Minnesota Vikings vs. New England Patriots Free Picks and Preview
(2-4, 2-4 ATS)
New England Patriots
(5-1, 3-2-1 ATS)
The Minnesota Vikings and New England Patriots are both still stuck in the middle of a playoff fight in their respective conferences. There are plenty of underlying storylines though, for Sunday’s big NFL betting clash at Gillette Stadium.
For the Vikes, there is a big question whether this will be the first game in the illustrious career of QB Brett Favre that he sits out a game. Favre is dealing with fractures in his ankle, but is insistent that he is ready to give it a go on Sunday. It is still very up in the air whether HC Brad Childress will mortgage the potential future of his team or not by letting Favre keep his Ironman streak going. If Favre can’t go, it will be up QB Tarvaris Jackson, who has thought that he was the starting quarterback for this team now on three separate instances over the last three seasons. Regardless of who is under center, it will be very interesting to see how the receiving corps looks that he has to work with. WR Sidney Rice hasn’t taken a snap all season long, but might be ready to suit up again this week after sitting the first six games of the season out on the PUP list. WR Randy Moss is making his grand return to New England, where he was playing for the hosts just a month ago. One way or the other though, this unit badly needs to figure out how to put more than 18.5 points, which is what it is averaging per game this year.
The Pats are in the midst of trying to stay with the New York Jets for the top spot in the AFC East. However, the objects in their rearview mirror might be closer than they appear for a team on pace to win 13 games this season. New England has three teams right behind it with just two losses that are in second place in their respective divisions, and two of those four teams are going to be very, very unhappy to get off to such good starts to the year but be left out of the postseason. Since Moss was basically taken out of the game plan back in Week 4, QB Tom Brady’s numbers have been, for lack of a better term, atrocious. He has only thrown for 201.3 yards per game in that stretch and only has three TDs against two picks in comparison to the 252.7 yards per game with eight scores against two INTs in his first three games of the year. Brady hasn’t had a single 300 yard passing game either on the season. Defensively, things are getting better, but New England still has too many lapses. The team ranks No. 30 in the NFL in pass defense at 282.0 yards per game, and is fourth to last in total ‘D’ at 379.7 yards per game.
Unless Favre can’t walk, he’s going to gut this one out on Sunday. As long as No. 4 is out there, he is going to be an inspiration to his team. One thing is for certain though, and that’s that Randy wants to prove that Randy can still ball. Randy is going to have one heck of a big game, and though the Vikes might not win, Randy will be the reason that Randy and his purple and gold clad men stick in front of this number.
NFL Free Picks: Minnesota Vikings +6
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