NFL Expert Picks: Vikings Underdogs Against the Panthers?

The Vikings take an undefeated record into Carolina for a matchup against the defending NFC Champion Panthers (1-1).

Let’s see who the experts pick to win Sunday’s matchup.


Are you buying the Kyle Rudolph hype? It's OK if you are. Bradford was accurate, cool under pressure and ultimately victorious in his first start for the Vikings. These Panthers are a different animal. Start with the fact that, believe it or not, Carolina's passing game has been far more effective than the Packers' aerial attack so far. The mild trouble Minnesota's defense experienced with Aaron Rodgers getting out of the pocket last Sunday night will be amplified when Cam Newton exits stage left. Bradford is not one to scramble ... or throw picks — but thinking he could be surprised by either Luke Kuechly's or Thomas Davis' ability to get depth. He is really going to miss the presence of Adrian Peterson, and the respect All Day demands from the back seven. Panthers prevail over a really tough opponent. *#MINvsCAR*

Panthers 23, Vikings 17 *— Elliot Harrison, *NFL.com


Pump the brakes on Sam Bradford 2.0, everyone.

It's just his second start in Minnesota. He might not have his old college teammate back for a while. And we've seen what happens when he's asked to carry an offense behind a less than average offensive line.

No Jonathan Stewart? No problem. Cam Newton is basically the lead back in the Carolina offense, and he'll force an aggressive Vikings defense to keep contain. I don't think it can.

Panthers — Chris Simms, Bleacher Report


It's tough to see the Vikings coming out of this one undefeated, considering the Panthers have won [14] straight at home (including the playoffs). Carolina's running game could create problems for a Vikings defense that has struggled to stop the run over the past two years, and had some issues with it again in the preseason.

Panthers— Ben Goessling, ESPN.com


*This is a tough turnaround for the Vikings after big division win Sunday night against the Packers. Now they will be without Adrian Peterson against the NFC champs. The big battle here is that Carolina offense against the Minnesota defense. I think Cam Newton gets the better of the defense. *

*Panthers 24, Vikings 17 *— Pete Prisco, CBS Sports


Sam Bradford got off to a good start in his first game in Minnesota, but the Panthers’ defense will cause some problems for him, and a couple of Bradford turnovers will be the difference.

*Panthers 28, Vikings 17 *— Michael David Smith, Pro Football Talk


Good luck throwing against a defense that isn’t defending against the run. And good luck stopping an offense with Cam Newton, Greg Olsen, and Kelvin Benjamin firing on all cylinders.

*Panthers 31, Vikings 21 *— Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk


Can the Vikings win without Adrian Peterson, Stefon Diggs and Riley Reiff? Sure. Can they win this particular game? I don’t see it. Cam and the boys were rolling on offense against the 49ers, exploding for 46 points and 353 yards through the air. Teams need to be absolutely perfect to beat the Panthers in Carolina (no one did it a season ago). I like Minnesota. That’s a tough ask without No. 28.

*Panthers 24, Vikings 16 *— Peter Schrager, FOX Sports


Each Tuesday, WhatIfSports.com's NFL simulation engine generates predictions and box scores for every NFL game for the coming week. The highly sophisticated algorithms simulate every play of every game to produce each team's likelihood to win. Each matchup is simulated 501 times.

Vikings Win Likelihood Percentage: 35.2 percent, Average Score: *Vikings 17.3, Panthers 21.6 *WhatIfSports.com


FiveThirtyEight’s 2015 NFL forecast uses an Elo-based model to calculate each team’s chances of advancing to the playoffs and winning Super Bowl 50. Playoff probabilities are based on 20,000 simulations of the season and will update after each game.

Pre-game win probabilities: *Vikings 34 percent *FiveThirtyEight.com


*0 of 10 experts pick the Vikings, *SB Nation

*0 of 8 experts pick the Vikings, *CBS Sports

*0 of 6 experts pick the Vikings, *FOX Sports

0 of 5 experts pick the Vikings, USA Today


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