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NFL Expert Picks: Vikings Underdogs in Short Week

The Vikings look to rebound this week as they head to Arizona to take on the Cardinals on Thursday Night Football. We scoped around the web to see what the experts are predicting for the matchup.


Thursday Night Football *promises to be fun, with the Arizona Cardinals hosting the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings dropped to 8-4 after a deflating 38-7 loss to the Seattle Seahawks at home, but they're still in good position to grab a wild card spot. The Cardinals, at 10-2, can clinch a playoff spot with a win, and would clinch the NFC West with a win and a Seattle Seahawks loss. All eight members of the panel expect Arizona to punch its playoff ticket this week.*

Cardinals--Job Benne, SB Nation


The Vikings are coming off a horrible loss at home to Seattle, and they are banged up. Arizona is a high-flying offense that is hard to defend when your defense is healthy. The Cardinals and Carson Palmer continue to roll.

  • *Cardinals 30, Vikings 10--Pete Prisco, CBS Sports

The Vikings are probably going to make the playoffs, but I think they're trending in the wrong direction. The Cardinals, however, may just be the best team in the NFC, the Panthers' undefeated record notwithstanding. Arizona should win this one comfortably.

Cardinals 31, Vikings 17--Michael David Smith, Pro Football Talk


The Seahawks exposed the Vikings on Sunday. The Cardinals will expose them even more. And it doesn't help that four starters are missing on defense.

Cardinals 41, Vikings 13--Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk


With the Arizona Cardinals enjoying one of their best seasons since moving to the desert and barreling toward an NFC West title, it's not a big surprise that quarterback Carson Palmer is generating some MVP buzz. ...

He's playing with a ton of confidence. He's throwing the ball into a lot of tight places. His arm looks outstanding, better than what I remember. Footwork is great. I think he's playing with a lot of confidence. He trusts these receivers and tight ends, obviously. Like I said before, I think he's a legit MVP guy.

That's heady praise from Zimmer, who has a short week to drill last Sunday's beat down at the hands of the Seattle Seahawks from his players' minds.

Bleacher Report NFL Analyst Brad Gagnon thinks that's a tall task:

I like the Vikings, but they're a year away from being capable of winning big games against Super Bowl contenders, especially on the road on short rest. Teddy Bridgewater is running into an elite defense at the wrong time.

The panel is unanimous in its agreement.

Cardinals--Gary Davenport, Bleacher Report


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.*

Win Percentage: 41.4%, Average Score: Cardinals 24.5, Vikings 22.0--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 24%--FiveThirtyEight.com


8 of 8 experts pick the Cardinal, CBS Sports

8 of 8 experts pick the Cardinals, FOX Sports

8 of 8 experts pick the Cardinals, Bleacher Report

8 of 8 experts pick the Cardinals, SB Nation

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