NFL Week #4 Monday Night Football Picks: New York Giants at Minnesota Vikings

New York Giants at Minnesota Vikings
U.S. Bank Stadium – Minneapolis, Minnesota
Monday, October 3, 2016, 8:30 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Opening Line: Minnesota -3 1/2 (-116)
Current Line: Minnesota -4 (-115)
Opening Total: 44
Current Total: 43
Opening Money Line: Vikings -230 / Giants +190
Current Money Line: Vikings -210 / Giants +180

Minnesota is favored at home against the New York Giants Monday night.
Minnesota is favored at home against the New York Giants Monday night.

The Minnesota Vikings are one of three undefeated teams left along with the Denver Broncos and Philadelphia Eagles. The Broncos won yesterday, and the Eagles are on a bye. The 3-0 Vikings host the 2-1 New York Giants Monday.

Minnesota leads the series 15-12 against New York. The Vikings won last year 49-17 at home to snap a two game losing streak against the Giants. These two teams have been playing since 1964.

New York is coached by Ben McAdoo. The Giants have a road win at the Dallas Cowboys 20-19 and a home win over the New Orleans Saints 16-13. Last week, the Giants lost a wild game last week at home to the Washington Redskins 29-27. New York was up 14-3 and 21-9 in the first half. Washington scored to make it 21-16 at halftime. Washington scored to take a 23-21 lead midway through the third. The teams exchanged field goals for the rest of the game with Washington going ahead with under two minutes left. New York had another chance but an Eli Manning interception pretty much ended it. New York was a 3.5 point favorite and the total was 47. The Giants are 1-2 ATS and the total is 1-2.

Minnesota is coached by Mike Zimmer. The Vikings have road wins at the Tennessee Titans 25-16 and Carolina Panthers 22-10 last week, along with a home win against the Green Bay Packers 17-14. Against Carolina, the Vikings were 6 point underdogs and the total was 43. The Panthers jumped out to a 10-0 first quarter lead but would not score again. The Vikings scored a safety and added a touchdown on a 54 yard punt return but missed the extra point to trail 10-8 at halftime. The Vikings would outscore them 14-0 in the second half. The Vikings won despite gaining only 211 total yards. Three Carolina turnovers were the difference. Minnesota is 3-0 ATS and the total is 1-2 this season.

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New York is outscoring teams 21-20. The Giants average 397 yards per game on offense including 298 passing and 99 rushing yards. New York is #2 in total offense and #3 in passing. The Giants allow 340 yards per game on defense including 262 passing and 77 rushing yards. New York is #4 in rush defense. New York is 16/35 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 21/47. New York has forced 4 sacks and allowed 6 this season. New York is -6 in turnovers.

Quarterback Eli Manning has completed 71% of his passes for 925 yards with 4 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. The next win for the Giants will be his 100th career win. He also can get t0 300 career touchdown passes with 2 more touchdowns.

Leading rusher Shane Vereen is out indefinitely with a triceps injury. He has 31 carries for 147 yards and a touchdown, plus 8 catches for 75 yards. Rashad Jennings is out with a thumb injury. He has 31 carries for 102 yards, plus 3 catches for 16 yards. Orleans Darkwa will likely start. He has 11 carries for 52 yards and a touchdown, plus 2 catches for 12 yards. Bobby Rainey and Paul Perkins could also get some carries without Vereen and Jennings.

Receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. has 19 catches for 280 yards. His emotional antics during the loss last week have been well publicized. Rookie Sterling Shepard has 16 catches for 233 yards and 2 touchdowns. Victor Cruz has 11 catches for 195 yards and a touchdown after missing all of last season with an injury. Tight ends Larry Donnell and Will Tye each have 8 catches. Eight defensive players are listed on the injury report.

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Minnesota is outscoring teams 21-13. The Vikings are #2 inĀ  points allowed. Minnesota is averaging 265 yards per game on offense including 214 passing and 51 rushing yards. The Vikings are last in total and rushing offense, and #27 in passing. Minnesota allows 295 yards per game on defense including 211 passing and 84 rushing yards. The Vikings are in the top 10 in all three categories. Minnesota is 14/42 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 20/46. Minnesota has forced 15 sacks and allowed 6 this season. The Vikings are +8 in turnovers.

After quarterback Teddy Bridgewater tore his ACL and MCL during the preseason, Minnesota traded for quarterback Sam Bradford from the Eagles. Shaun Hill started week one as Bradford was still learning the system. He threw for 236 yards and rushed for 8 yards against the Titans. Bradford has completed 67.8% of his passes for 457 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Running back Adrian Peterson is out until at least week 11 with a torn meniscus that required surgery. He had 31 carries for 50 yards, plus 2 catches. Jerick McKinnon has 19 carries for 53 yards, along with 3 catches. He is probable with a toe injury. Matt Asiata has 16 carries for 42 yards, plus 2 catches.

Receiver Stefon Diggs has 20 catches for 325 yards and a touchdown. Tight end Kyle Rudolph has 14 catches for 166 yards and 2 touchdowns. Adam Thielen has 11 catches for 124 yards. No other receiver has more than 3 catches. Four offensive linemen are listed on the injury report including all-pro tackle Matt Kalil who is out for the season with a hip injury.

New York is 8-1-1 ATS in week four, 7-3-1 in road games, 31-15-2 in October, 4-9 against teams with winning records, 2-5 in Monday games, 1-4 after a straight up loss, overall, against NFC teams, and on fieldturf, and 0-5-1 against teams with winning home records. The road team is 7-3 ATS in this series recently. The Giants are 5-2 ATS against the Vikings recently.

Minnesota is 7-0 ATS against teams with winning road records, 5-0 in October, 4-0 in week four and against teams with winning records, 10-1 after rushing for less than 90 yards, 13-3 after accumulating less than 250 total yards, 21-6 after a cover, 16-5 after a straight up win, 23-8 against NFC teams, 20-7 on fieldturf, 21-8 at home, 10-4 after allowing less than 15 points, 36-15 overall, and 0-7 in Monday games. The favorite is 4-0 ATS in this series recently.

Minnesota has struggled on offense but they have an elite defense. New York doesn’t run the ball much but the loss of Vereen and Jennings will hurt. The Giants have played three games and each was decided by 3 points or less. I think the Vikings win a close low scoring game with their defense.

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