This Sunday the Minnesota Vikings will play host to the Denver Broncos. Kickoff for this non-conference matchup is set for 1:00 EST at U.S. Bank Stadium and will be televised locally on CBS.
Oddsmakers opened up this line at Minnesota -10.5 and that’s where the number sits as of today. The total on the other hand opened at 38.5 and is up to 40 to an even 40.5 at some places.
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Vegas Betting Odds & Game Preview: Broncos vs Vikings
Denver Broncos (3-6 SU, 5-4 ATS)
The Broncos will be returning from their bye week looking to build on a 24-19 win at home over the Browns. That win came in the NFL debut for starting quarterback Brandon Allen. While Allen wasn’t spectacular with just 193 yards on just 12 of 20 passing, he did throw for 2 scores and posted a solid 125.6 QB rating.
The interesting thing to note with Denver is that even at 3-6 they still aren’t out of the playoff picture in the AFC, as the final Wild Card spot currently belongs to the 5-4 Steelers. Quite the difference from the NFC, where the Vikings hold the final Wild Card spot with a 7-3 record.
Minnesota Vikings (7-3 SU, 6-4 ATS)
The Vikings come into this one off an impressive 28-24 win at Dallas on Sunday Night Football. It was a big bounce back performance for Minnesota, who was upset the previous week at Kansas City with backup Matt Moore starting for the Chiefs.
It was the Dalvin Cook show against the Cowboys. The Vikings star running back rushed for 97 yards and a score on 26 carries, while also leading the team with 7 receptions for 86 yards.
Minnesota is in pretty good shape to make the playoffs in the NFC. While they are still a game back of the Packers in the NFC North, they are a 1.5-game up on 7th place LA Rams for the final Wild Card spot.
Not a lot to go off in terms of recent meetings, as these non-conference matchups only come around once every four years. For what it’s worth, Denver has won 3 straight in the series. The most recent a 23-20 win at home back in 2015.
Free NFL Betting Predictions & ATS Pick: Broncos +10.5
My early lean here would be take the points with Denver. I see a lot of value here with the Broncos as a double-digit dog against the Vikings. I just think we are seeing a big overreaction here with the Vikings off their win at Dallas in prime time on Sunday Night Football. Not only that, but Denver’s not a team the public wants a lot to do with right now, so the books are able to inflate the number knowing the public will be on Minnesota no matter what the number is.
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I’m not going to sit here and say Denver is a great team, but I do think they are better than their 3-6 record. The Broncos could easily have a winning record, as they got 4 losses by 8 or less, including 3 defeats by a mere 2-points.
In Denver’s last game they gave Brandon Allen his first NFL start in place of the injured Joe Flacco. While they might have been forced into making the switch because of Flacco’s injury, it felt like a move needed to be made. Flacco was playing really bad before getting hurt and it often looked like he didn’t even want to be out there. I think his negative attitude was rubbing off on the entire team and things just weren’t going to get better with him on the field.
I get Allen didn’t light the world on fire in his first start, but he did guide the team to a win over Cleveland and played pretty well in process. More than anything Allen seemed to give a new sense of life to this Denver team and I think it’s going to carry over to this game.
I also like the fact that the Broncos are coming into this game off of their bye. Not only is it big in terms of getting some much-needed rest and getting guys healthy, it also gives the staff some time to work in a little more of the offense with Allen.
The other big thing here is the Denver defense has been playing extremely well all season long. Not a big surprise given the defensive prowess of head coach Vic Fango. In the Broncos last 5 games they are giving up just 74.2 rushing/yards game. They also have the league’s 4th ranked pass defense.
I feel like the best way to slow down this Vikings offense is to take away Dalvin Cook and the Minnesota ground attack. Note that both of the Vikings losses this season have come in games where they failed to rush for 100 yards. I’m not saying Denver will pull off the upset, but I definitely like their chances of keeping it within the number. Give me the Broncos +10.5!