A pair of struggling NFC teams will look to shake off the losing as the Panthers head north to take on the Minnesota Vikings. Both sides enter Week 12 with outside chances at the post-season, and as both Minnesota and Carolina currently have four wins to their name – a victory would certainly go a long way.
The Vikes had a tough outing last week, losing at home to the lowly Dallas Cowboys. A positive run seemed to have gone to Minnesota’s heads, as the Vikings struggled to execute on both sides of the football. This week it won’t get any easier either as Minnesota’s offense is expected to be without Adam Thielen, a huge loss to their receiving corps.
For Carolina, it’s believed that the PJ Walker experiment will come to an end at quarterback, as Teddy Bridgewater is expected to suit up. There are also rumors of Christian McCaffrey being healthy enough to play. You better believe getting that duo back would be a huge boost for an upstart Panthers side, looking for some positives.
You get the sense the morale of these teams is trending in opposite directions, and both approaches will be interesting to observe. For further analysis, game details, and a betting prediction, continue reading on beneath the posted odds. Enjoy the Minnesota/Carolina showdown, folks!
Carolina Panthers vs. Minnesota Vikings Betting Odds:
Carolina Panthers +3 (-110)
Minnesota Vikings -3 (-110)
Over 50 (-110)
Under 50 (-110)
*Betting odds provided by BetOnline.ag
Carolina Panthers vs. Minnesota Vikings Pick:
Getting Bridgewater back should be a huge boost for the Panthers, especially when you consider just how depleted the Vikings’ defense is. Minnesota’s coach Mike Zimmer has worked hard to try and limit the exposure to his team’s injuries – though Carolina should be able to trouble them consistently enough.
The Vikes are also missing multiple edge rushers, and that has to be good news for Bridgewater as he returns from injury. With time and space he should be able to hit his array of talented receivers and really bully this secondary.
On the other side of the ball, Kirk Cousins will be feeling the heat from an intense Panthers’ pass rush. Though they don’t do much of anything else well, Carolina will try to rattle Cousins. He’ll be limited without Adam Thielen to throw to, but rookie Justin Jefferson is having an excellent season and could be in line for a big day. The Panthers will really need to try and limit his effectiveness.
In the run game, Dalvin Cook is also having quite the campaign for Minnesota and that should be the preferred route for the Vikes to try and keep the chains moving. Carolina has been vulnerable to solid rushers, and if they go down in this game – expect Zimmer to employ a steady stream of Dalvin Cook to try and close it out.
With Bridgewater back and a healthy offensive line ready to protect him, the Panthers’ offense should be able to really trouble the Minnesota defense. While Carolina isn’t the most stout stop unit themselves, their offense should keep them in this and likely outscore their mistakes. Minnesota is depleted on both sides of the ball, and following a dismal loss last week to the Cowboys, and their playoff chances slipping away – the morale for Minnesota seems to be low. Roll with the underdog Panthers on Sunday.