Last Updated Oct 15, 2021, 5:00 PM

Minnesota Vikings vs. Carolina Panthers Predictions, Odds, Picks

Oct. 17, 2021
Jonathan Willis
VI Betting Expert

The Carolina Panthers host the Minnesota Vikings in a NFC battle from Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina. Kick off is set for 1:00 p.m. ET and will air on FOX.

Score Predictions

Vikings 24, Panthers 17

Best Bets

Vikings -2


Minnesota Vikings vs. Carolina Panthers Predictions

The hype surrounding Sam Darnold appears to have been a little premature. The Carolina Panthers started the season 3-0 with Darnold under center, but he has not played well in Carolina’s last two games. Darnold has thrown five interceptions in those two losses, and he knows he cannot afford another mistake-filled game this week against the Minnesota Vikings.

Jeremy Chinn set two records when these teams met in Minnesota last year. Chinn returned two fumbles for touchdowns on consecutive plays from scrimmage, becoming the first player to have two fumble recovery touchdowns in the same game and clocking the fastest time between defensive touchdowns.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough for Carolina to get the win. Kirk Cousins led the Vikings to 18 points in the fourth quarter in a wild 28-27 win for Minnesota. Cousins will be the superior quarterback again one year later, but the Vikes won’t need the late game heroics to pick up the win and cover on Sunday.

Minnesota Vikings vs. Carolina Panthers Betting Odds

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Minnesota Vikings vs. Carolina Panthers Betting Resources

  • Matchup: NFC North vs. NFC South
  • Date: Sunday, October 17, 2021
  • Venue: Bank of America Stadium
  • Location: Charlotte, North Carolina
  • TV-Time: FOX - 1:00 p.m. ET

Minnesota Vikings Betting Analysis

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 2-3
  • ATS: 2-3
  • O/U: 2-3
  • ATS - Home: 1-2
  • ATS - Away: 1-1

It appears that the Vikings will have their star running back on Sunday. Dalvin Cook has missed two games this season with an ankle injury, but he was a full participant in practice on Thursday. Cook is averaging 4.4 YPC as one of the best running backs in the NFL, and Alexander Mattison will be more effective in a more sparing role.

Cousins isn’t an elite quarterback, but he doesn’t make a lot of mistakes with the ball. Cousins has just two interceptions in 191 pass attempts, ranking among the league’s best in this regard.

Minnesota has two great receivers in Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen, and an emerging threat in K.J. Osborn. Jefferson is on pace for another 1,400-yard season, but both he and Thielen are questionable to play on Sunday. Keep an eye on their status as the loss of Jefferson would especially hurt against Carolina’s secondary.

Carolina Panthers Betting Analysis

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 3-2
  • ATS: 3-2
  • O/U: 1-4
  • ATS - Home: 2-1
  • ATS - Away: 1-1

The Panthers are hoping that Christian McCaffrey will be ready to return to the lineup this week. McCaffrey seemed like he could be primed to come back last week against Philadelphia, but he was left inactive on Sunday.

However, McCaffrey missed practice on Thursday, as his hamstring continues to bother him. If he is unable to go, Carolina will start Chuba Hubbard at running back again. Hubbard has been fine as a runner, but he isn’t the same receiving threat as McCaffrey. That has limited Darnold’s options in the passing game as Run CMC was targeted 15 times in Carolina’s first two games.

D.J. Moore remains Darnold’s only real target in the passing game. Moore is averaging 10 targets a game and 88.0 YPG through the first five weeks. Robby Anderson has failed to emerge as a legitimate threat despite his previous experience with Darnold in New York, and Carolina lacks a quality pass-catching tight end.

Carolina does have a superb defense though. The Panthers rank in the top three in scoring defense (17.4 PPG) and total defense (255.8 YPG). Opponents are converting a league-low 25.5% of third downs against this team, and the secondary has been elite by allowing 5.5 YPA and 161.6 YPG through the air. Hasson Reddick is looking like a Pro Bowl linebacker with 6.5 sacks and five tackles for loss.

Inside the Stats - Minnesota Vikings

  • Record: 2-3
  • Division Standing: 3rd - NFC North
  • Points Scored: 113
  • Points Allowed: 109
  • PS/G: 22.6 (19th)
  • PA/G: 21.8 (9th)

Inside the Stats - Carolina Panthers

  • Record: 3-2
  • Division Standing: 2nd - NFC South
  • Points Scored: 115
  • Points Allowed: 87
  • PS/G: 23 (16th)
  • PA/G: 17.4 (3rd)

Key Players to Watch

  • MIN: Kirk Cousins - QB (133/191, 1,396 yards, 10 TD, 2 INT)
  • MIN: Justin Jefferson - WR (33 catches, 462 yards, 3 TD)
  • CAR: D.J. Moore - WR (35 catches, 440 yards, 3 TD)
  • CAR: Sam Darnold - QB (120/183, 1,366 yards, 6 TD, 6 INT)

Minnesota Vikings vs. Carolina Panthers Betting Conclusion

As long as the Vikings have Cook and Jefferson, they should be able to move the ball effectively on Carolina’s defense. Conversely, Darnold probably won’t have a lot of success against a Minnesota defense that has veterans Patrick Peterson, Bashaud Breeland, and Harrison Smith patrolling the secondary.

Minnesota Vikings vs. Carolina Panthers Betting Trends

  • Minnesota has failed to cover the spread in 10 of its last 12 games.
  • Minnesota has gone OVER the point total in four of its last five road games.
  • Carolina has lost 11 of its last 15 home games.
  • Carolina has gone UNDER the point total in seven of its last eight games.

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