This week Thursday Night Football give his a match-up of two teams headed in very different directions. The Redskins may have made a coaching change, but it doesn’t change the fact that they’re headed towards a high draft pick in April. The Vikings, in sharp contrast, are playing great football lately. They’ve suddenly catapulted themselves back into the group of teams that are legitimate Super Bowl contenders.
Clearly, that doesn’t bode well for the Redskins. There are quite a few reasons why they head to Minnesota as 14.5 point underdogs. The biggest of those reasons is the inability of the Redskins’ passing game to produce yards on a consistent basis. The Vikings defense will be salivating heading into this game.
As always, you need to check out our Statschecker Site for the game before you lock in your final wagers. It’s the best place on the web where you can get all of you relevant gambling insights in one spot. As always, this piece will give you five interesting nuggets you can find there.
- The Vikings hammer teams as favorites
14.5 points is a big number to bet on a Thursday Night game. However, the Vikings have won each of their last five games as favorites by at least 11 points. That wouldn’t be quite enough to cover this spread, but the trend gives you a real sense of how well Mike Zimmer’s team handles underdogs.
This match-up looks pretty perfect for Minnesota. The Redskins have some talent on defense, but they’ll get demoralized pretty quickly by their offense’s inability to get anything going. As such, you can expect a big day from Kirk Cousins and this offense. The real question for the Vikings is just how they’ll choose to attack Washington’s defense.
- They could utilize Dalvin Cook
A healthy Cook is easily one of the best handful of running backs in the NFL. That’s exactly what the Vikings have gotten this season. Cook has scored touchdowns in three of his team’s last four games.
It would be a major accomplishment for the Redskins’ defense to keep him out of the end zone on Thursday. Unfortunately for the Washington coaching staff, they can’t afford to load the box against the run. The Vikings have too much balance on offense to be so predictable.
- They could also go with Stefon Diggs
Diggs’ penchant for big plays makes him a receiver that opposing defensive coordinators really have to be concerned about on a weekly basis. He really enjoys playing at home under the lights. He’s got at least one touchdown in each of his last three games at US Bank Stadium.
The Redskins don’t have a cornerback who is capable of stopping him in single coverage. That means he should expect to see a lot of double coverage. Diggs has the speed to torch that kind of strategy too. Look for Cousins to take some big shots down the field to Diggs early to loosen up the Redskins defense.
- The Redskins don’t win as underdogs
Washington’s lone win of the season came against the lowly Dolphins. Not surprisingly, that’s the only game the Redskins have been favored in all year. Their five losses all come as underdogs.
No one in their right mind should bet on Washington to win this game outright. At the absolute most, you can consider teasing the line down to 7.5 if you have a feeling the Redskins are going to play the game of their lives. Their chances of beating the Vikings on the road are slim at best.
- The score may stay down
Both teams come into this game at 3-4 in terms of hitting the over. Don’t expect this game to suddenly turn into any sort of shootout. Washington, in particular, lacks the firepower to really light up the scoreboard.
The Vikings have the skill players to score a lot of points, but don’t look for them to run things up on the Redskins if they grab an early lead. Instead, Zimmer’s plan will be to melt the clock and try to escape the game with as little trouble as possible. Betting the over is a very dangerous proposition in this game.
Bet the Vikings but be careful
Picking a winner in this game is pretty simple. The Vikings would have to totally self-destruct to lose to a team like the Redskins at home. The question is whether or not the game flow will materialize in a way that they can be trusted to cover.
We’re inclined to think it will. 14.5 is a big number, but it’s certainly not overwhelming. Even if the Vikings take their foot off the collective gas in the fourth quarter, they still have the ability to grind out yards on the ground. We like the spread a lot more at 13.5, but you have our permission to play it straight at 14.5 Either way, back the Vikings with a solid wager to make the Thursday Night game worth watching.