The New York Giants travel to Detroit to take on the Minnesota Vikings this week. Let’s let that sit for a second…………Ok we’re back, and no that was not a typo. If you haven’t seen the video of the collapse of Minnesota’s Metrodome roof, here it is:
The game was moved to Monday night and is being played in Detroit. This has major in game implications and has even forced the oddsmakers to change the line from 2.5 to 4.5. The other story that has attached itself to this game is whether Favre will be ready to play after suffering a shoulder injury in the first quarter of last week’s game. Vikings coach Leslie Frazier placed the Doubtful tag on Favre late Saturday night, and added “but you never know.”
The Giants have cooled off considerably over the last few weeks. They were the talk of the NFC after a 5 game winning streak between weeks 4 and 9, but after back-to-back losses to Dallas and Philly, and then a close victory at home over the under rated Jaguars, they went into last week’s divisional game against the Redskins needing a dominating performance. And they got it. They ran over Washington 31-7 and their running game was on display. Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw ran for 200 yards on 33 carries and scored 4 TD’s. Bradshaw got bulk of the carries but Jacobs’ finally seems content with his role as the change of pace back. The passing game has struggled the most since their drought as they’ve been without WR’s Hakim Nicks and Steve Smith, but they return this week against the Vikings which is a major boost for Eli. The Giants have one of the best young receiving groups in the league, and Eli benefits greatly from their exceptional route running. In the defensive side of things, the Giants pass rush is the best in the league and they’re in the top 10 against the run. And whether they’re up against Brett Favre or Tavaris Jackson this week, will matter largely in the overall scope of the game.
Favre’s doubtful tag has put his 297 consecutive start streak in jeopardy. Leslie Frazier may be the first coach that Favre has played for to make him sit on gameday, but we won’t know until kickoff. Favre will test the arm in warm ups and if he can generate enough velocity he’ll play. Pain is not the issue here, as Favre can withstand enough pain to get him through the game. If Favre does go, the Giants will bring a lot of pressure to force him to get rid of the ball quickly, and try and knock him out of the game. The Vikings offensive line has been suspect this year, so the Giants pass rush is the last thing they’ll want to face. However, if Tavaris Jackson is the Vikings QB, then the Giants will most likely bring less pressure and respect his scrambling ability. They’ll spy him and force him into throwing the ball into coverage. If this is the case, expect multiple interceptions.
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Giants vs. Vikings Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
New York Giants -4.5
@ Minnesota Vikings +4.5
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Giants vs. Vikings Prediction for Week 14 Betting:
Spread Prediction (Top Play): The change of scenery for this week’s game has pushed the line from 2.5 to 4.5. The oddsmakers believe the extra day of rest and the location change favors the Giants, and recent history tells the same story. The Vikings are 4-2 at home on the year; they’re 1-6 on the road. They play better at the Metrodome and the game being moved to Detroit, even though it’s listed as a home game, will be played like a road game. The Vikings were preparing for a home game all week, and the sudden change will have more of an effect on them than the Giants. The Giants are still playing in a dome on the road and can stick to the game plan that they’ve been going with all week. But I like this game to be close, as the Vikings have played a lot better of late and Tavaris Jackson, even though he’s a downgrade from Favre, played well against the Bills last week and showed great composure coming back from two interceptions. Sidney Rice is improving the Vikings passing game and I think the change in the line make this an easy game for betters to pick. I had the Vikings earlier in the week at +2.5, and I don’t think the change of location warrants the Giants to be favored by more than field goal given their recent play. They also are looking towards a big game next week vs. the Eagles.
Game Total Prediction: It’s been a low scoring week so far this week, but the Giants and Vikings have been putting points up over the last few weeks. NY have 31 and 24 over the last two weeks, and the return of Smith and Nicks will open up the passing game a lot more. The Giants rank in the top 3 in yards given up and passing yards allowed, and in the top 10 in rushing yards allowed, but they still give up over 20 points a game. If teams can make their way into the redzone versus them, then they’ve got a very good chance of score. Minnesota can score with either QB at the helm, and I think this number is just too low for an indoor game in December. I like the Over.