The sportsbook NFL odds know, following Minnesota’s SU and ATS 14-9 win over Atlanta on Sunday, better than to mess with the Vikings, who are favored by a field goal against the Carolina Panthers. The Vikes offensive line has done a great job of protecting QB Case Keenum, and Keenum has done a great job of protecting himself, but they will face a defense that, under new defensive coordinator Steve Wilks, has increased the volume of blitz packages. Carolina is putting extra pressure more than 41% of the time this season through their zone blitzes, and they’ve reaped the benefits. Carolina has 34 sacks this season, tied for the fifth-most in the league, and is as a result tied for the fifth-most sacks (34).
The #Vikings head to Carolina this week in search of a franchise-best 6th straight road win.
— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) December 5, 2017
- Date: Sunday, 10th December
- Time: 1:05 PM
- Venue: Bank of America Stadium
Sportsbook online odds for fans who bet on NFL:
Vikings -3 (-107) 41 (-110) -148
Panthers +3 (-113) 41 (-110) +128
Babies of the Blitz
Like the Windmill Theatre in London during World War II, Keenum is, according to SPN Stats and Information’s Total QBR metric, the best against the blitz this season with a 94 rating when faced with extra pressure. Keenum has completed 54% of his passes for 834 yards, two touchdowns and one pick when he’s been pressured this season, which is on 38.2% of his dropbacks, and has been sacked just nine times in 10½ games. Generally speaking, Keenum has thrown for 2,703 yards with 16 TDs while turning the ball over just five times and posting a 67.5 completion percentage and a 98.6 quarterback rating this season. The Vikes are 17-5 ATS in their last 22 games in December, 8-0 SU and ATS in their last eight games against NFC South teams, 6-0 ATS in their last six games in Week 14, and 4-0 against the sportsbook NFL odds spread in their last four road games as well as in their last four playing a team with a winning record.
Bad for lack of a better word (or lack of a better defense)
The Panthers fell to sixth in the league in total defense following Sunday’s 21-31 loss to the Saints, which they entered ranked second. “Bad,” head coach Ron Rivera said of the team’s tackling, or lack thereof. “There’s no other word for it.” in stark contrast, the Vikings defense is 2nd in the league in points, total yards, and rushing yards allowed per game, and 10th in passing yards allowed per game, which doesn’t bode well for Carolina in general or Cam Newton in particular. The Panthers are 6-0 SU against teams that rank in the bottom 10 of the NFL in total defense and 2-4 SU against the rest, while Newton has thrown eight picks to just seven touchdowns against highly-ranked defensive units compared to nine TDs and three picks against bottom-10 defenses. Additionally, Carolina is 4-1 ATS in their last five games in Week 14, 4-1 ATS in their last five overall, 6-2 ATS in their last eight after an ATS loss, and 2-5 against the sportsbook NFL odds spread in their last seven in December.