Minnesota Vikings at Carolina Panthers: 10/17/21 NFL Picks and Prediction

Carolina Panthers (3-2) vs Minnesota Vikings (2-3)

Game Info: Sunday, October 17, 2021 at 1:00 pm (Bank of America Stadium)

Betting Odds: Carolina Panthers +2.5 -- Over/Under: 45.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The Minnesota Vikings will travel to Bank of America Stadium to take on the Carolina Panthers this Sunday afternoon in NFL action.

The Minnesota Vikings improved to 2-3 on the season after defeating the Detroit Lions, 19-17, this past Sunday. Minnesota looked like they were in trouble after a 7-yard TD run by Detroit’s D’Andre Swift gave the Lions a 17-16 lead with just :37 seconds left in regulation, however, Minnesota was able to get quickly into FG range and Greg Joseph was able to help the Vikings avoid the upset loss by nailing a 54-yard FG as time expired. Minnesota outgained Detroit by a 384-288 margin and committed 2 turnovers in the victory. Leading the way for the Vikings was RB Alexander Mattison who combined for 153 yards (113 rushing yds/40 receiving yds) & 1 TD.

On the season, Minnesota is averaging 22.6 ppg on 395.2 total yards per game (281.4 passing yds/g; 113.8 rushing yds/g). Offensively, Minnesota has been led by QB Kirk Cousins who has completed 69.6% of his passes for 1396 yards (287.4 passing yds/g), 10 TD, & 2 INT. The top receiving threats for the Vikings have been Justin Jefferson (33 rec, 462 yards, 3 TD), Adam Thielen (26 rec, 267 yards, 4 TD), & K.J. Osborn (20 rec, 233 yards, TD). Davin Cook (51 att, 226 yards, TD) looks like he will return after missing time due to an ankle injury, however, if he is less than 100%, the Vikings have a solid backup in Alexander Mattison (65 att, 258 yards; 15 rec, 120 yards, TD).

Defensively, Minnesota is holding their opponents to an average of 21.8 ppg on 393.4 total yards per game (263.4 passing yds/g; 130.0 rushing yds/g).

The Carolina Panthers lost their 2nd straight game and dropped to 3-2 on the season after being defeated by the Philadelphia Eagles, 21-18, this past Sunday. Carolina looked like they had this game in control after going into halftime with a 15-6 lead, however, the Panthers offense stalled out in the 2nd have and the Eagles were able to secure the comeback victory after a 6-yard TD run by Jalen Hurts gave Philadelphia the lead for good with 2:38 left in regulation. Carolina was outgained by Philadelphia by a 273-267 margin and lost the turnover battle by a 3-2 margin. Leading the way for the Panthers was RB Chuba Hubbard who had 101 rushing yards on 24 carries.

On the season, Carolina is averaging 23.0 ppg on 381.0 total yards per game (273.2 passing yds/g; 107.8 rushing yds/g). Offensively, Carolina has been led by Sam Darnold who has completed 65.6% of his passes for 1366 yards (285.6 passing yds/g), 6 TD & 6 INT while also rushing for 5 TD’s. RB Christian McCaffrey (25 att, 201 yards, TD; 16 rec, 163 yards) has missed the last few games and while out, Chuba Hubbard (56 att, 220 yards) has replaced him in the backfield. McCaffrey was supposed to be back this week, however, there are some question marks as he was a DNP on Thursday. The leading receivers for the Panthers have been DJ Moore (35 rec, 440 yards, 3 TD), Robby Anderson (12 rec, 179 yards, TD), & Brandon Zylstra (5 rec, 107 yards, TD).

Defensively, Carolina is holding their opponents to an average of 17.4 ppg on 278.8 total yards per game (184.6 passing yds/g; 94.2 rushing yds/g).

The Vikings are 2-7 ATS in their last 9 games vs. NFC opponents and 2-10 ATS in their last 12 games overall. The Panthers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a ATS loss, however, are just 1-4 ATS in their last 5 October games.

I’m looking at the total in this game as we have two top-10 defenses and offenses that can both struggle with turnovers. Carolina ranks 3rd in scoring defense and has the top passing defense in the NFL which should have no trouble slowing down a Vikings offense that could not put up 20 points against Detroit and as I think Carolina will once again struggle as they will have at best, a less than 100% Christian McCaffrey, I think this game has trouble combining for 40 points and that taking the Under is the play. Good Luck!

The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

Mitch's Take...

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