The Minnesota Vikings (8-2 SU, 4-5-1 ATS) saw a seven-game winning streak come to a crashing halt last week against Dallas, losing at home by 37 points. Minny faces another tough defense this week in the New England Patriots (6-4, 6-3-1), who have held their last two opponents to just three points.

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Patriots vs Vikings Opening Odds 

Minnesota was initially a 3.5-point favorite but early action on the Patriots had moved the spread to as low as 2.5 points at some sportsbooks by Monday night. The total also dipped below 42 at several sites after both offenses struggled badly on Sunday.

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Defense Helps Patriots Overcome Scoring Issues To Win Five Of Last Six Games

There may be no better defense in the NFL right now than New England’s, which allowed just three points Sunday for the second consecutive week. The Patriots held the Jets to 103 total yards in their dramatic 10-3 victory that was decided by Marcus Jones’ game-winning 84-yard punt return in the dying seconds.

However, even though the Patriots have won five of their last six and covered six of seven, there are huge concerns about Mac Jones and the New England offense. The Pats have scored just two offensive touchdowns in Jones’ last three starts and have struggled in the red zone all season, reaching the end zone on just 12 of their 28 trips inside the opposition’s 20-yard line.

Vikings Couldn’t Protect Cousins or Stop Dallas Running Backs In Lopsided Loss

Despite holding a four-game lead atop the NFC North and sitting second in the conference with an 8-2 SU record, the Vikings have actually been outscored on the season following last week’s humiliating 40-3 loss at home to Dallas. Kirk Cousins was sacked a career-high seven times, including a strip-sack turnover on his first dropback.

Minny finished the game with just 183 net yards of offense, its worst total in more than two years. The defense wasn’t much better, allowing Cowboys running backs Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard to score two touchdowns each. Pollard’s two scores came through the air, including a 68-yard catch.

Patriots: Keys to Win

The defense can keep New England in the game but the Patriots need a lot more from an offense that is averaging less than 20 points per game over the past month. That could happen against a Vikings secondary that has allowed the second-most passing yards in the NFL this season.

Vikings: Keys to Win

After giving up seven sacks last week against Dallas, the Vikings need their offensive line to do a better job protecting Cousins from a strong New England pass rush. If they give Cousins time to throw, Minnesota has the offensive firepower to pull away for a comfortable victory.

NFL Computer Pick: Vikings -3

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Shark Bites
  • New England is 6-1 ATS in its last 7 games.
  • Minnesota is 1-3 ATS in its last 4 home games.
  • New England is 5-0 SU and 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings.
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