Vikings Look To Cover NFL Spread Against Raiders
Two of the most exciting teams in the NFL square off this week as the Minnesota Vikings head west to take on the resurgent Oakland Raiders. Both the Vikings and Raiders are playing well above their levels from last season. The Vikings are 6-2 and are in a tie for first place in the NFC North with the Green Bay Packers, who have dropped two straight after a 6-0 start. The Oakland Raiders are a surprising 4-4.
While they are on the outside right now in terms of a wild card berth, there are few who would have predicted that they would be in the conversation at all. Oakland had a golden opportunity to move to 5-3 this past week but dropped a 38-35 decision in Pittsburgh. The Raiders are three-point favorite, meaning that the oddsmakers view this as an even matchup. The over/under total is 44 points.
— OAKLAND RAIDERS (@RAIDERS) November 13, 2015
The two quarterbacks in this game, Teddy Bridgewater for Minnesota and Derek Carr for Oakland, are both second-year signal-callers who were picked up four picks apart in last year’s draft. They were the third and fourth quarterbacks picked in the 2014 draft, but they have done better than any other quarterback in that draft. Carr is already making a solid case for a place in the AFC’s Pro Bowl lineup. In eight games, he has thrown for 2,094 yards and 19 touchdowns with only four picks. His passer rating of 104.3 is good for #6 in the NFL. Against Pittsburgh, he threw for 300 yards and four scores.
Bridgewater’s numbers haven’t been as great, as he only has six touchdowns – and six picks. However, he has not made that many key mistakes, and he is a much better choice for the Vikings than Shaun Hill. Hill had to finish the Vikings’ game against St. Louis when Bridgewater was knocked out of the game with a concussion. Bridgewater did pass the first test of the league’s concussion protocol on Monday, opening the door for him to return possibly to play against the Raiders.
The Raiders have made it to 4-4 thanks to a powerful offense. Last year, they ranked #32 in the NFL for total offense. This year, they are in the top eight both in yards per game, with 374.6, and with points per game, scoring 26.6. Only four other teams are in the top eight in both categories. Starting tailback Latavius Murray suffered a concussion against the Steelers but is also doing well in the protocol and is expected to play. The Raider defense has not been solid, ranked #30 in yards permitted.
NFL Betting Odds Trends
- Minnesota is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games
- Minnesota is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games
- The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Minnesota’s last 9 games
- Minnesota is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games on the road
- Minnesota is 4-16-1 SU in its last 21 games on the road
- The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Minnesota’s last 9 games on the road
- Minnesota is 2-5 ATS in its last 7 games when playing Oakland
- Minnesota is 2-5 SU in its last 7 games when playing Oakland
- Oakland is 5-2 ATS in its last 7 games
- Oakland is 7-18 SU in its last 25 games
- The total has gone OVER in 9 of Oakland’s last 11 games
- Oakland is 5-2 ATS in its last 7 games at home
- Oakland is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games at home
- Oakland is 5-11 SU in its last 16 games at home
- The total has gone OVER in 4 of Oakland’s last 5 games at home
- Oakland is 5-2 ATS in its last 7 games when playing Minnesota
- Oakland is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games when playing Minnesota
The Vikings have been doing the job on defense, only permitting 17.5 points per game for the #2 ranking in the league. Adrian Peterson is leading the NFL in rushing, allowing the Vikings to control the ball and then lock down opponents with their defense. They have not allowed more than 23 points in any game. The offense has been more of a concern, with the team ranked #30 in total offense.
Look for the Viking defense to slow down the Raider attack. If Bridgewater is back under center, look for the Vikings to prevail – and look for the total to stay under. If Shaun Hill has to start, though, pick Oakland.