Vikings vs Giants Odds, Pick, Prediction: We’re Fading Minnesota

Vikings vs Giants Odds, Pick, Prediction: We’re Fading Minnesota article feature image

Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images. Pictured: Daniel Jones (left), Saquon Barkley (right).

  • The Vikings are favored against the Giants by 4.5 points.
  • Minnesota has clinched the NFC North, while New York is fighting for playoff positioning.
  • The Great Foosini breaks down the matchup and makes his betting pick below.

Vikings vs Giants Odds

Saturday, Dec. 24
1 p.m. ET
Vikings Odds
-110o / -110u
Giants Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.

This has serious Super Awesome Game Potential, so let's find our Vikings vs Giants pick.

Virtually every single one of the Minnesota Vikings' games have wild plays, rapid lead changes and overall entertainment. Whether you're playing the Colts on a Saturday or the Bills on a Sunday, you're going to see something that you don't get in other games.

So, how does that affect our Vikings vs Giants pick?

This is due to a wide array of factors, ranging from their opponent, a horrible pass defense, a superstar wide receiver and an inconsistent quarterback. Regardless of the cause, it's fun to watch – unless the Vikings comeback win cost you a $20k winner-take-all survivor league payout.

This week, the Vikings get the New York Football Giants, who now have an almost 90% chance of making the playoffs after a massive win in Washington thanks to a questionable-at-best illegal formation call.

Coach Brian Daboll has the Giants offense working and winning games they really have no business winning. They've been out-gained on a Yards per Play basis in wins against the Panthers, Ravens, Jaguars, Texans and most recently the Commanders. They have a negative net yards-per-play differential, but they are playoff bound.

That gives these teams something in common. So, who will achieve a victory among the overachievers? Find a pick and prediction for Vikings vs Giants in Week 16 below.

Vikings vs Giants Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how the Vikings and Giants match up statistically:

Vikings vs Giants DVOA Breakdown
Overall DVOA1419
Pass DVOA1027
Rush DVOA1015
Overall DVOA2029
Pass DVOA1724
Rush DVOA2231

Like the Giants, the Vikings hold victories over the Saints, Dolphins, Bills, Patriots and Jets while gaining fewer yards than each opponent on a per-play basis. Obviously the net yards-per-play argument is not perfectly correlated to expected outcomes, but it does have a very positive R-Squared value and can be used to predict game scores along with other key statistics.

The Vikings excel in one of those departments– generating explosive plays–thanks to Justin Jefferson. I'm continuously shocked to see the Vikings ranked 20th in Football Outsiders Offensive DVOA metric, but after watching more of their games, their success hinges upon one player: Kirk Cousins. He can be good, but we're going to see a lot of bad.

Kevin O'Connell does get this team to win, and it happens in seemingly dramatic fashion. Everyone loves to talk about how overrated the Vikings are based upon their underlying stats and ability to get demolished by the NFC East. Yet, the market has caught up to this overrated team, as they were 'dogs to the Lions and have been nothing more than a four-point favorite at home for the last few weeks.

That said, Minnesota is 11-3 and has clinched the NFC North. That counts for something, no matter how fraudulent you think the team might be. Don't get me wrong, the Vikings will get rolled in the playoffs, but let's appreciate the entertainment they bring on a weekly basis until then.

Bet New York vs. Minnesota at FanDuel

Speaking of entertainment, Daboll has Giants fans hopeful for the first time in Danny Dimes' career. I am not a believer in their team, which has wildly outperformed market expectations and won games they have no business winning. I've bet against them in a staggering amount of games this year (against the Bears, Ravens, Seahawks, Texans, Lions and Cowboys), but besides the game against the Bears, they were outplayed and outgained yet came out on top in each.

At a certain point, you have to weigh their yards-per-play differential and just factor in that this team can win. That is all coaching to me. Between Daboll, Mike Kafka and an animated Wink Martindale, this trio has the Giants punching well above their weight, and I'm not sure they are in a position to regress.

Just as shocked as I am to see the Vikings' poor offensive rating, I'm even more shocked at the Giants' above average offensive rating. Their running game gets a boost because of Saquon Barkley and his ability to create yards after contact (or no contact at all).

Those last three runs against the Commanders last week were nothing short of extraordinary given the situation. The Commanders knew the Giants were going to run, yet they gained 10+ yards on three straight carries to seal the deal. Remarkable.

They have also found success on the defensive line, as they pressured Taylor Heinicke and forced turnovers that won them the game. That's a major factor to consider when grading teams outside of YPP, and definitely an aspect of their game that can give them a boost this week. Forcing turnovers and getting to Kirk Cousins is a sure-fire way to put the Vikings in a position where they have to claw back into contention.

While the Colts have a much better defense than the Giants, they forced three turnovers and took a massive lead. If it weren't for one of the worst coaching performances I've ever seen (that's why you don't hire a TV analyst as a head coach), they would've won that game. I'll tell you one thing: Frank Reich would never have lost in that position.

The Vikings can take advantage of this Giants defense. Both the New York pass and rush defense do not perform well statistically, and Jefferson should have a huge game. Nothing new there, but again, the Giants find ways to win, and if they can force a turnover or two, they can win this game.

Let's get to the pick.

Betting Picks

I use an economic regression model to predict outcomes, and I have the Vikings as 3.4 points better at home.

There are two aspects of these teams that make me want to take the Giants.

The first is how the Vikings have been valued and performed at home in recent weeks. They were three-point favorites against the Patriots, 3.5-point favorites against the Jets and four-point favorites against the Colts. They won all three games yet were outplayed and should have lost in the first two and needed the biggest comeback in NFL history to win the third.

Which team should have won is always debatable, but it's not debatable that each game was so close.

The second reason is how the Giants remain competitive in almost every game. Whether they're miraculously beating the Ravens or backdooring the Cowboys, they find a way to win or be close.

They have not performed well against highly efficient offenses (Seahawks, Lions and Eagles), but we don't have that here. The Vikings can explode, but they can also implode, and I'm not treating them as a highly efficient unit. The best unit statistically on the field in this game is the Giants offense (something I never thought I'd say), and I like that when I'm getting more than a field goal.

I'm actually going to make two picks on this game. In these close home contests for the Vikings, points have been aplenty.

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