Opening Line: Panthers -7.5
Time: 1 PM EST Sunday September 25, 2016 on FOX
Minnesota Vikings (2-0) vs. Carolina Panthers (1-1)
The Vikings are at 2-0 and atop the NFC North and while they beat their rival Green Bay in their last game it was a costly one. RB Adrian Peterson injured his knee in the game and he will not play in Carolina this Sunday. The Panthers got into the win column in their last game with a blowout win over the 49ers and they are 7.5-point favorites this Sunday at home, were they were undefeated last season.
Sam Bradford had a solid debut under center for the Vikings in their last game and he has his work cut out for him this Sunday on the road facing a Carolina pass defense that ranks 7th in the league.
In their last games the Vikings beat the Green Bay Packers 17-14 and the Panthers beat the San Francisco 49ers 46-27.
The Vikings are 2-0 ATS with an O/U record of 1-1 and the Panthers are 1-1 ATS with an O/U record of 2-0.
These teams met last in the 2014 season in Minnesota where the Vikings laid a 31-13 beat-down on the Panthers easily covering the 2.5-point spread.
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Bradford was 22/31 for 286 yards with 2 TD and 0 INT in his Minnesota debut against the Packers. WR Stefon Diggs leads the NFL in receiving yards and had a monster game against the Packers with nine catches for 182 yards and a TD. The Vikings do not have a deep WR corps and he is the only player with over 100 receiving yards.
One key is the play of the Minnesota offensive line, as even in the win over Green Bay last week Bradford was sacked four times.
With Peterson out Matt Asiata will likely get the start in the backfield and he only has 27 rushing yards on the season. While Carolina has been solid against the pass so far they only rank tied for 17th in run defense.
Reigning MVP Cam Newton had a huge game in the win over the 49ers with 388 passing yards with four TD and one INT and he also rushed for 37 yards. TE Greg Olsen and Kelvin Benjamin each had over 100 yards in the game. RB Fozzy Whittaker rushed for 100 yards in the game and Minnesota has a tall task on defense. However, they shut down Aaron Rodgers and the Packers last week and their defense ranks in the top 10 in the league both against the pass and the run.
- The Vikings are 10-1 ATS in their last 11 road games, 14-3 ATS in their last 17 games following a straight up win, and they have an Under record of 4-1-1 in their last 6 road games.
- The Panthers are 20-7-1 ATS in their last 28 home games, 4-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record, and in their last 4 home games the total has gone Over every time.
- The home team is 5-2 ATS in the last 7 games between these teams.
Minnesota Vikings at Carolina Panthers Prediction
The Panthers offense exploded for 46 points last week against the 49ers, but the worrisome number is the 27 points allowed by their defense to the below average offense of the 49ers. These weren’t garbage points scored late in the game. The last touchdown San Francisco scored against Carolina brought them within a TD 34-27 midway through the 4th. The Vikings come into this game minus star RB Adrian Peterson, but they have an adequate replacement in Jerick McKinnon to step in and QB Sam Bradford didn’t look out of place last week completing 22 of 31 throws for 286 yards two TDs with zero INTs. This line is over compensating for the loss of Peterson leaving us with some solid value on the visitor.
Take the Vikings +7
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