Playoff contenders will square off on Christmas Eve as the New York Giants (8-5) take on the Minnesota Vikings (11-3). The Vikings will host this one at U.S. Bank Stadium, with kickoff scheduled for 1:00 pm ET.
The Giants won a critical game last week over the Washington Commanders, 20-12. In the win, Daniel Jones threw for just 160 yards and no touchdowns. The biggest weapon on offense for New York in the win was Saquon Barkley, who rushed for 87 yards and a score.
Coming back from a 33-0 halftime deficit, the Minnesota Vikings not only made history for the biggest come-from-behind victory, but they also locked up the NFC North. In the win, Kirk Cousins threw for 460 yards, four touchdowns, and two interceptions.
The Vikings are the favorites to win this one at home. They are -176 to win, while the Giants’ moneyline sits at +148. The spread features New York +3.5 (-120), and the over/under for total points is 47.5.
Giants Trying To Solidify Playoff Spot
While the NFC East is out of reach for the Giants, they are in good shape to make the playoffs via the Wild Card. Still, with the Seattle Seahawks and Detroit Lions trying to make a late push, Giants’ fans are hoping the team can pick up a win to help solidify their playoff spot.
If the team is going to win this one, they will need their defense to pick it up against a Vikings team that is loaded with offensive weapons. Heading into this game, the Giants rank 14th in scoring defense, allowing 22.3 points per game to opponents (21 on the road).
On the offensive side, the Giants have had some struggles with consistency this season. They currently rank 20th in the league, averaging 20.5 points per game.
Leading the team under center is Daniel Jones. He has thrown for 2,694 yards, 12 touchdowns, and just four interceptions. He also has the second-most rushing yards on the team, having gone for 583 yards and five touchdowns on 105 carries.
The leading rusher for the Giants is Saquon Barkley. In 269 rushes, Barkley has rushed for 1,170 yards and nine touchdowns.
Minnesota Looking For Faster Start
While the victory was exhilarating for the Vikings last week, their first-half struggles can’t be ignored. While they were able to overcome them against the lowly Colts, the Vikings will have a short postseason if they continue with that trend.
It isn’t that the Vikings have struggled offensively as a whole. In fact, they rank eighth in the NFL in scoring, averaging 25.1 points per game (27 at home).
Quarterback Kirk Cousins is having another solid year for Minnesota. He has thrown for 3,818 yards, 24 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions.
The best wide receiver on the planet might be Justin Jefferson. As Cousins’ main target, he already has 111 receptions for 1,623 yards and seven touchdowns.
The offense might have to put up some big numbers again, as the Vikings’ defense has struggled this season. They currently rank 28th in the league, allowing an average of 24.9 points per game to opponents.
Take Minnesota To Win And Cover
Looking at the trends, the Giants are 2-7 in their last nine games against Minnesota straight up, and they are 3-6 in those games against the spread.
For Minnesota they are 8-1 in their last nine home games and 10-2 in their last 12 overall. In five of their last six games, the OVER has hit.
This might boil down to the Giants’ ability to keep up offensively with Minnesota. The Vikings have scored at least 27 points in their last three home games, and they have scored 33 or more in two of those games.
Even though Minnesota’s defense has been brutal, the Giants just don’t have the firepower, most notably in the passing game, to keep up with them.
For that reason, take Minnesota to not only win this game but to cover the modest 3.5-point spread as well (-102).