 325 receiving yards plus a TD).
More than that, the ever-daunting Minnesota defense is guaranteed to be on top of things against Manning and Co., given the unit’s fine start to the season against offensive juggernauts like Green Bay and Carolina. For example, against the Panthers last week, the Vikings sacked NFL MVP Cam Newton eight times while also intercepting him three times. On the season, this mean pass rushing unit now has an NFL-high 15 sacks and is allowing just 13.3 PPG (third-best in the NFL). Against Manning who was sacked twice and also intercepted twice by Washington’s less-than-stellar defense, its logical to expect even a tougher night for the QB, who’s struggled badly in his past meetings against Minnesota.
Expert NFL Betting Predictions and Picks
The Vikings have interestingly lost seven straight MNF games, and that could easily play into the Giants’ favor, as Manning and his team tend to fare quite well under bright lights. That being said, the Vikings have dominated this series, winning 5 of the past 7 meetings, including 3 of the last 4 in Minnesota dating back to 2008. More worryingly, Manning is 3-5 in his 8 career against the Vikings while the Giants are perennial strugglers when it comes to facing strong defensive teams. With everything considered, we like our chances with Minny for the win and the spread.