NFL Free Pick: NYG/MIN

The Minnesota Vikings need one more victory to claim the NFC North crown. Standing in their way are the New York Giants, who will likely rest starters after the first quarter.

Will the Vikings earn our free pick winner for this matchup? Let’s take a look.

Our team of writers and handicappers break down the matchup and hand out a Free NFL Pick for Week 17.

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Oddsmakers from online sports book Sportsbook.com have made the Vikings –6.5 point spread favorite. The over/under for this game has been set at 42.5 total points.

Key Trend: The total has gone over in six of Minnesota’s last nine games. The Giants are 4-1 against the spread in their last five games when playing the Vikings on the road.

Key Stat: The Giants are averaging 157.8 rushing yards per game, although the Vikings are limiting opponents to 73.1 yards per game on the ground.

Game Outlook: Forget all of the trends and stats because they don’t matter. The Giants will start Eli Manning and the rest of the full-time starters, but will pull them after one or two drives. That means a Vikings team with a division title on the line will be playing New York’s backups for three quarters. Minnesota should play a cleaner game than it did last week against Atlanta, when it lost four fumbles in a 24-17 loss at home. Look for Adrian Peterson and Tarvaris Jackson to take better care of the football and not hand the game away on a silver platter like it did last Sunday. This one might be close, but with the Giants having to nothing to play for and the Vikings having everything to play for, take Minnesota and lay the points. They should win by at least a touchdown against a bunch of scrubs or else they don’t deserve to be in the playoffs in the first place. For the rest of our NFL Free Pick, see below.

Our Free NFL Pick for the Week 17 matchup between the New York Giants and Minnesota Vikings is

MINNESOTA VIKINGS –6.5

TheSpread.com Projected Final Score

Minnesota Vikings 27

New York Giants 17

We also predict that this game will GO OVER THE TOTAL (42.5 Sports Interaction.com) SET BY ODDSMAKERS

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Posted: 12/28/08 8:00AM ET

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