The Carolina Panthers and the Minnesota Vikings started the season in completely different manners, but depending on who wins Sunday's game between those two teams, they may both sit at .500 after Week 6.
The Panthers started the season with three straight wins and the expectation of having finally settled for a franchise quarterback spot with Sam Darnold. From there, Carolina looks like a completely different team, with an offense that committed lots of turnovers in Week 5 against the Philadelphia Eagles and blew a game that a team who dreams of a playoff berth can never lose.
The Vikings have a 2-3 record, but it's tough to say if they aren't good enough for a playoff spot or if they are just unlucky. Minnesota lost two games because of game-winning field goals (or missing them, like Greg Joseph in Week 2) and it's not easy to grasp an opinion about where the Vikings can go this year.
Check out our preview for this Week 6 game.
Carolina Panthers vs Minnesota Vikings Match Details
Fixture - Carolina Panthers vs. Minnesota Vikings | Week 6 of the 2021 NFL regular season.
Date & Time - October 17, 1 PM EST
Venue - Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, North Carolina
Carolina Panthers vs. Minnesota Vikings Betting Odds
Panthers: +2.5 (-105)
Vikings: -2.5 (-115)
Panthers: u45.5 (-110)
Vikings: o45.5 (-110).
Carolina Panthers vs. Minnesota Vikings Game Picks
-2.5 is a fantastic line for bettors here. The Vikings should win this game with something close to a 7-point margin, unless they shoot themselves in the foot one more time. Minnesota is the better team and has everything they need to cover the spread.
45.5 is a low-line, but a single Panthers game this year has beaten this point number. Take the under.
Carolina Panthers vs. Minnesota Vikings Key Injuries
The Panthers will once again be without star running back Christian McCaffrey as he's still recovering from a hamstring injury suffered in Week 3. Linebacker Shaq Thompson, who didn't practice this week with a foot injury, and left tackle Cameron Erving, who has a neck problem, are also out.
The Vikings only have nose tackle Michael Pierce as a starter missing this game with an elbow injury. Running back Dalvin Cook, who has been absent since Week 2, is healthy and returns to the starting lineup, a huge boost for the visitors.
Carolina Panthers vs. Minnesota Vikings Head-to-Head
The Carolina Panthers and the Minnesota Vikings have played 15 times, with the Vikings leading the series 9-6.
The last game between these two teams was in the pandemic marred 2020 season, when the Vikings won by a single point 28-27 after a last-minute touchdown pass by Kirk Cousins. Minnesota scored 18 points in the final quarter to recover from a 21-10 deficit. Teddy Bridgewater was the Panthers' starting quarterback that day.
Carolina Panthers vs. Minnesota Vikings Prediction
The Panthers have a positive record because they faced ugly teams earlier in the season. Once the competition level grew, Carolina faltered, losing two straight and not showing much in these games, especially against the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Vikings, on the other hand, have a negative record, but they definitely look like a competent team. If Greg Joseph makes a 37-yarder game-winning field goal in Week 2, this team would be looked differently.
Minnesota is a better team than Carolina and they should walk away from the game with a win.
Prediction: Vikings win in an effort led by Dalvin Cook, who's back from injury and will rush for more than 100 yards and a touchdown.