- The Vikings and Patriots close out the Thursday Thanksgiving NFL slate
- Minnesota are short home favorites in the Patriots vs Vikings odds
- Read below for our best Week 12 NFL betting pick
The Thanksgiving NFL slate is one of the most holy days of football viewing of the year. Lately, it hasn’t been able to meet expectations from a watch-ability standpoint. It could be a similar case for the afternoon, the Giants vs Cowboys odds make Dallas a 9-point favorite, the same goes for Bills vs Lions. But the Patriots vs Vikings odds indicate we’ll see a competitive affair.
Minnesota is coming off their second loss of the season, falling 40-3 to the Cowboys. Both of their losses this season have been in blowout fashion. The Vikings followed up their blowout loss to the Eagles in week 2 with a 28-24 win over the Lions, they did fail to cover though.
The Patriots have now won three straight games, with their defense allowing a mere 7.6 points per game over that span. After playing in some rough weather, the confines of US Bank Stadium could lead to some more points. Let’s take a look at the Patriots vs Vikings odds before making our pick.
Patriots vs Vikings Odds
|New England Patriots||+135||+2.5 (-115)||O 42.5 (-110)|
|Minnesota Vikings||-160||-2.5 (-105)||U 42.5 (-110)|
Odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook!
Massachusetts sports betting is coming soon for Patriots fans! A launch date hasn’t been finalized but a bill was passed to legalized back in August of this year. When the time does come, the Old Colony State can expect to see some of their favorite sportsbooks like BetMGM, Caesars and DraftKings Sportsbook!
New England has been one of the most profitable teams to back against the spread this season, sporting a 6-3-1 ATS record. Minnesota hasn’t been profitable ATS at home either, going 2-3 at US Bank Stadium in 2022.
Can the Vikings Bounce Back in Week 12?
Last weeks meeting with Dallas could not have gone much worse. So what went wrong? It typically all comes back to Kirk Cousins, but he was pressured on 60% of his dropbacks in week 11. He’s been one of the worst QB’s in the NFL under pressure, completing just 42.3% of his passes with a passer rating of just 64.4. The offensive line has struggled against stronger competition up front and as a result rank 26th in pressure rate allowed at 36.6%.
Kirk cousins faced a 63% pressure rate (highest in his career). For reference of how insane that is, Patrick Mahomes faced 37.5% pressure rate against the Buccaneers in the 2020 Super Bowl.
— vikingsdontchaknow (@derekjayl) November 21, 2022
The good news for the Vikings matchup vs New England is how they’ve been able to stop the run. PFF grades Minnesota as the 2nd best run defense, due and are top 10 in EPA/rush. They keep opposing running backs from getting to the open field and breaking big plays. It’s surprising to see how good they’ve been against the run considering they play in a light box on 74% of plays which his the highest rate in the NFL.
Patriots Underdogs in Thanksgiving Matchup
The question for Bill Belichick’s team here will be can they run the ball effectively? And if not, can they trust Mac Jones to carry this offense? As good as the Vikings have been against the run this season, they play in a 2-high shell with a light box at one of the highest rates in the league. They’re inviting opponents to run the football.
The Pats actually haven’t been great on the ground, ranking 27th in stuff rate and averaging just 4.0 yards per carry. But they’re still running the ball at the 9th highest rate in football. Heading into some indoor conditions on Thanksgiving, I think Mac Jones will be the focal point. The Vikings rank 25th in coverage grade per PFF. Jones has been a really efficient passer, completing 72.8% of his passes, when teams aren’t blitzing. Minnesota blitzes on just 17% of plays.
New England has Football Outsiders #1 pass defense in DVOA. They’re single-high man defense has been elite yet again, winning at the line of scrimmage in pass rush and playing 5-6 DB’s on a large majority of snaps. Matt Judon leads the way with 13.0 sacks, New England is top-5 in pressure rate and boasts a 10.3% sack rate.
Patriots vs Vikings Pick
There’s a few things that stick out to me when trying to handicap this matchup. The first is just how good the Patriots pass defense has been, and they’re ability to generate pressure. Which we know is a major problem for Kirk Cousins and his pass protectors.
The second is how Minnesota likes to defend, their two-high shell is used in an effort to keep opponents from beating them over the top. Jones is happy to check the ball down, he’s bottom-10 amongst QB’s in average depth of target. When opponents aren’t blitzing, like the Vikings, his ADOT drops even further to 7.0 yards.
I like the Patriots to cover in this one and I also like one of Jones favorite pass catchers in Jakobi Meyers. Meyers is 11th amongst wide receivers in yards per route run against zone coverage and 45.5% of his receptions have come in the middle of the field. The Vikings use zone coverage on 69% of plays, the highest in the NFL. Their two-high safety look also leaves the middle of the field open on 47% of plays, which is the 4th most.
Picks: Patriots +2.5 (-115) & Jakobi Meyers O50.5 REC YDs (-108)