New York Giants at Minnesota Vikings
TCF Bank Stadium – Minneapolis, Minnesota
Sunday, December 27, 2015, 8:30 pm Eastern, TV: NBC
Opening Line: Minnesota -6 1/2
Current Line: Minnesota -7
Opening Total: 45 1/2
Current Total: 44
Opening Money Line: Vikings -260 / Giants +210
Current Money Line: Vikings -280 / Giants +240
Five of the six playoff spots are locked up in the NFC. The 9-5 Minnesota Vikings can wrap up the last spot with a win Sunday night against the 6-8 New York Giants. Minnesota will also clinch a playoff berth with a loss by the Atlanta Falcons against the undefeated Carolina Panthers or a Settle Seahawks win against the St. Louis Rams. The Vikings are also only a game behind the 10-4 Green Bay Packers in the NFC North. Those two teams meet next week in Green Bay. The Packers travel to the 12-2 Arizona Cardinals Sunday.
New York was eliminated from playoff contention last night when the Washington Redskins clinched the NFC East title by beating the Philadelphia Eagles. The Giants look to play spoiler against the Vikings. They will have to do it without leading receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. Beckham was suspended one game by the league after several inappropriate actions in a loss to the Panthers last week.
Minnesota leads the series 14-12 against New York. The teams have been playing since 1964. The Giants have won two straight games in the series including 23-7 in New Jersey in 2013 in the last meeting. New York hasn’t played in Minnesota since the 2009 season. The 2010 meeting between these teams was moved to Detroit after the roof collapsed at the old Metrodome.
New York is coached by Tom Coughlin. The Giants have road losses at the Dallas Cowboys 27-26, Eagles 27-7, New Orleans Saints 52-49 and Redskins 20-14, and home losses to the Atlanta Falcons 24-20, New England Patriots 27-26 and New York Jets 23-20 in overtime, and Panthers 38-35 last week. New York has lost 4 of their last 5 all by a total of 13 points. The Giants have home wins against the Redskins 32-21, San Francisco 49ers 30-27, and Cowboys 27-20 along with road wins at the Buffalo Bills 24-10, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 32-18 and Miami Dolphins 31-24.
New York was a 4.5 point underdog against Carolina and the total was 46.5. The Panthers took a 21-7 into halftime, and would expand it to 35-7 with 5:32 left in the third. The Giants would rally to tie it at 35 with 1:46 left. Carolina drove down the field and kicked the game winning 43 yard field goal as time expired to remain undefeated at 14-0. The teams combined for almost 900 total yards. New York is 8-5-1 ATS and the total is 9-5 this season.
Minnesota is coached by Mike Zimmer. Minnesota has road losses at the San Francisco 49ers 20-3, Denver Broncos 23-20 and Cardinals 23-20, plus home losses to the Packers 30-13 and Seahawks 38-7. The Vikings have home wins over the Detroit Lions 26-16, San Diego Chargers 31-14, Kansas City Chiefs 16-10, St. Louis Rams 21-18 and Chicago Bears 38-17 last week, plus road wins over the Lions 28-19, Bears 23-20, Oakland Raiders 30-14 and Atlanta Falcons 20-10.
Minnesota was a four point favorite against Chicago and the total was 43.5. Minnesota took a 10-0 lead early and would lead 17-7 at halftime. The Vikings expanded the lead to 24-7, and would cruise to a 38-17 win. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater threw four touchdown passes. The Bears had 2 turnovers. Minnesota is 11-3 ATS and the total is 3-10-1 this season.
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New York is outscoring teams 27-26 this season. The Giants are #6 in scoring and #23 in points allowed. The Giants average 364 yards per game on offense including 270 passing and 94 rushing yards. New York is #6 in passing offense, and #25 in rushing. New York is allowing 423 yards per game on defense including 308 passing and 115 rushing yards. The Giants are last in total defense and against the pass. New York is 82/203 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 100/215. The Giants have 19 sacks and have allowed 21 this season. New York is +9 in turnovers. The Giants have allowed 2 special teams/defensive touchdowns and has 6 defensive/special teams touchdowns.
Quarterback Eli Manning has completed 63.7% of his passes for 3,900 yards with 32 touchdowns and 11 interceptions, and has 19 carries for 61 yards. Ryan Nassib is the back-up.
Running back Rashad Jennings has 154 carries for 619 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with 25 catches for 228 yards and a touchdown. Andre Williams has 80 carries for 226 yards and a touchdown. Shane Vereen has 56 carries for 245 yards, plus 51 catches for 402 yards and 4 touchdowns. Orleans Darkwa will also get a few carries and is probable with an illness.
Receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. has 91 catches for 1,396 yards and 13 touchdowns. Rueben Randle has 51 catches for 638 yards and 6 touchdowns. Dwayne Harris has 35 catches for 390 yards with 4 touchdowns. Harris also has a kickoff and a punt return for touchdowns. He is questionable with a knee injury. Will Tye has 44 catches for 369 yards and 2 touchdowns. Tight end Larry Donnell has 29 catches for 223 yards and 2 touchdowns. He is out for the season with a neck injury. Receiver Victor Cruz is out for the season with a calf injury . Tight end Daniel Fells is out indefinitely with a staph infection in his foot. Twelve defensive players are listed on the injury report, as are four offensive linemen.
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Minnesota is outscoring teams 21-19 this season. The Vikings are #8 in points allowed and #21 in scoring. Minnesota averages 324 yards per game on offense including 192 passing and 132 rushing yards. The Vikings are #5 in rushing but are #28 or worse in passing and total offense. Minnesota allows 343 total yards per game on defense including 230 passing and 113 rushing yards. The Vikings are #7 in pass defense. Minnesota is 72/182 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 76/194. The Vikings have allowed 39 sacks and have forced 34 this season. Minnesota is +2 in turnovers. The Vikings have 4 special teams/defensive touchdowns.
Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has completed 66.3% of his passes for 2,964 yards with 13 touchdowns and 8 interceptions, along with 40 carries for 178 yards and 3 touchdowns. Shaun Hill is the back-up.
Adrian Peterson has 286 carries for 1,314 yards and 9 touchdowns, along with 28 catches for 206 yards. He is probable with an ankle injury. Jerick McKinnon and Matt Asiata will also get carries. Asiata only has 24 carries, but does have 19 catches out of the backfield. McKinnon is probable with a hamstring injury.
Receiver Stefon Diggs has 47 catches for 693 yards and 4 touchdowns. Tight end Kyle Rudolph has 47 catches for 442 yards and 4 touchdowns. Mike Wallace has 36 catches for 440 yards and 2 touchdowns. Jarius Wright has 29 catches for 364 yards. Charles Johnson and Adam Thielen each have 9 catches. Johnson is probable with an ankle injury. Eleven defensive players and three offensive linemen are listed on the injury report.
New York is 4-0 ATS after scoring 30 points or more, 5-1 after allowing more than 350 total yards, 7-2 in December, 7-2 in December, 6-2-1 in road games, 3-1-1 against NFC teams, and on fieldturf, 5-2-1 overall, 42-17-2 after rushing for 150 yards or more, 3-10 after allowing more than 30 points, and 0-4-1 against a team with winning home records. The road team is 7-2 ATS in this series recently. The Giants are 5-1 ATS in Minneapolis recently.
Minnesota is 5-0 ATS against teams with losing records, 9-2 against teams with losing road records, 13-3 in December, 8-2 after a straight up win, 4-1 in week 16, 12-3 after a cover and on fieldturf, 7-2 against NFC teams, 9-3 at home, 20-7 overall, and 2-5 after scoring more than 30 points. The under is 5-2 in this series recently.
The Giants have lost so many close games this season. Seven of the eight losses have been decided by six points or less. The Vikings usally rely on the running game, but Bridge water showed a lot of confidence last week by throwing 4 touchdown passes. I think the Vikings win this game but the Giants keep it close in a high scoring game. It will be in the low teens at game time but no snow or ice is predicted.