Two teams that bounced back from losses with wins last week will collide at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, on Sunday when the AFC East-leading New England Patriots (8-3) host the Minnesota Vikings (6-4-1) as solid home favorites at sportsbooks.
The Patriots are coming off a 27-13 road win over the New York Jets as 13-point favorites, while the Vikings knocked off the Green Bay Packers 24-17 at home as 3.5-point chalk.
NFL betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 29.7-17.7 Patriots (NFL picks on every game)
Why the Vikings can cover the spread
Minnesota should be much more motivated to win this game, considering the team cannot afford to suffer many more losses in order to make the postseason. The Vikings would love nothing more than to put together a winning streak, something that has eluded them for more than a month.
The Vikings won three games in a row between Weeks 5 and 7, with two of them coming on the road against the Jets and defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles. In fact, Minnesota beat New York by more points than New England did with a 37-17 rout to easily cover the spread as a 3.5-point road favorite.
Why the Patriots can cover the spread
Backers of the Patriots continue to point to this time of year as when they make their annual Super Bowl push since that is the ultimate goal, not just making the playoffs. Last week, they proved it once again in returning from their bye with an easy victory against the Jets, rebounding from a disappointing loss to the Tennessee Titans.
New England showed how good offensively it can be with a healthy Sony Michel and Rob Gronkowski in the lineup. The rookie running back and veteran tight end gave quarterback Tom Brady a pair of valuable weapons, as they contributed two of the three touchdowns.
Smart betting pick
The Patriots have won the past four meetings with the Vikings by an average of 16 points, according to the OddsShark NFL Database, covering the spread in the last three.
While Brady and Minnesota quarterback Kirk Cousins will be topics of conversation leading up to the game, it will be the defenses that decide it. New England is 4-1 against the spread at home and plays better defensively there, so look for another cover.
NFL betting trends
The total has gone under in five of the Vikings' last six games against the Patriots.
The Patriots are 12-0 straight up and 10-2 ATS in their last 12 games at home.
The Patriots are 7-1 SU in their last eight games.
All NFL odds and betting trends according to Bleacher Report's official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week's top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app.