The Minnesota Vikings, who are, according to the NFL betting spread, three-point underdogs against the Falcons, know, from past personal experience, that things “go south real [sic] quick if you don’t stay focused.” The Vikes, as it turns out, are, whether they want to or not, going South. And not just due South, but the Dirty South, the Great Lost City of Atlanta. The Falcons are on a three-game winning streak, which is still less than half the consecutive games Minnesota has won.
- Date: Sunday, 3rd December
- Time: 1:05 PM
- Venue: Mercedes-Benz Stadium
- Sportsbook online odds for fans who bet on NFL:
Vikings +3 (-119) 47½ (-110)
Falcons -3 (-101) 47½ (-110)
Xavier’s School for Gifted Cornerbacks
“We’re going to try our best to go out there and make it tough for Matty and try to stop Julio and the receivers,” Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes said, and he wasn’t just making empty promises. Rhodes has held Julio Jones to 69 yards in two career matchups.
No task is too tall for @XavierRhodes29. Not even shadowing Julio Jones.
"I just have to go play with the mindset of having confidence against him.”
— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) November 27, 2017
Generally speaking, The Vikes defense ranks in the top-five in points allowed (17.7) and they have allowed opposing running backs an average of just 75.5 yards per game. The real question is whether Minnesota’s offense can do enough damage against the Falcons defense. QB Case Keenum has Adam Thielen, who is third in the league with 1,005 receiving yards, but it’s the 6th-ranked ground attack that could make the difference against Atlanta, which ranks 20th in rushing yards allowed per game and 25th in rushing yards allowed per carry. This will be the third time this season the Vikes are underdogs, and second since they won and covered against the Packers, after which the Vikings have gone 5-0 straight-up and against the NFL betting spread, as part of a seven-game winning streak in which they have covered in the last six games straight. the underdog, which in this case is, again, Minnesota, is 3-0-1 ATS in their last four encounters between these two teams.
Are the Falcons finally house-broken?
The Falcons struggled early in their brand new Mercedes-Benz Stadium, losing and not covering against the Bills and Dolphins as eight- and 14-point favorites, respectively. “You can’t let people come and whip you at home,” Jones said. “That’s in front of your mom and everybody else. Just like your upbringing when you come up as a kid, you don’t want to let nobody come in and whip you in front of your momma.” Societal stereotypes aside, the Falcons have won two at home as part of a three-game SU and ATS winning streak. On the other hand, those wins have come against the Cowboys, the Seahawks, and the Buccaneers, two teams that have fallen on hard times, and another that is, well, the Bucs. The Falcons are 13-1 SU and 11-3 ATS in their last 14 games against NFC teams, and 5-1 against the NFL betting spread in their last six games in December. The total has gone over in 13 of Atlanta’s last 16 home games. Both teams are accustomed to playing in roofed stadiums.