Wednesday, October 26, 2011

JZN NFL Predictions vs. Spread (2011): Minnesota Vikings at Carolina Panthers (Week 8, 2011-12)

The Carolina Panthers enjoyed their second victory in the Cam Newton era. However, how will their run defense be able to contain Adrian Peterson? Will the Vikings be smart enough to give Peterson his carries?

The early spread on this game is Panthers (-3). Here are some of the key aspects of the game and what to watch out for in pick ’em leagues. All lines from Y! Sports and injury reports from CBS Sports as of October 26, 2011. Always update yourselves with injury lines because they’ll change throughout the week.

Current Personal Picks Record (Straights Only)
Carolina Panthers 6-1
Minnesota Vikings 4-3

Key Injuries
OT Jeff Otah (IR), LB Omar Gaither, CB Antoine Winfield, S Jamarca Sanford, WR Percy Harvin, CB Cook (Suspension), G Anthony Herrera (Out), C John Sullivan

Keys to the Game
  • Can the Panthers contain Adrian Peterson?
  • Can the Vikings contain Steve Smith?
  • Will the Vikings make second-half adjustments?
  • How much will personnel and legal issues impact the Vikings?
  • Will Christian Ponder outplay Cam Newton?
  • Can Jared Allen take advantage of Jeff Otah’s injury?

The Vikings are a somewhat tempting upset pick because of the enormous mismatch that features Adrian Peterson and the Panthers’ run defense. I wouldn’t be surprised if Peterson had 150-200 yards rushing in this contest. Peterson had 175 yards against a Packers’ defense that was amongst the NFL’s best before that Week 7 game. However, he does have an ankle injury.

Why shouldn’t you pick them? I’m not sure that there’s any team who is worse in the second-half than the Vikings. They’re constantly blowing leads in the second half and fail to make halftime adjustments. They have many personnel issues that are plaguing the team. The Vikings just released Bernard Berrian. Chris Cook has been suspended and faces an allegation of domestic abuse. The Vikings have also never really been that good on the road.

The Vikings couldn’t beat their two biggest rivals to avoid going 1-6. I expect a letdown performance from the Vikings. The Panthers have fared very well in covering the spread this season also. I’m just a bit concerned with Peterson.

Final Predictions:
Against the Spread: Carolina Panthers (-3)
Straight: Carolina Panthers 34, Minnesota Vikings 23

Stat sources:

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