by Ian S. Palmer
Both teams are still in the playoff hunt when the New York Giants and Minnesota Vikings clash this Sunday, December 27 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. The Giants were 38-35 losers to the unbeaten Carolina Panthers last week in a heartbreaker and enter the game in a second-place tie in the NFC East with the Philadelphia Eagles at 6-8. Meanwhile, the Vikings sit in second place in the NFC North at 9-5. They downed the Chicago Bears 38-17 at home last weekend and can clinch a wildcard spot with a victory over the Giants on Sunday.
Giants vs Vikings – 5Dimes NFL BETTING LINE:
- 5Dimes currently lists the Vikings at -7 at +120 with the Giants +7 at -140 and the over/under at 45.5 points with both of them at -110
The Giants fought back from a 28-point deficit against the Panthers level the score with just under two minutes to go last week. However, they lost the game on a last-ditch field goal. They covered the 4.5 spread though and are 5-2-1against the spread in their past eight outings. New York is 2-5 in their past seven contests and four of their five defeats have been by a maximum of just three points. The Giants will also be shorthanded against the Vikings as receiver Odell Beckham was nailed for a trio of unsportsmanlike penalties and is suspended for the week 16 tilt.
Beckham is a key player for the Giants and their postseason chances have taken a huge blow with his ban. In addition, the Giants don’t control their own fate for the rest of the season. Beckham leads the squad with 13 touchdowns and 1,396 receiving yards and will be sorely missed. The team’s next-best receiver is Rueben Randle who has half a dozen touchdowns and 638 receiving yards. The Giants’ ground attack has been better lately and they’ll be facing a mediocre run defense in Minnesota. New York ran for 1612 yards against Carolina with Rashad Jennings earning 107 of them.
Minnesota quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has been a key player for the Vikings lately. He threw his season-best 335 yards against Arizona in a loss recently and went 17 for 20 against the Bears for an 85 per cent completion rate. He also threw a career-high four touchdown passes in the encounter with Chicago and ran in a touchdown to boot. The 38-17 triumph was the biggest of the campaign for the Vikings. Bridgewater has played well while running back Adrian Peterson has struggled recently.
Peterson sprained his ankle during the first half against Chicago and was held to 18 carries and 63 yards. Peterson has broken the 70-yard barrier just once in his past five games. Bridgewater should be able to keep the momentum going since the Giants pass rush isn’t very consistent and their pass defense ranks in the bottom third of the league. Minnesota was without Harrison Smith, Linval Joseph and Anthony Barr from their defense last week, but still held the Bears in check. The status of the three for this weekend’s clash is still unclear at the moment. They’re important players since the Vikings concede a little more than 19 points each week. The win over Chicago was the first in the last three home games for Minnesota. They enter the game 5-2 both against the spread and straight up at TCF Bank Stadium and should clinch a playoff spot on Sunday.
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