The final NFL game in London this season will take place this week, as the Minnesota Vikings face the Cleveland Browns. Game time is 9:30 a.m. EST on Sunday, October 29 at Twickenham Stadium in London. The game will be broadcast nationally by the NFL Network.
Oddsmakers have the Vikings as 9-point favorites. That line has moved after Minnesota opened at -7.5. The over/under for the game is 37.5 points. Click here for a full list of the Week 8 betting odds and links to more game previews.
Vikings vs Browns Vegas Odds & Game Preview
The Vikings make the trip across the pond on the heels of a three-game winning streak. Despite backup quarterback Case Keenum taking over for Sam Bradford, the Vikings sit at 5-2 with wins over the Bears, Packers, and Ravens the last three weeks. Minnesota’s defense has led the way most of the year, and with a win over the Browns, the Vikings can head into their bye week at 6-2.
The Browns, of course, remain winless on the season at 0-7. There have been some close calls, including last week’s overtime game with the Titans. But the Browns are yet to find a way into the win column. Cleveland’s quarterback carousel has made its way back to the beginning with rookie DeShone Kizer, who has three touchdowns and 11 interceptions in six games this season.
Free NFL Betting Prediction: Vikings -9
The London games have brought some interesting and surprising moments this season. But something as surprising as the Browns winning a game? I don’t think so. Even with a 9-point spread to cover, the Vikings are a heavy lean in this matchup.
To be fair, four of Cleveland’s seven losses have been by just three points. At times, the Browns have proven that they can stay competitive with other NFL teams. But I don’t see that being the case this week for a multitude of reasons.
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For starters, Cleveland players have already complained about having to travel to London for the game. If you ask me, winless teams should have far bigger concerns than their travel schedule. The fact that the Browns are complaining about the trip means that they don’t have their priorities right and that they don’t want to be there. If that’s the case, this game could turn into a blowout real fast.
On top of motivation concerns, the Browns are literally hurting, specifically along the offensive line with Joe Thomas being ruled out for the season after last week’s game. Kizer already has enough problems without having to worry about Everyone Griffen and his nine sacks coming after him without Thomas there to protect him. The Browns have allowed 20 sacks this season, and without Thomas, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see that number grow considerably this week.
At times this season, the Cleveland defense has played well enough to keep the Browns in games. However, injuries are also a concern on that side of the ball. At least five defensive starters are listed as questionable, including Myles Garrett, who didn’t even make the trip to London.
Against a weakened defense, the Vikings should be in good shape offensively. Even with Dalvin Cook going down, Minnesota has continued to be an effective running team behind Jerick McKinnon and Latavius Murray. As long as the Vikings can run the ball consistently, they don’t have to put too much on Keenum’s shoulders, putting him in a good position to succeed.
Any way you slice it, it’s tough to envision a scenario in which the Browns can win this game. The Browns have to be a bit demoralized after another close loss last week, and they don’t seem too excited about playing in London. I see this game going Minnesota’s way from start to finish, with the Vikings covering the spread with ease.