Patriots vs. Vikings prediction: Here’s an angle on the total to consider in this matchup

Patriots defense may serve to create over/under value

Patriots vs. Vikings prediction
New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson (2) is sacked by New England Patriots defensive end Deatrich Wise Jr. (91) and linebacker Josh Uche (55) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022, in Foxborough, Mass. The Associated Press

The Patriots will try to extend their winning streak to four games when they head to Minnesota to take on the Vikings on Thanksgiving Day.

At 6-4, New England currently has a 55% chance to make the playoffs, per FiveThirtyEight.

Keeping this winning streak alive won’t be easy, given that they’ll be up against a Vikings team that’s looking to bounce back from a 40-3 shellacking at the hands of the Cowboys.

Usually, this would be an excellent buy-low spot on a Vikings team that’s coming off such a disappointing loss.

However, I’ll share why we might find additional value by targeting a play on the total instead.

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Patriots vs. Vikings odds

Spread: NE +2.5 (-110) vs. MIN -2.5 (-110)

Moneyline: NE (+120) vs. MIN (-145)

Total: Over 42.5 (-110) | Under 42.5 (-110)

Patriots vs. Vikings pick

Under 42.5 points

Patriots vs. Vikings analysis

Although the Vikings closed as home underdogs against the Cowboys, I’m not sure anyone predicted such a lopsided scoreline.

Minnesota actually opened as a pick ’em before being bet down to 2.5.

The betting markets clearly didn’t believe much in the Vikings, even after their 33-30 overtime road victory over the Bills.

However, as impressive as the win was, the Bills seemingly did everything to hand the game to the Vikings. Buffalo blew a 17-point lead with less than two minutes remaining in the third quarter.

With the Bills just one or two plays away from running out the clock, they fumbled a routine handoff on the edge of their goal line, which Minnesota recovered for a touchdown.

And despite giving up a game-tying field goal with 41 seconds left on the clock, the Vikings won the game in overtime.

Thus, when you factor in the physical and emotional demands of the overtime game, you can understand why the market was bearish on the chances the following week against the Cowboys.

There’s still a bit of doubt on whether this Vikings team can be trusted.

Entering Week 11, our Action Network predictive analytics had the Vikings as the third luckiest team in the league.

And now, off a short week after playing an overtime game in Week 10, you have to wonder if the tables are starting to turn for the Vikings.

One thing that led to the Cowboys’ success against the Vikings was their pass rush. Dallas racked up seven sacks against Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins.

According to Pro-Football-Reference, the Cowboys lead the league in sacks (42) and pressure rate (30.2%). But right behind the Cowboys are the Patriots who rank second in both sacks (36) and pressure rate (29.8%).

Moreover, New England enters this week as the top-ranked defense per Football Outsiders DVOA metric.

But it’s on offense where the Patriots have really struggled as DVOA has the Patiots ranked 26th. Their quarterback play has regressed, with Mac Jones ranking 29th in ESPN’s Total QBR metric.

After running my numbers, I think both teams will have their struggles offensively. And since my model projects a total of 41.07 points in the contest, I’ll look to play this game under 42.5 points.

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