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NFL Turkey Day Picks and Previews: New England Patriots at Minnesota Vikings (-3) (o/u 42)

The Odds

Matchup

Open

Spread

Total

Moneyline

Patriots

6-4

+2.5

+2.5

o42

+122

Vikings

8-2

u43.5

-2.5

u42

-145

The Details

Kickoff: Thursday, November 24th at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN

When: 8:20 pm EST

How to Watch: NBC

Public Bets: Vikings, 67%

Public Money: Patriots, 58%

All odds courtesy of DraftKings, as of 11/23

The Word

The New England Patriots took care of the New York Jets last Sunday after a brutal offensive showing from both teams led to a punt return turned touchdown as the clock ticked to zero.The Patriots continue to ride a top-5 defense with an host of overperforming beasts in the secondary to a winning formula. Nobody knows why Mac Jones stinks, but he does. 

The Vikings laid an egg while facing the Cowboys last weekend. They failed to find the endzone in a 40-3 rout that confirmed what many of us feared about the Vikings: they may not be very good. 

Kirk Cousins disagrees and he is seeking to prove us wrong while we shoved pumpkin pie into our faces and argue politics with our uncles. 

68% of the public bets are on the Vikings for this matchup, but 55% of the money is on the Cowboys. What that means is the professional gamblers with the big money are fading the Vikings. The public loves catching points with the 8-2 Vikings.

Despite the 8-2 record, the Vikings have a negative point differential on the year. That is hard to do. It’s probably no surprise to anyone that Belichick eats up teams in November or later with a negative point differential. The Pats are 10-0 ATS in the last 15 years when facing teams that are above .500 but have a negative point differential in November or later. 

Since 2015 he’s 33-17 ATS after a loss. That’s the only interesting stat I can find on Kirk Cousins.

Ugly Wins, Ugly Losses, Ugly Coach

We already mentioned the brutal offense featured by the Patriots last week, and it’s fair to wonder if this is going to be a trend for the Pats moving forward. 

Likewise, Minnesota managed three points against the Cowboys last week.

Both of their opponents put great defenses on the field, but these are two offenses that seems to be experiencing some extreme turmoil at the moment.

The Patriots offense just isn’t very good right now ranking 26th in DVOA per Football Outsiders. They run the ball marginally better than they throw it, but this is a unit that is clearly struggling to move the ball and get points and it showed last week. I do not think that game was an aberration. Yes, the Jets have an excellent defense, but there are real issues with the Patriots.

Both teams are dealing with some injury issues along their offensive line, which should only further the offensive struggles as Kirk Cousins and Mac Jones are not the most mobile and benefit heavily from good production in order to be successful. 

In a game featuring struggling and injury depleted offensive lines, with a good pass rush on both sides, I don’t want to overthink this. I’ll take the under here. This is my favorite play for Thanksgiving.



Nate’s Pick

Under 42 Points

Kirk Cousins, the Comeback King

This is my best bet of the week. The Vikings – at 8-1- were thoroughly embarrassed on national television in the game of the week – at home. What a thrashing! Plus their O- Line collapsed with injuries and they basically quit on defense. Here’s what I like: Cousins didn’t whine – he got pummeled and just said look, it was a bad day.

The Vikings are not going to let this happen to them two weeks in a row at home. They will come out this Thanksgiving night with a vengeance. The Pats meanwhile scored three legit points at home against the Jets. Zach Wilson is now benched. They have no offense to speak of this side of the Texans. Vikes need a bounce back win. They are too legit to quit. 

Pats want to go home and celebrate the holiday.



John’s Pick

Vikes -2.5

The Trouble With Point Differentials

 I will be fading the Minnesota Vikings for the rest of the season until my bank account withers and dies like a flower in November. This team is 8-2 with a negative point differential. That is a difficult feat to accomplish. What it tells me is that they are grinding out wins by one score or less and are losing games by bigger margins. That doesn’t bode well for their Turkey Day matchup against a top five defense with very little flaws. 

The New England offense displayed an absolutely anemic performance against the Jets this Sunday. Everyone and their grandmother has given up on Mac Jones and their faith in Matt Patricia is quickly fading as well. 

Neither of these teams are going to move the ball very much. They’ll find the end zone even less. Take the under here and be glad you did.

Jack’s Pick

Under 42 Points

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