Patriots vs. Vikings NFL Week 12 TNF Best Bets: Patriots Pass Rush a Problem for Vikings

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After starting the season 7-1, the Minnesota Vikings suffered a humiliating loss in Week 11 at home. They will look to bounce back when they host the New England Patriots on Thursday Night Football.

The Patriots have won 5 out of their last 6 games behind a defense that could cause the Vikings some serious problems.

Let’s look into the betting odds and see how both teams will do.

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New England Patriots vs. Minnesota Vikings

Thursday, November 24, 2022 – 08:20 PM EST at U.S. Bank Stadium

Vikings Brought Back Down to Earth

The Minnesota Vikings aren’t as good as their record indicates, but they certainly aren’t as bad as their performance against Dallas in Week 11. They were thoroughly humiliated 40-3 in a performance where everything that could have gone wrong did. It also comes off the heels of their win in Buffalo in what many consider the game of the season. That game did a lot for doubters like myself who have insisted that the Vikings are not as good as their record.

Let’s start with the Vikings' two weaknesses:

  • Their pass protection
  • Their secondary

The Cowboys jumped out to a 23-3 halftime lead, which forced the Vikings to chase the game. Dallas’ strength is their pass rush, which is the best in the league. Having the Vikings chase the game was the best-case scenario for the Dallas pass rush who sacked Kirk Cousins 4 times in the Vikings' 3 offensive possessions in the third quarter.

This week, the Vikings come into their Week 12 Thursday Night game against the Patriots as -3 point favorites, with some of the top online sportsbooks showing -2.5 available. The Patriots' defense, especially their secondary, is one of the league’s best. The total for this game opened at 43.5 and seems to have settled in at 42.

Patriots Will Look to Confuse Cousins

Bill Belichick is a master game planner, and that has a lot to do with New England's recent defensive performances. They’ve done just enough to confuse the opposition who, to be fair, have had limited quarterbacks. Cousins is the best quarterback they’ve faced since Week 2, but as every NFL fan knows, he has his limitations as well.

Most quarterbacks in the league are much worse under pressure, but the elite still manage to perform under those circumstances. Cousins operates from a clean pocket on 44% of his dropbacks this season. In those situations, he has 10 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. Under pressure, he has 4 touchdowns and 3 interceptions.

One of the things that Belichick does better than anyone in the league is manufacture pressure. While the Patriots' defense isn’t loaded with stars in their front seven, they have the second most sacks in the league behind Dallas and are tied with the Cowboys with 106 quarterback pressures. This will be a big problem for Cousins and the Vikings offense.

Vikings and the Under In Week 12

While I do think the Patriots can give Minnesota problems, ultimately, New England’s offense isn’t good enough to keep up. The Patriots' passing game is closer to below average than it is to being considered a threat, so if the Vikings can get a two-score lead at any point, the Patriots' game plan will go right out the window. I do believe that the Vikings can cover the -2.5 spread, which is available at Bookmaker (visit our Bookmaker Review) but the juice is expensive at -125.

As for the total, I’m taking the Under 42 because I feel like the Patriots will do everything in their power to make this game as ugly as possible. That’s how they win games and they know they have no chance in a shootout against this high-powered Minnesota offense.

Last week they ran the ball 26 times and threw it 27, which resulted in them winning the possession battle 35 to 25 mins over the Jets. For this NFL pick, I think New England runs the ball even more in Week 12 at Minnesota, which will help keep the Vikings' offense off the field and play to the Under.

And don't forget that you can find the best Minnesota betting sites at Bookmakers Review.

NFL Pick: Vikings -2.5 (-125) at Bookmaker

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Vikings -2.5 (-125)
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NFL Pick: Under 42 (-110) at Bookmaker

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Under 42 (-110)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.