The New England Patriots meet the Vikings in Minnesota on Thanksgiving to close out the Turkey Day tripleheader in Week 12 of the 2022 NFL season.
The Vikings are consensus 2.5-point favorites the day before the game. That’s down from -3 on some NFL oddsboards earlier in the week and -3.5 on look-ahead lines a week ago. The total is 42.5.
Let’s take a look at Patriots vs. Vikings odds, injury news, and a prediction.
Patriots vs. Vikings Betting Lines
Here are point spreads, totals, and moneylines from top sportsbook apps.
NFL · Thu (11/24) @ 8:23pm ET
|U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota|
Why is the Patriots-Vikings Total So Low?
Both teams come off games in which their offenses didn’t score a touchdown, but New England earned a victory over the New York Jets, and Minnesota suffered a shellacking at the hands of the Dallas Cowboys.
The Patriots (6-4 straight up/6-3-1 against the spread) were knotted at 3-3 in the closing seconds vs. visiting NYJ last week before scoring on a punt return for a 10-3 victory.
It was the second consecutive outstanding defensive performance by New England, which held the Jets to 103 yards and six first downs, both league lows for the season. It helped that the Patriots were facing QB Zach Wilson, the league’s 33rd-ranked passer, who generated only 44 net air yards and has been benched ahead of Week 12 in favor of Mike White. Plus, top RB Breece Hall is on IR.
That defensive effort came a game after the Patriots beat the Colts 26-3, holding Indy to 121 yards. That was the second-lowest total this year. In that outing, New England had the benefit of facing backup QB Sam Ehlinger, who got his second career start. He was sacked nine times on 38 drop-backs and since has been tethered to the bench.
Now the Patriots will get to tangle with QB Kirk Cousins, who’s had a dramatic drop in production from last year, when he had 33 TD throws and only seven INTs. This year, he has 14 scoring passes and already eight interceptions, including six in enemy territory, which ties for the league high.
An over/under tidbit: Over the past 35 years, there have been 85 games played on Thanksgiving. The most points scored in any of them has been 82, which has been done three times. And in each instance, it involved the Vikings. They won at Dallas 44-38 in overtime in 1987, lost at Detroit in 1995 by 44-38, and in 1998, Minnesota was a 46-36 winner at Dallas.
Patriots vs. Vikings Injury News
Vikings star WR Justin Jefferson, who was slowed by a foot injury last week, appears to be a full-go after playing a season-low 79 percent of the team’s offensive snaps vs. Dallas.
But OLT Christian Darrisaw, who left Sunday’s game with a concussion, has been ruled out.
New England’s line could be in worse shape. Star center David Andrews is feared to have suffered a thigh injury that could result in him missing the rest of the regular season. But other reports have him possibly suiting up for this game.
Also, guard/tackle Isaiah Wynn, who has bounced in and out of the lineup due to injury and ineffective play, left last week’s game with a foot issue. He’s questionable. And then there’s the case of first-round draft pick Cole Strange, who started at guard last week. He’s been benched.
All that’s not good news for a rushing game that averages 4 yards a carry, seventh worst in the league.
That lack of production has resulted in the Patriots averaging only 262 yards on offense the past four games, but still winning three of them.
Also read: NFL Week 12 Betting Tips and Strategies
Thanksgiving NFL Betting Analysis and Prediction
An intriguing matchup could be the Vikings’ weak-link pass defense, which allows a 69 percent completion rate, second highest in the league, vs. Patriots QB Mac Jones, the 28th-rated QB with only four TD throws in seven starts. That’s one scoring pass fewer than thrown by his backup, Bailey Zappe, who’s played in only four games.
The key for Minnesota is that its defense is opportunistic, with 10 interceptions. Only six teams have more. And since Jones has been sacked 16 times the past three games, he’s likely not to get comfortable in the pocket.
Plus, when New England smothered Indy’s offense in Week 9, defending rushing champ Jonathan Taylor hadn’t yet returned to the lineup. The Patriots won’t be so fortunate Thursday night against speedy Dalvin Cook, sixth on the rushing chart with 799 yards at 5.1 a carry.
A big question is whether rookie Vikings sideline boss Kevin O’Connell can outcoach the man who drafted him as a quarterback out of San Diego State in 2008? If so, O’Connell wouldn’t be the first rookie coach to do so this year, for five weeks ago Matt Eberflus and the visiting Chicago Bears gave New England its most lopsided loss of the season, 33-14.
Forecast: Vikings 24, Patriots 14
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