Week 12 NFL: Previewing the New England Patriots-Minnesota Vikings matchup

November 22, 2022 04:02 PM

New England Patriots at Minnesota Vikings

The Patriots have allowed just three points in each of their last two games — a 26-3 victory over the Colts in Week 9 and a 10-3 win last weekend over the Jets courtesy of walk-off punt return touchdown. Three points is all Minnesota could muster Sunday in a 40-3 home loss to Dallas.

New England is the No. 1 defense in the league per Overall DVOA and Pass Defense DVOA. They are also allowing just 16.9 points per game (No. 2 in NFL) and 302.9 yards per game (No. 4 in NFL). The Patriots surrendered just 103 total yards to the Jets after holding the Colts to 121 two weeks prior.

Minnesota had been living on some good fortune during its seven-game winning streak. That came to a screeching halt Sunday as Kirk Cousins was sacked a career-high seven times, which does not look promising having to face a New England bunch with 13 sacks in the last two games. Furthermore, second-year left tackle Christian Darrisaw left early for the second straight game with a concussion and is expected to miss Thursday’s game.

Still, the Vikings are 8-2, own a four-game lead in the NFC North and have the fifth-easiest schedule remaining per Football Outsiders. Nevertheless, it was a matter of time before they took one on the chin after winning seven straight games by a touchdown or less.

The Patriots are not the easiest team to get back on track against on a short week especially as coach Bill Belichick is 29-15-1 ATS on short rest since 2003 but just 5-4 ATS in this spot without Tom Brady. New England’s offense has also been lacking, 26th in DVOA, and allowed six sacks of Mac Jones last week.

Minnesota was adjusted downward from -3.5 to -2.5. Expect New England to be in a lot of teasers tied to other Thanksgiving games or throughout the rest of the Week 12. The total sits at 42 and could have room to move lower considering these teams scored three and 10 points, respectively, last week. All the recent trends point to an Under, but this could also be one to go against the grain and look at the Over, capitalizing on bettors’ recency biases.

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