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October 3, 2016

There is one pick tonight.

Take New York Giants +4.5 spread against Minnesota Vikings for 3% of the bankroll.

This should be a fairly closely contested game and one in which taking the points, as opposed to laying them, will likely prove wise. The Vikings are organized very well defensively since Mike Zimmer took charge and deserve a lot of credit. They were the team SPS bet on most often last season and with huge success, and have picked up where they left off this year. To have done what they have without their first choice QB and RB is impressive but now with their stock at its highest, after the demolishion of the Panthers in Carolina, it's time to sell high. That's because they are a perfect 3-0 on the season and have covered the spread in all 3 games! To the average sports-bettor, that means it's time to jump on the bandwagon, to sharps, it means they are now being overvalued and priced steeper than they should be.

Minnesota is a solid team but the vast majority of winning tickets that they've provided over the last two years has come in the underdog or short favorite role. Now they are laying over 4 points in a game that could well be decided by a late FG attempt. Even if they are up by as much as 9-11 points, going into the final minutes of the 4th quarter, it's always possible for a capable offense like New York's to sneak in for the backdoor cover via a late TD, resulting in a final winning margin of 2-4 points! The Giants have certain issues but with Eli Manning having explosive receivers at his disposal in the likes of Odell Beckham Jr., Victor Cruz and Sterling Sheppard, we believe they can stay within this generous spread.

Keep in mind that the Vikings have needed each of their first 3 opponents to turn the ball over exactly 3 times to cover the spread! We believe Eli Manning will be more careful with the ball than that tonight. After all, the G-Men have had their own turnover issues over the last couple of games and it'll have surely been a point of emphasis in their preparation for this matchup. Going back to last season, this Vikings defense is one that bends but doesn't break. They often find a way to limit opponents to field goals and small gains but they aren't as 'ball-hawking' as they've appeared thus far. We believe they won't be able to continue forcing 3 give-aways per game and that means comfortable victories will be harder to come by since turnovers change games.

The New York Giants are in bounce-back mode here after losing to a division rival in Washington! The Vikings, on the other hand, are coming off two key wins over Green Bay Packers and Carolina Panthers! There might well be some complacency in that locker room after their perfect start to the season and beating better teams than New York. We believe the visitors will be the hungrier and more focused team in this contest and that should help them stay within this generous spread, even if they fall short of the outright win.

One final factor that gives NY the edge in our opinion is Sam Bradford and his tendency to underperform under the bright lights of Monday Night Football. Bradford has the skillset to be a good quarterback, but whenever the spotlight is solely on him, he caves. So far, Norv Turner and the Vikings have done a good job of integrating him into this Minnesota team but we believe it's only a matter of time before he implodes and has an ugly game. Throughout his NFL career, regardless of which team or coach he's played for, he's often had at least one or two games each season where he had multiple turnovers and made really bad decisions. Those games have often been on Mondays and Thursdays when he's been unable to handle the pressure. Teddy Bridgewater, despite the fact that he's much less experienced at this level, is naturally more poised and confident. The same goes for Adrian Peterson, who'll also be absent. Bradford and McKinnon have done a good job so far replacing the aforementioned two starters but on a night like this, where the pressure is a bit bigger in a nationally televised prime-time game, we believe the Vikings may finally miss Bridgewater and Peterson a bit. Look for New York to compete and stay within this excessive spread.

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