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MNF - Vikings at Giants

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The Monday night contest to close out Week 7 in the NFL isn't exactly one that will shift the balance of power in the NFC. The Vikings and Giants have combined for just one victory this season, while trying to somewhat salvage things before the main focus will be the NFL Draft coming up soon. Minnesota continues to circle the merry-go-round of quarterbacks by starting its third different signal-caller on Monday night.

Recently acquired Josh Freeman will get the start under center for the Vikings (1-4 SU, 2-3 ATS), who was signed less than a week after being released by the Buccaneers. Freeman threw only two touchdown passes in three losses with Tampa Bay, while completing only 45% of his attempts. Since last Thanksgiving, the Bucs lost nine of Freeman's 10 starts, with the lone victory coming in Week 17 of 2012 against an Atlanta team that had already wrapped up home-field advantage in the NFC.

Now, Freeman takes over a Minnesota offense that has been outgained in each of its five games, while picking up just 290 yards in last Sunday's home defeat to the Panthers, 35-10. Carolina held the ball for 36 minutes, while the Minnesota defense allowed five touchdowns to the Panthers. The Vikings have given up at least 27 points in all five games, resulting in an 'over' in each contest this season.

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The Giants (0-6 SU, 1-5 ATS) haven't been much better, allowing at least 36 points four times, while yielded the fewest amount of points this season in last Thursday's 27-21 setback at Chicago. Eli Manning's nightmarish season continued by tossing three more interceptions (15 this season), including one that was returned for a touchdown by Chicago's Tim Jennings. The Giants' defense stiffened up in the second half by giving up just one field goal, while cashing as 9 ½-point underdogs for their only cover of the season.

Tom Coughlin's club is playing just their third home contest, coming off double-digit defeats to the Broncos and Eagles. In both of those losses, the Giants eclipsed the 'over of 52 ½ (Denver) and 53 ½ (Philadelphia), while New York is a perfect 3-0 to the 'over' with totals listed at 49 ½ or higher. However, the 'under' is 2-1 with totals at 47 or below, with this Monday's total sitting between 46 ½ and 47.

The last time the Giants and Vikings hooked up in 2010, the game took place at Detroit's Ford Field after the Metrodome roof collapsed due to a snowstorm. New York cruised to a 21-3 victory as 4 ½-point favorites, as the Vikings' offense accumulated just 164 yards. Brandon Jacobs rushed for 116 yards and a touchdown for the Giants, who had lost their previous four meetings to Minnesota prior to this neutral-site win.

The Vikings have been slightly profitable in the underdog role this season, posting a 2-1 ATS record when receiving points. The Giants are listed as a favorite for only the second time in this miserable campaign, failing to cover in a Week 3 blowout loss at Carolina. Dating back to last season, New York has cashed in four of its last six tries as a home favorite, while scoring at least 27 points in five of those contests.

Underdogs on Monday night football have seen success this season by putting together a 4-2-1 ATS record, including San Diego’s victory over Indianapolis last Monday night. The ‘over’ is cashing at a solid pace on Mondays, going 5-2, while the winning team has put up at least 30 points five times this season under the Monday night lights.

The Giants are currently listed as 3 ½-point home favorites, while the total is set at 47. The contest can be seen nationally on ESPN with kickoff at 8:30 PM EST.

You can reach Kevin Rogers via e-mail at rogers@vegasinsider.com

Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.

  
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