Will the Mike White experience continue for the New York Jets?
That’s the main question for the 7-4 Jets as they travel to Minnesota to meet the 9-2 Vikings in a game that has playoff implications for the Green and White as a Wildcard team. Even though it was the Bears, the Jets were more fluid under White than previous starter Zach Wilson.
White, making his first start since Nov. 14, 2021, had an impressive day against the Bears in a 31-10 victory. He completed 22 of 28 passes for 315 yards with three touchdowns. White recorded the best passer rating (149.3) among all NFL quarterbacks in Week 12.
Rookie running back Zonovan Knight rushed for 69 yards, and vet Ty Johnson rambled down the sidelines on a 32-yard touchdown rumble. Starter Michael Carter was slowed by an ankle. Knight made history as the first Jets player to debut with more than 100 all-purpose yards. He had 69 yards rushing and 34 yards receiving for a total of 103 yards.
Minnesota is coming off a 33-26 win over New England on Thanksgiving night, as it rebounded from a blowout loss to the Cowboys.
Quarterback Kirk Cousins completed 30 of 37 passes for 299 yards with three touchdowns, and wide receiver Justin Jefferson caught nine balls for 139 yards with a touchdown. Running back Dalvin Cook was held in check with 42 yards.
The Vikings have won eight of their last nine games since a 24-7 loss to the Eagles on Sept. 19, but the Jets are 4-1 on the road this season.
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N.Y. Jets vs. Minnesota Vikings Betting Odds
Minnesota opened as a 3.5-point favorite for Sunday’s game, but bettors quickly poured in money on the Jets to take the line down to 3 points. It appears that Mike White’s performance last week has given some bettors confidence in the Jets’ offense as the total has risen from 41 points at open to 44.5 points as of Thursday morning.
Here are some of the best NY NFL odds available at a few sportsbooks.
A Closer Look at Each Team
The Jets will enter the game as the 22nd-ranked offense (325.8 yards per game) in the league, ranking 22nd in passing (211.2) and 20th in rushing (114.6). They are averaging 20.1 points per game, ranking 22nd.
They have allowed 26 sacks (15th), and are 16th in red zone offense (54.8%). Their third-down offense is 29th (34.4%).
Rookie wide receiver Garrett Wilson, who leads the team with 49 receptions with 628 yards with four touchdowns, is only one of five players to total 85-plus yards and two touchdowns in a game after accomplishing it against the Bears. Running back James Robinson, who was a healthy scratch against the Bears, could play a key role here.
Tight end Tyler Conklin, who has 38 catches for 321 yards with three touchdowns, has recorded the eighth-best yards after a catch among all tight ends with 204 yards. Conklin has developed into a reliable and effective option.
Kicker Greg Zuerlein has 78 points, ranking him 12th in the league.
The Vikings will enter the game as the 17th-ranked offense (340.3 yards per game) in the league, ranking seventh in passing (240.9) and 26th in rushing (99.4). They are averaging 22.6 points per contest, ranked 13th overall.
They have allowed 28 sacks (20th), and are 26th in red zone offense (64.5%), and their third-down offense is ranked 20th (39.5%).
Cousins has completed 269 of 414 attempts for 2,760 yards with 14 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Jefferson is second in the league in receptions and yardage with 81 catches for 1,232 yards with five touchdowns. Cook is sixth in rushing with 841 yards and six touchdowns.
Kicker Greg Joseph has 72 points, ranking him 20th in the league.
The unit continues to be recognized as one of the league’s elite. The Jets are fifth in the league in total defense (308.8 yards allowed per game). The Jets are ranked eighth in passing defense (197.5) and 12th in rushing defense (111.3). They are fourth in points allowed with an average of 17.4 points allowed per game.
In addition, the Jets are seventh in sacks with 34 and tied for 10th in takeaways with 15. Their red-zone defense is ninth (51.9).
Linebacker CJ Mosely leads in tackles with 107 (fifth in the league), and tackle Quinnen Williams has a team-high eight sacks.
The Jets have 12 interceptions — the fifth-highest in the league. Lamarcus Joyner has a team-high three interceptions. Rookie corner Sauce Gardner continues to lead the league in passes defended (14).
They will be challenged against a Vikings offense that can easily stretch the field.
Minnesota is struggling with its defense this year, as it ranks 31st in total defense (390.7 yards allowed per game). The Vikings have allowed an average of 276.1 yards in the air (32nd), and 114.6 on the ground (14th). The Vikings have permitted 23.4 points per game (21st) and have recorded 29 sacks (14th).
The Vikings are 21st in third-down defense (40.6%) and 26th in red-zone defense (64.5%).
Linebacker Jordan Hicks has 93 tackles, good for 11th in the league. Za’Darius Smith is ninth in the league with 9.5 sacks. Harrison Smith is tied for fourth in the league with four interceptions. Jets QB Mike White should be able to take advantage of this unit.
Series History and Injuries
This is a relatively brief series with the Jets holding an 8-3 advantage.
The Vikings won the last meeting between the two by a 37-17 score in Minnesota in 2018. New York’s last win was in 2010 by a 29-20 score. Mark Sanchez threw for 191 yards, and LaDamlian Tomlinson ran for 94 yards in that one.
The Jets’ last win in Minnesota was in 2006 by a 26-13 score, and it was part of a seven-game win streak over the Vikings.
Carter (ankle), defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins (elbow), tight end Kenny Yeboah (calf), and offensive lineman Cedric Oguehi (groin) are all questionable for Sunday’s game.
Vikings offensive tackle Ben Ellefson (groin), defensive lineman Dalvim Tomlinson (calf), center Akayleb Evans (concussion), and offensive tackle Christian Darrisaw (concussion) are all questionable for Sunday’s game.
Prediction (season record 8-3)
This will be a major test for White. When he relieved Zach Wilson due to injury last year, White had a startling 400-plus yard, three-touchdown game against the Bengals, but he then came back down to Earth with sluggish showings against the Bills, Patriots, and Colts. The Jets have been able to protect their quarterbacks well this year, and that will work in White’s favor with the Vikings’ pinata pass defense.
A big key will be the Jets’ running game, which got a boost from Knight last week. The Jets’ defense hasn’t faltered all season, and it will be tested here with Cousins, Jefferson, and Cook.
New York has played well on the road, and getting three points will benefit them when it comes to covering the spread. I like the Jets with the points, especially with Zuerlein possibly booting a game-winner. It will be tight and can go either way.
Take the Jest especially if it is a 3.5-point spread. Staying with the White experience. Jets win, 27-24
AP Photo/Adam Hunger