After a Week 5 victory for the Vikings, can they start a winning streak against the Panthers? And can the Seahawks recover against the Steelers? Let’s see which way to lean at SBR’s top-rated sportsbooks.
Minnesota Vikings vs. Carolina Panthers
Sunday, October 17, 2021 – 01:00 PM EDT at Bank of America Stadium
Both of these teams are hoping to get their star running backs back for Week 6. Dalvin Cook’s successor Alexander Mattison fumbled in the most important snap of the season for the Vikings, almost costing them the victory.
Meanwhile, the Panthers' offense has struggled to score points since Christian McCaffrey went down with an injury.
Both are hopeful to return to action this week, but nothing is set in stone.
The Panthers have been putting together a solid secondary that has potential. However, Kirk Cousins and the receiving group for the Vikings have done a really nice job, averaging 281.4 yards passing per game and nearly 400 yards per game in total this season.
The Vikings have played the toughest schedule this season and while Minnesota almost lost to the Lions last week, they still found a way to win despite that Mattison fumble. Meanwhile, the Panthers have now lost two straight games to the Cowboys and Eagles.
Before the season, many said that the NFC East was the worst division in the NFL. So either the Panthers are bad or the NFC East just got so much better.
The Panthers have struggled to protect with their offensive line and really haven’t been impressive on the defensive end as of late with some terrible rushing defense. If the Panthers have to go up against Cook, it could be a long night.
For your NFL pick, take the Vikings as the sort underdog.
NFL Pick: Vikings (+105)
Seattle Seahawks vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Sunday, October 17, 2021 - 08:20 PM EDT at Heinz Field
The Seattle Seahawks won’t be with their star quarterback Russell Wilson for the next four weeks, but that won’t stop me from taking the Seahawks as a heavy underdog on Sunday night.
Geno Smith is one of the better backup quarterbacks in the league and has legitimate experience in the league as a starter for the Jets for multiple years. This isn’t some rookie six-round pick either. It’s a guy that was highly regarded coming out of college and a guy that has won football games under center before.
Smith will have plenty of playmaking ability around him including Chris Carson, Tyler Lockett, and DK Metcalf.
While the Steelers' defense has done well against the run, the coverage has been awful. As long as Smith finds open receivers down the field, they’ll score points and do it with ease.
Meanwhile, the Seahawks defense has been a disaster too, especially in the secondary. But with JuJu Smith-Schuster out for the season and the Steelers electing to run the football a little bit more, the coverage won’t get beat up like the Steelers’ secondary will.
With the NFL odds at +190, the Seahawks can pull off the upset on Sunday Night Football.
NFL Pick: Seahawks (+190)
*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.