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Monday, Oct. 21st 8:30 EDT TV: ESPN
This isn’t exactly the matchup ESPN predicted when they slotted this game into the Monday Night lineup, but here we are. In what seems like a long series of Monday Night Football duds, the Vikings head to MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford to take on the Giants.
Things have not gone well for Minnesota this year and the franchise has issues on both sides of the ball. Their only win came against the Pittsburgh Steelers a few weeks ago in the NFL’s annual London game. Last week, they were beaten soundly by the Carolina Panthers, 35-10.
Minnesota started backup quarterback Matt Cassel in the game after benching incumbent starter Christian Ponder. The Vikings now will start yet another quarterback, newly signed Josh Freeman. Freeman was let go by the Buccaneers on October 3rd and signed with the Vikings on October 7th. Freeman has not been good this year, but still stands to be an upgrade over Ponder and Cassel.
The Vikings offense has been anemic all year long, and part of that is due to their poor passing game results. All-Pro running back Adrian Peterson is having a solid year as usual, but his individual success hasn’t translated into wins for Minnesota this year. Though, the Vikings defense has been worse. Despite Pro Bowl caliber players at every level of their defense, they rank 31st in total defense and have terrible numbers against opposing teams in the red zone offenses.
Speaking of poor defense, the Giants squad isn’t much better. Still sitting winless at 0-6, New York is off to their worst start since they opened 0-9 in 1979. The Giants rank 26th in the league against the rush, which could be a problem against Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson led rushing attack.
Offensively, the Giants are a mess, as well. Two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback Eli Manning has thrown 15 interceptions to lead the league and has already matched his season total from last season. New York has also committed the most turnovers in the league with 23 and have a -16 turnover ratio.
The Giants have a host of injuries, including Brandon Jacobs who rushed for over 100 yards and a touchdown in last week’s 27-21 loss to Chicago. Jacobs is questionable in an already thin backfield for the Giants. Defensive lineman Jason Pierre-Paul is questionable to play this week, but top cornerback Corey Webster will return against Minnesota. Offensively, David Baas will take back his center job from fill-in Jim Cordle.
The Giants opened -2.5 favorites, and after heavy public action on the G-Men this game has been pushed past the key number of 3, all the way to -3.5. The total opened at 47 and either at that number or 46.5.
From a point spread perspective, I’m probably going to stay away from this one. One would have to like the matchup, despite their struggles, but New York has had some terrible against poor defenses and I have no faith in Eli’s ability to move this offense anymore. Jacobs was excellent last week, but he may not be able to go in this one. Offensively, there isn’t much to like in regards to the Giants.
The same can be said for Minnesota. Adrian Peterson should be able to run through the Giants, but how Josh Freeman will perform is a gigantic question mark. The public is all over the G-men in this game, thinking that this is the game where they finally get their first win, but I’m not so sure about that. This one could go either way.
I like the under. Both teams are poor defensively, but let’s not forget they haven’t been able to score much offensively, either. Freeman has learned a new system in the past few weeks, and we have no idea how he might fit into Leslie Frazier’s gameplan. I discussed above that the Giants have had serious issues with turnovers and putting up points on offense.
I think the 46.5 number is a bit high. I realize that most games these two teams turn into shootouts or one-sided blowouts, but this one should be lower scoring.
Take the Under 46.5 with Bovada.lv.
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