Minnesota Vikings (5-3 SU, 5-3 ATS) vs. Washington Redskins (4-3-1 SU, 5-3 ATS)
Week 10 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday, November 13, 2016 at 1PM EST
Where: FedEx Field, Landover, Maryland
By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com
Betting Odds: MIN +2.5/WAS -2.5
Over/Under Total: 42.5
The Minnesota Vikings come into FedEx Field on Sunday to face the Washington Redskins in key NFC action in week ten. The Redskins are coming off a bye and look to settle into a rhythm to begin the second-half of the season. The first eight games have seen the Redskins a pretty turbulent bunch, though they have done well to actually be above the .500 mark. In their last game before the bye in week eight, the 'Skins went into Cincinnati for a 27-all tie. Minnesota looks to be in some trouble. After starting the season with five straight wins and covers, they have now lost three straight without covering the spread once in that span. On Sunday, they lost 22-16 in overtime to the Lions. As far as teams needing a win, Minnesota is near the top of the list, as many more setbacks could send them completely sideways.
The Redskins probably should have won against the Bengals in their last game. Their scoring opportunities were many and for them to only crank out 27 points with only one turnover was pretty rough, with Robert Kelley running for 87 yards and Kirk Cousins throwing for 458 yards. They were pretty flat in the red zone and 15 penalties certainly didn't help. The Redskins had a 34-yarder to win in OT and couldn't close escrow. Then again, the Bengals missed some kicks that would have let them win the game in regulation, so it went both ways. But there was a definite lack of timely production on offense, despite them moving the ball with ease at times. Though they're at home this week against the Vikes, they're facing an even tougher and more-resolute defense and will need to follow-through on scoring opportunities. While the line struggles sometimes in springing the run-game, they've been good at protecting Cousins.
Kirk Cousins hasn't been great every week this season, but after an uneven start, he's beginning to click with a robust aerial unit of playmakers, while getting the occasional boost from the ground game, as he got from Kelley in their last game. That's a good sign, as injuries have wreaked havoc on what was already a dicey Redskins ground game. They have so many aerial options that they can camouflage it at times, though it certainly hurts their versatility when the ground game is not at least serving to be something other than mere window dressing.
Cousins has a nice aerial package to work with, led by good receivers and tight ends. They've been getting some nice performances from vet Vernon Davis, who along with Jordan Reed are combining for a nice 1-2 punch. Jamison Crowder leads the team in receiving, followed closely by DeSean Jackson. Pierre Garcon has also been making contributions. They have the third-ranked passing offense and the third-ranked overall offense. But as they showed on Sunday, there has been a separation between production and scoring, as the 'Skins are only 15th in scoring at 23.2 points a game.
The Washington defense is not a great group. There are some good players on this side of the ball, however. They've registered a decent pass-rush, with guys like Trent Murphy and Ryan Kerrigan registering a combined 13 sacks. It's not a defense that is going to make a ton of game-changing plays, but they can sometimes be resolute at least. They're only the league's 22nd-ranked defense and 26th against the run. Only against the Ravens have they allowed fewer than 20 points in a game this season.
The Vikings did a little better than the previous two weeks on Sunday, as they showed a lot of fight in the game against Detroit, even if not showing a ton of clutch. After finally scoring a touchdown with 23 seconds left with a Sam Bradford pass to Rhett Allison, the Lions were able to hit a big play to set up a game-tying 58-yarder from Matt Prater. In overtime, Golden Tate was able to break some tackles and score on a great play to win the game.
On Sunday, Sam Bradford was 31-for-40 with 271 yards and a TD, but still, they were stagnant on this side of the ball for much of the game. Their defense is certainly top-notch, but the offense needs to create something and for the better part of the last three games, they are just out there swooshing around aimlessly. They can't run the ball and the passing game has no real vertical ability, with most of the completions being dinky little passes. In terms of total yardage, they're the last-ranked offense in the NFL. They have 36 points in their last three games and while their defense will keep them in games, they're going to need more than that. When looking at their offense, the playmaking component outside of Stefon Diggs is negligible. Kyle Rudolph is a good tight end and Adam Thielen has made some progress this season, but they're not making the most of what they have. Their offensive line has taken some hits this season and they need to find some answers. Ideally, they should be making more of their passing-game, but not having a run doesn't help bring that about.
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On defense, the Vikes can still bring the noise. They are getting hung out to dry increasingly in recent weeks, which have led to a little dip in overall effectiveness. Xavier Rhodes had some key late miscues that were costly last week. And the entire defense wasn't terribly big in key late spots against Detroit. In the first five games of the season, the Vikings didn't allow more than 16 points in any game. In their last three, they have given up at least 20 in each game. It's odd how much that has served to bring the inadequacy of the offense to light, but it's far-more visible now than earlier in the season.
The Redskins' aerial offense could give Minnesota some issues, as it's a different kind of passing-game. It can provide a lot of variety and run a defense ragged. It's not hard to see the Washington pass-attack getting untracked in some way. The same can be said for the Minnesota offense. I also see the Vikings getting some business done against the sometimes-shaky Redskins defense. I see this one going over.
Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting over 42.5 in the Vikings vs. Redskins game. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today by signing up and betting the Minnesota vs. Washington game at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you'll receive a generous 100% sign-up bonus!