Minnesota Vikings (2-4 SU, 2-4 ATS) vs. New England Patriots (5-1 SU,
3-2-1 ATS), Week 8 NFL, 4:15 p.m. EST, Sunday, October 31, 2010,
Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Mass., TV: FOX
by Badger of Predictem.com
Betting Odds: Min +5/NE -5
Over/Under Total: 44
Bet the Vikes/Pats game at an online sportsbook that gives you a FAT signup bonus and can get your Visa card to work for deposits: BetUS.
The Minnesota Vikings are fighting for their playoff lives, the New
England Patriots are fighting for playoff position, and when the two
teams tango on Saturday in a big NFC-AFC battle at Gillette Stadium
the entire game will be overshadowed by one overbearing storyline
will Brett Favres consecutive starts streak come to an end this Sunday?
With two fractures in his left foot the legendary Favre will be a
game-time decision on Sunday in New England if hell be able to play.
He hurt his foot in last weeks 28-24 loss to the NFC rival Green Bay
Packers, throwing three interceptions and giving the Packers a pick-
six before nearly rallying the Vikings to a late come-from-behind
The Patriots enter the game on Sunday afternoon with a four-game
winning streak after scoring a big 23-20 victory over the
dysfunctional San Diego Chargers on the road in California last
weekend. With only 189 yards of total offense in the game the Pats
were still able to forge a 23-6 lead early in the final quarter, then
barely held on as the Chargers rallied for 17 late points to make it
a field-goal game.
Despite the uncertain status of the quarterback Favre, oddsmakers in
Las Vegas are still confident enough to release a point spread for
the game, opening it with New England as 6-point favorites. There are
a few online sportsbooks that have lowered the number down to New
England minus -5, but with most of the betting public taking a wait
and see approach to this game the number is sitting right in the 5 to
The over/under total opened at 44 and is still listed at that number
on most boards, with the exception of BetUS.com offshore and the
Hilton in Las Vegas, who have both lowered it down the hook to 43.5.
Handicapping the Vikings offense with the prospects of Favre not playing isnt all that different than capping it with Favre. For
three quarters last week Favre was the gunslinger who hurt his team
with bad decisions and bad interceptions, a problem hes been having
all season (10 interceptions in 2010). But there was the glimmer of
hope he restored in the final minutes, which is why if he can go come
Sunday the Vikings have no choice but to hitch their hopes to the
Hall of Famer.
But Tarvaris Jackson will give the Vikings more mobility and a different look for New England to prepare for, which could help the
Vikings if/when Favre plays. Either way, Adrian Peterson and the
running game is still the backbone of the Vikings offense (136.2 ypg
7th), which wont change at all no matter who is standing behind
The big problem with all of this doubt at quarterback is that on
paper at least the Vikings passing game could have a good chance to
finally click this week. With Randy Moss returning to New England,
and the Patriots pass defense being one of the weakest in the league
(282 ypg 30th), theres plenty of opportunity and motivation for
the Vikings this week.
The Patriots offense and quarterback Tom Brady will have their hands
full with a Viking defense that is playing better than their numbers
indicate (308.3 ypg 6th). With the Williams Wall (Pat and Kevin)
still playing at an above average level, Brady will have to try and
exploit the Vikings injury-depleted secondary that is giving up 209.2
yards per game (13th) and are down to rookie Chris Cook and mid-
season pickup Frank Walker at corner.
After only mustering 128 yards passing on 19-of-32 passing last week
in San Diego, theres plenty of room for improvement for Brady and
the Pats passing attack.
New England stomped the Vikings the last time these two met on the
field, winning a 31-7 decision back in October of 2006 as just 1-
point favorites in the Metrodome. But overall the head-to-head series
is nearly even with the Patriots holding a slim 3-2 SU edge while the
Vikings hold a slim 4-3 ATS edge all told.
Back in 2002 the Vikings came within a touchdown of springing the
upset, losing 24-17 as 8-point underdogs. But that flies in the face
of current trends, as the Vikings are just 1-6 ATS in their last
seven games away from the Metrodome.
The under is also forming a very strong betting trend of late,
covering in the last four meetings and five of the last seven.
Badgers Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I expect Favre to play and keep the streak alive, but
how long he plays could be a question. Either way, all of the
uncertainty will cause continuity problems for the Vikings offense,
something they were struggling with already. Im taking the Patriots
to hold serve at home. Bet New England minus the 5 points.