Thursday Night Football: Minnesota Vikings at Arizona Cardinals
NFL Week 14 has one of the best Thursday night matchups of the season, as the 8-4 Minnesota Vikings travel west to face the 10-2 Arizona Cardinals.
When: Thursday December 10 at 8:25 pm ET
Where: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale.
TV: NFL Network (Play-by-play: Jim Nantz; analyst: Phil Simms; Sideline: Tracy Wolfson).
Odds: After opening at minus-7, the Cardinals are favored by 8½. Over/under is 46½ and the money line is Arizona -400, Minnesota +320.
In last week’s humbling 38-7 home loss to Seattle the Vikings entered the game without defensive tackle Linval Joseph, who will miss this game as well due to a foot injury. Early on the Vikes were without four defensive starters as linebacker Anthony Barr (groin), safety Harrison Smith (hamstring) and safety Robert Blanton (knee) were sidelined; Barr and Smith are out for this game, while Blanton is questionable. Minnesota’s defense carried the club to a 7-2 start – even after last week they still rank fourth with 19.3 points per game allowed – but if Seattle was able to score 38 points against this injury depleted unit, what will the league’s best offense be able to achieve?
The Cardinals are averaging an NFL-best 31.8 points per game, and Carson Palmer now has receivers John Brown and Michael Floyd back at full health – which should open things up that much more for Larry Fitzgerald (91 receptions, 1047 yards, seven touchdowns). Minnesota depends almost exclusively on Adrian Peterson (NFL-best 1,182 yards rushing), but what happens if and when they fall behind? Arizona on the other hand is probable the most well-balanced team in the NFL; they rank first in scoring, first in yards per game (419), fourth in points allowed (19.3) and fourth in yards allowed (317).
Prediction: Cardinals 34, Vikings 17
Take Arizona minus the points in spite of the large spread.
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Tags: 2015 NFL Season Arizona Cardinals betting line Minnesota Vikings odds Week 14