The New England Patriots (8-3) host the Minnesota Vikings (6-4-1) on Sunday for their first meeting in four years. Kickoff is set for 4:25 PM EST on December 2nd at Gillette Stadium and the game will be broadcast on FOX.

Oddsmakers opened this game up with the Patriots listed as 5.5-point home favorites. That line hasn’t moved at all after early betting, as New England is currently available at -5.5. The total for this matchup is 48.5 points. Click here for a full look at the Week 13 NFL odds and for more links to our individual game previews.

Patriots vs Vikings Vegas Odds & Game Preview

Minnesota improved to 6-4-1 overall last weekend after an impressive 24-17 victory over Green Bay on Sunday Night Football. The Vikings scored 10 unanswered points in the 3rd quarter to help lock up a critical victory and stay within 1.5 games of first in the NFC North. QB Kirk Cousins has played very well this season, completing over 70% of his passes for 3,289 yards and 22 touchdowns. Cousins has had a ton of help from arguably the best receiving duo in the NFL – Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs. The pair has combined for over 1,800 yards and 14 touchdowns in just eleven games. RB Dalvin Cook finally looks to have completely healed from some lingering injury problems, scoring his first touchdown of the season against the Packers last weekend. As a whole, Minnesota is currently averaging 24.1 points per game (16th overall) on 368.5 yards of total offense.

The Vikings have been pretty solid defensively through their first eleven games, holding opponents to an average of  22.4 points per game (10th overall) on 314.7 yards of total offense. They have been especially dominant against the run, giving up just 93.6 yards per game on the ground (4th overall).

New England now has won seven out of their last eight games to erase any lingering worries caused by a slow 1-2 start to the season. The Patriots were excellent in Week 12, beating the Jets 27-13 at home to improve to 8-3 overall. QB Tom Brady continues to defy Father Time, throwing for 3,031 yards and 19 touchdowns in eleven games. Brady has certainly had a ton of help from a wide variety of offensive teammates, as RB James White, WR Josh Gordon, WR Julian Edelman, and TE Rob Gronkowski have all registered more than 500 receiving yards. The play of Sony Michel has also provided the Pats with a huge boost offensively, as the rookie has already rushed for 586 yards and five touchdowns. Overall, New England is averaging 27.9 points per game (7th overall) on 388.2 yards of total offense.

The Patriots have looked decent on the other side of the ball so far this season, surrendering an average of 22.6 points per game to opponents (11th overall) on 377.5 yards of total offense. However, they have been exposed through the air, as opponents are currently averaging an alarming 269.7 passing yards per game (25th overall).

Free NFL Betting Prediction: New England -5.5

This is easily one of the most anticipated games on the schedule here in Week 13, as both of these teams are right in the thick of things in their respective divisions. New England rebounded nicely after a troubling loss to Tennessee in Week 11 while the Vikings are coming off of a huge divisional win over Green Bay. While I do think this game stays close for at least a couple of quarters, I think the Pats have a bit of an edge on Sunday afternoon. They have also owned Minnesota over the past decade or so, going 4-1 overall. 

Click on the link for more free NFL picks from our experts on staff.

New England is a very solid 4-1 ATS over their past five home games. They are also 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall and 4-1 ATS over their last five games against opponents with a winning record. The Vikings are a brutal 106 ATS in their last seven games against teams with a winning record. They are also only 2-3-1 ATS over their last six games on the road.

I do expect Minnesota to be able to stay within 6-10 points of the Patriots, especially considering how vulnerable New England has been through the air. Thielen and Diggs should give this secondary fits all game long, as they both could easily have 100+ yards receiving yet again in this one. However, having a fully healthy Sony Michel and Gronk back in the lineup was a huge boost for the Patriots last weekend. I’m going to lay the 5.5 points and roll with the home favorite, as I think New England wins this one by a touchdown.