Minnesota (10-2) at Carolina (8-4)
When: Sunday, December 10th 2017
Where: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC
Time: 1:00 ET | TV: CBS
Opening Odds: Minnesota -1/42
The Carolina Panthers look to rebound after a tough loss with the first of three-consecutive home games when they tangle with the red-hot Minnesota Vikings on Sunday afternoon. Carolina had a four-game winning streak snapped at New Orleans last week in a showdown for first place in the NFC South. That put the Panthers a game behind the Saints, but they have since made up a half-game with New Orleans’ loss to the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday. Carolina sits two games back of Minnesota, who hold the tiebreaker with Philadelphia for the No. 1 seed in the NFC, and will have a chance to clinch the NFC North title this weekend. The Vikings have won eight games in a row after last week’s impressive 14-9 win at Atlanta. Quarterback Case Keenum is not afraid to play in hostile environments, averaging 275.3 passing yards with 10 TDs and three interceptions in his last four road games. The Vikings have won the last two meetings against Carolina including last year’s 22-10 win in Charlotte. Minnesota picked-off Carolina quarterback Cam Newton three times in that contest.
With the win over Atlanta last week, Minnesota can go for the complete sweep of the NFC South on Sunday with a win over Carolina. The Vikings limited the defending NFC champs to three field goals and 275 total yards. Minnesota leads the NFC in scoring defense (17.0 points) and are the league’s best third-down defense, holding Atlanta to 1-for-10 in such situations. Keenum posted his fourth consecutive 100+ passer rating and completed a season-high 83.3% of his passes at Atlanta, giving him five touchdowns and zero interceptions in the past three games. Top target Adam Thielen has a team-best 74 receptions on the season while Latavius Murray has shored-up the running game with seven straight games of at least 15 carries.
Newton has rushed for at least 50 yards in five of the last seven games, and will probably be scrambling once again against a Minnesota defense that sacked him eight times in the win last season. Newton, who has six touchdown passes and no interceptions in the past three games, could see the return of tight end Greg Olsen and center Ryan Kalil, who have each missed the bulk of the season due to injuries. Devin Funchess has stepped-up since the trade of top wideout Kelvin Benjamin with 21 receptions and three TDs in four games since the deal. The Panthers are getting to help from running back Jonathan Stewart, who is averaging a career-worst 3.2 yards per game. Linebacker Thomas Davis (hamstring) is questionable for a defense that was embarrassed by last week’s performance according to coach Ron Rivera.
Minnesota look like the top team in the conference right now, but the NFC is very crowded at the top and Carolina is one of those teams. The Panthers experienced a hiccup last week, but are still playing well and are getting healthy. The Vikings are playing their third consecutive road game and are primed for a letdown. I’ll take Carolina.
Pick: Panthers +2.5
- Vikings are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games in Week 14.
- Vikings are 4-0 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
- Vikings are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 road games.
- Vikings are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games after allowing less than 15 points in their previous game.
- Vikings are 23-7 ATS in their last 30 games following a straight up win.
- Vikings are 19-7 ATS in their last 26 games in December.
- Vikings are 40-15 ATS in their last 55 games overall.
- Vikings are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
- Vikings are 37-17 ATS in their last 54 games following a ATS win.
- Vikings are 36-17 ATS in their last 53 vs. NFC.
- Panthers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a straight up loss.
- Panthers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games in Week 14.
- Panthers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games after allowing more than 30 points in their previous game.
- Panthers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
- Panthers are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games following a ATS loss.
- Panthers are 13-5-1 ATS in their last 19 games after allowing more than 250 yards passing in their previous game.
- Panthers are 6-13-1 ATS in their last 20 games after allowing more than 350 total yards in their previous game.
- Panthers are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games in December.
- Under is 9-1 in Vikings last 10 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
- Under is 20-6 in Vikings last 26 vs. a team with a winning record.
- Under is 14-5 in Vikings last 19 games after scoring less than 15 points in their previous game.
- Under is 5-2 in Vikings last 7 vs. NFC.
- Under is 11-5 in Vikings last 16 games following a straight up win.
- Under is 11-5-1 in Vikings last 17 games on grass.
- Under is 5-1 in Panthers last 6 games following a straight up loss.
- Over is 4-1 in Panthers last 5 vs. a team with a winning record.
- Under is 9-3-1 in Panthers last 13 games after allowing more than 350 total yards in their previous game.
- Over is 3-1-1 in Panthers last 5 games after allowing more than 250 yards passing in their previous game.
- Over is 6-2-1 in Panthers last 9 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
- Under is 11-4-1 in Panthers last 16 games on grass.
- Under is 5-2 in Panthers last 7 games following a ATS loss.
- Over is 7-3 in Panthers last 10 games overall.
- Underdog is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings.
- Vikings are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 meetings.
- Under is 5-2 in the last 7 meetings.