Vikings Solid Favorites Over Giants for Sunday Night Football

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The Minnesota Vikings will be looking to record consecutive wins for the first time since Week 10 when they play host to the New York Giants on Sunday Night Football as 5.5-point betting favorites at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The Vikings are coming off a convincing 38-17 victory over the Chicago Bears last weekend, halting a worrisome two-game losing streak while solidifying their position in the NFC Wild Card race with a 9-5 straight-up record.

The victory over the Bears also keeps Minnesota in contention in the NFC North, where they sit just one game back of the Green Bay Packers entering Sunday night’s Giants vs. Vikings betting matchup at TCF Bank Stadium.

It has been a challenging second half for the Vikings, who kicked off their campaign on a 7-2 tear, briefly seizing top spot in the NFC North standings. However, the club has battled inconsistency since, losing three of five SU, including a pair of devastating home losses to the Packers and Seattle Seahawks. Minnesota is averaging just 19.6 points per game during their current slide.

Despite their struggles, Minnesota continues to be a strong bet, going 11-3 against the spread. But that success has been built on limited expectations at the sportsbooks, where the Vikings have been pegged as underdogs on six occasions, and were favored by more than three points for the first time this season in last week’s win over Chicago, covering as 4-point chalk.

The Giants travel to the North Star State desperate for a win to maintain playoff hopes they no longer control. With just one SU win in their last five outings, New York has tumbled out of top spot in the NFC East, and at 6-8 teeters on the verge of elimination from postseason contention.

New York must win their final two regular season games and hope for a Philadelphia Eagles win in their matchup with the Washington Redskins to secure a playoff spot.

That may be asking a lot from a Giants squad that has failed to post consecutive wins since Week 5, and is 0-3 SU, 2-1 ATS, in their last three games against teams with winning records according to the OddsShark NFL Database.

With the Redskins and Eagles facing off on Saturday night, New York’s playoff fate may already be decided come game time on Sunday night.

But even if the Giants hit the gridiron as an also-ran, they can still play spoiler with a third consecutive SU win over Minnesota, which combined with a Packers victory over the Arizona Cardinals would hand Green Bay their fifth straight NFC North crown.

Don Ohlmeyer, longtime network TV executive, dies at 72

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INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP) — Don Ohlmeyer, the “Monday Night Football” producer who came up with the phrase “Must See TV” in leading NBC to the No. 1 prime-time spot, died Sunday. He was 72.

“It is with heavy hearts we share that Don Ohlmeyer, our beloved husband, father and grandfather, has passed away at age of 72 due to cancer,” Ohlmeyer’s family said in a statement. “Surrounded by loved ones, he died peacefully at his home in Indian Wells.”

Longtime friend Al Michaels announced Ohlmeyer’s death while broadcasting NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” game between the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants.

Ohlmeyer won 16 Emmys, including the Lifetime Achievement Award, and two Peabody Awards.

Ohlmeyer became producer of “MNF” in 1972, teaming with director Chet Forte and the on-air crew of Howard Cosell, Don Meredith and Frank Gifford. In 2000 in his second “MNF” stint, Ohlmeyer put comedian Dennis Miller in the booth.

Ohlmeyer first worked for ABC Sports as a gofer while studying at Notre Dame and became a full-time production assistant in 1967 under Roone Arledge, working on “Wide World of Sports.” Along with his “Monday Night Football” work, he directed the network’s Olympic coverage and created “The Superstars.” Later at NBC Sports, he produced World Series and Super Bowl broadcasts.

After running his own Ohlmeyer Communications Company, he returned to NBC in 1993 as president of its entertainment division. He came up with “Must See TV” in the 1990s, when NBC’s rating soared with such hits as “Seinfeld,” ”Friends,” ”ER” and “Frasier.”

Watch Live: New York Giants vs. Dallas Cowboys on NBC

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The Dallas Cowboys host the New York Giants in a battle of NFC East rivals on Sunday Night Football.

Despite going 13-3 and earning the No. 1 seed in the playoffs last year, the Cowboys lost twice to the Giants in 2016, including a loss in Week 1. Dallas hopes to not have a repeat of last year and will rely on sophomores Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott to carry the load. Don’t be surprised if Elliott gets even more carries in this game because there is a possibility his six-game suspension is upheld and he will have plenty of time to rest up before he sees game action again.

The Giants will rely on their strong defense led by DB Landon Collins and DE Jason Pierre-Paul to try and get after Prescott and bottle up Elliott. On offense, New York is all about Eli Manning and the passing attack. Odell Beckham Jr. is expected to suit up, but it remains to be seen how big of a role he will have after injuring his ankle in the preseason. As a result, look for new additions WR Brandon Marshall and rookie TE Evan Engram, to go along with sophomore WR Sterling Shepard to step up for Manning.

Football Night in America

Start time: 7:00 p.m. ET

TV channel: NBC

Live stream: NBCSports.com, NBC Sports app

Giants vs. Cowboys

Start time: 8:30 p.m. ET

TV channel: NBC

Live stream: NBCSports.com, NBC Sports app