Arizona Cardinals (4-4-1 SU, 3-6 ATS) vs. Minnesota Vikings (5-4 SU, 5-4 ATS)
NFL Week 11
Date/Time: Sunday, November 20, 2016 at 1:00PM EST
Where: U.S. Bank Stadium
TV: FOX, DTV: 711
by Chad Holloway, Expert Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread:ARZ -1/MIN +1
Over/Under Total: 40
Remember when the Minnesota Vikings used to be 5-0? It’s been awhile, and all they’ve done since then is lose; in fact, they’ve dropped the last four straight including a close 26-20 loss to the Washington Redskins last week. In that game, the Vikings running backs combined for 36 yards on 20 carries.
Given that abysmal stat, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the team is dead last in the league when it comes to the running game averaging just 69.8 yards per game (YPG). Given their passing game is only 23rd averaging 232.6 YPG, they Vikings end up being the worst offense in the entire NFL averaging 302.3 total YPG and 19.4 PPG. It’s hard to win when you field the worst offense out of 32 teams.
The reason the Vikings have won five games and tend to keep things close is because they have a stellar defense; in fact, they’re ranked third in the NFL holding opponents to an average of 308.8 total YPG (211.8 passing YPG & 97 rushing YPG) and 16.9 PPG.
Meanwhile, their opponents this week, the Arizona Cardinals, are coming off a 23-20 win over the San Francisco 49ers. Interestingly, they are one of the two teams that happen to have a better defense. They’re ranked second in the NFL holding opponents to an average of 295.2 total YPG (195.2 passing YPG & 100 rushing YPG) and 17.8 PPG.
Offensively, the Cardinals are seventh in the league averaging 382 total YPG and 22.4 PPG. Their rushing game is 14th averaging 109.1 YPG, while their passing game is even better at seventh averaging 272.9 passing YPG.
Cardinals RB David Johnson is having quite the year having rushed 175 times for 760 yards (4.3 average per carry) and nine touchdowns. To compliment that, he is the team’s second-leading receiver having caught 40 passes for 453 yards and a touchdown. The team’s leading receiver? That would be the ageless Larry Fitzgerald, who has caught 68 passes for 687 yards and five touchdowns.
To put things into perspective, combined Vikings RBs Jerick McKinnon and Matt Asiata don’t have as many carries (161 combined) nor yards (481 combined) as Johnson.
Chad Holloway's Pick to Cover the Point Spread: The Vikings have been struggling, and I see that continuing this weekend. Once again the Vikings defense will keep them in the game for a while, but eventually they’ll wear down and the Cardinals will put up points. The Vikings will be hard pressed to do the same against a defense better than their own. This will be a low-scoring affair, so definitely bet the under. As for the game itself, I like the Cardinals to win it outright while covering the spread.
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