The Minnesota Vikings are 1-4 this year and have yet to win a game on the road. They will face a winless Giants team in a Monday Night Football matchup that has little significance as both teams have done everything they can to eliminate themselves from playoff contention already. The Vikings have played in several close games, falling a point shy against the Bears, and four points shy of the Browns. They did pick up an impressive win in London over the Pittsburgh Steelers. The home team Giants have played one game that actually seemed close this season, and it was their road opener against the Dallas Cowboys. They lost that game by five points, and have since been blown out in six consecutive games. Last weeks matchup against Chicago ended with the Giants losing by six points, but it was a game that never seemed as close as the final score.
Kick-off takes place Monday night at 8:30 PM ET. Money Night Football coverage is once again being provided by ESPN this year. Oddsmakers think the Giants will pick up their first win of the season this week. New York is currently listed as a 3.5-point home favorite over the Vikings.
Why Minnesota Covers
The Vikings may have a 1-4 record, but it has not been because of a lack of offensive production. They are scoring 25 points per game this season. Adrian Peterson is having another great year, and that has allowed Minnesota to rush for 116 yards per game on 4.7 yards per carry. They have made several moves at the quarterback position, but in all the Vikings have completed 63.3% of their pass attempts. They face a very weak Giants secondary that has allowed a 64.3% completion percentage for 268 passing yards per game.
The Minnesota Vikings are 4-1 ATS in their last five games following an ATS loss.
Minnesota’s defense has been soft, but no where near as soft as the Giants. They are allowing 31.6 points per game, while New York has given up 34.8 points per game. Minnesota has done a great job of forcing turnovers this season, getting 12 through the first five games of the season. They are facing the most turnover prone team in football this week. The Giants have amassed a remarkable 23 turnovers through the first six weeks of their season, and they have not had a single game where they have had less than three turnovers.
Why New York Covers
It is almost surprising that the Giants are scoring just 17.2 points per game. The offense has moved the ball well, accumulating 340 total yards of offense per game. The biggest issue has been turnovers. It may seem hard to believe, but that is an area where they are actually making some pretty significant progress. Through the first three weeks of the season New York had 13 turnovers. Over the past three weeks they have 10 turnovers. Minnesota is coming off a game in which they were unable to force a single turnover against the Panthers, and without winning the turnover margin, the Vikings will not be winning this game.
The New York Giants are 4-1 ATS in their last five home games against a team with a losing record.
The Giants defense has given up so many points because they have set their opponents up on a short field so many times. They have actually played well when you look at their statistics outside of points allowed. Against the run they have given up a mere 3.9 yards per carry, and the secondary has held opponents to 268 passing yards. They have played the Cowboys, Broncos, Eagles and Bears, four of the highest scoring teams in the NFL this season. New York did pick up their first statistically significant win of the season last week, and it came in the ATS column against the Bears. Giant’s fans hope that is a trend they can continue this week.
Until the Giants can prove they have solved their turnover problems I will continue to fade them. The Vikings are a very undervalued team this year, and could easily be sitting on a much better record than they are. New York has looked flat-out pitiful in each of their games and nothing indicates that will be changing this week. Take the points, but don’t be surprised to see the Giants lose this game straight-up.