Last Updated: 2017-12-06
If the season ended today, the Minnesota Vikings would have the home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs, and how many people would have forecast that if they knew that they would be without both Sam Bradford AND Teddy Bridgewater for almost the whole season? So why isn’t Mike Zimmer getting some more buzz for Coach of the Year? He’s probably not concerned with that so much as he is with the Carolina Panthers, who will be waiting for the Vikings on Sunday at 1 PM ET at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. If you are a VietBet customer, you can get reduced juice, which will afford you better value in the NFL betting odds, and then you can challenge those odds in real time as you take advantage of what’s available through Live Betting Ultra.
The Vikings are one of the great stories of the season, because after getting a great performance from former Heisman Trophy winner Bradford in the opening game against New Orleans, they lost him to injury. In stepped Case Keenum, regarded as little more than a journeyman, and he got the boot by the Los Angeles Rams after they figured Jared Goff was ready to become the full-time starter. So what has Keenum done? Well, he has, to this point, registered the eighth best quarterback rating in the league, but more importantly, he’s given this team a lot of confidence with him at the helm. Keep in mind that Keenum set a lot of records while he was at the University of Houston, and he has come in and been virtually trouble-free for the Vikes, putting in more than a solid effort last week against the Atlanta Falcons, completing 25 out of 30 passes. Obviously it was the Minnesota defense that carried much of the water, holding the Falcons just 275 total yards and without a touchdown. Currently Minnesota is 10-2 straight-up and 9-3 against the football pointspread. They have a tie-breaker advantage over the Philadelphia Eagles, who have the same straight-up record.
In the NFL betting odds that have been posted on this game by the folks at VietBet, the Vikings are laying points on the road:
Minnesota Vikings -2.5 (-120)
Carolina Panthers +2.5 (+100)
Over 41 points -110
Under 41 points -110
Minnesota has won eight consecutive games, and they’ve covered the last seven. Many the teams they have beaten are not cream puffs either; New Orleans, the Rams and Baltimore would all be in the playoffs right now, and of course, Atlanta was the NFC’s Super Bowl representative last season. What might be one of the more surprising things about this year’s Minnesota squad is that they have run the ball and 47.4% of all their downs, which is quite a statement for a team that not only had very little success on the ground last season, but lost their most talented running back when Dalvin Cook, the talented rookie out of Florida State, went down with an injury. Again, more evidence for Zimmer to win that Coach of the Year honor.
VietBet patrons might remember that Cam Newton had absolutely no success solving the Minnesota defense last season. Granted, he had an off-year, as did the rest of the Panthers, but he was intercepted three times and sacked eight times as Carolina lost 22-10 despite surrendering only 211 total yards. Last week the Panthers came up short against New Orleans, as once again Newton was the team’s leading rusher (with 51 yards). Who knows about Greg Olsen, and it is still an ongoing challenge trying to work Christian McCaffrey in with regular carries.
Under the circumstances, who is the more solid team? Well, we know it’s Minnesota, because fundamentally they are doing things in such a manner that they can “plug-and-play” on offense. Keenum is doing so well that Teddy Bridgewater might not crack the lineup at all this year. And we are not yet about to pick the spot in which the Vikings fail. So even though Carolina finds itself clinging onto one of the two wildcards in the NFC, thus creating a sense of urgency, we know that the Vikings would love to be hosting the playoffs all the way through the Super Bowl (remember that takes place at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis this season). We are laying the points.
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