Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 11:15 AM EST odds are subject to change.
Minnesota -3 +106 over N.Y. Giants
4:30 PM EST. In a Wild Card weekend that features all rematches from the regular season, the sleepy Christmas Eve affair the Vikings hosted looms large, as that was just another come from behind win the pundits and pick sellers are pointing to discredit Minnesota and write them off as frauds. We’re not going to be the judge of that, but we acknowledge we have been hard on the NFC North Champions at many times during the season, but that was then, and the playoffs are a whole new ball game. Whether or not the Vikings are deserving of their 13 wins and the division title that came with them does not matter now. That is just a lazy talking point to fill time and space. All that matters now is where the value lies in this game.
When comparing résumés, and looking for “quality” wins, we are going to start by stacking up the Vikes and G-Men’s performances against top-16 competition. Minny was 5-4, while New York was just 3-6 with one of those losses being the one in Minnesota in December. The win for the Vikings did not register because the Giants didn’t even crack the top 20.
You'll hear or read that the Giants posted a very impressive 13-4 record against the spread, including covers in six of seven and four straight games to end the season but that only inflates their stock, not deflates it. We’ll note, the Giants caught the Vikings one week after they made the biggest comeback in history, while also clinching the NFC North. Once they were in, there was little for the Vikes to play for the last three weeks, so take the results of those games with a grain of salt. The Giants clinched their spot in Week 17, so we put little stock into their game last week in Philly, where most of the starters got the week off.
We do not break down the X’s and O’s, but we must warn you about anyone who is analyzing how the Vikings are going to attack the Giants’ defense, where they are perceived to have a big edge. Defense matters little in the regular season, and it’s going to matter even less in the playoffs. The league, sponsors, and fans alike all love points and as high a scoring game as legitimately possible. If Justin Jefferson gets hit a little high, or maybe a little low, or maybe gets his jersey tugged on, or someone sneezes on Kirk Cousins, the flags will fly. It will go both ways, we acknowledge that fully, but if we are limiting or negating the Giants’ “edge'' there is no way that Daniel Jones and his band of practice squad scrubs are going to keep pace with an offense loaded with stars.
Let us close with this. The weight of the world is on the shoulders of Daniel Jones. Before the season, the Giants were ready to walk away from Jones and try again. Now after sneaking into the postseason on the second last week of the season by beating the putrid Colts, Jones is reportedly close to a contract extension with Big Blue. We don’t care if Jones signs a life changing contract with the Giants or any other team, but if the report is true and anything happens between now and the signing of said potential contract, Jones better be sure to send a gift basket to Boomer Esiason who said, "I hear that they're close. The question is, is it three years or four years? What does the player want? What does the team want? Can they meet somewhere in the middle? I think it's close. I wouldn't be surprised if something came to fruition relatively soon. It'll be a nice thing for Daniel. It'll be a nice thing for the team." Dude said nothing, while also creating a huge distraction for the Giants and their quarterback before the biggest game of his life. That’s not very cool. Thanks, Boomer.
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Minnesota -3 +106 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.12)