Minnesota Vikings (6-1) at Washington Commanders (4-4)
Opening Spread: Commanders +3.5.
Opening Game Total: 44.5.
Opening Team Totals: Commanders (20.5), Vikings (24).
Weather: Outdoors, no current concerns.
The Line Report
- This line opened as Commanders +3.5.
- This line has moved down to Commanders +3 in some books but is still available as Commanders +3.5 in others.
- DraftKings Pick’Em has the Commanders +3.5.
- Circa Sports Millions Pro Football Contest has the Commanders +3.
- This total opened at 44.5.
- This total has moved down to 43.5.
Commanders: Out: RB J.D. McKissic, WR Jahan Dotson, C Chase Roullier, Edge Chase Young, LB David Mayo, LB Cole Holcomb.
Vikings: Out: TE Irv Smith, DL Dalvin Tomlinson, S Lewis Cine. Questionable: CB Cameron Dantzler Sr.
The Commanders Offense vs. Vikings Defense
The Commanders have a below-average offensive line, while Minnesota has a solid front despite Dalvin Tomlinson being on the shelf. The Vikings Edge duo of Danielle Hunter and Za’Darius Smith has an advantage in this contest.
Betting Notes Per TruMedia
- The Commanders are 4-4 against the spread this season.
- The Commanders are 3-5 on overs this season.
- Taylor Heinicke is 10-16 against the spread in his career.
- Taylor Heinicke is 9-17 on overs in his career.
- Ron Rivera is 93-84-4 against the spread as an NFL head coach.
- Ron Rivera is 90-89-2 on overs as an NFL head coach.
- The Commanders are scoring 17.8 points per game, which is 27th in the league.
- Washington is 15th in the league in yards passing per game and 24th in yards rushing.
- With J.D. McKissic sidelined, Antonio Gibson will take on the majority of the passing game work while taking some of the early down work from Brian Robinson.
- Per the Edge, Curtis Samuel leads the Commanders with a 21.3% target share. His 16.4% air yards share is third.
- Terry McLaurin’s 18.5% target share is second on the team while his 33.5% air yards share leads the team.
- Logan Thomas has a 10.2% target share and an 11.1% air yards share.
- Per TruMedia, Thomas has played 80 snaps as an inline tight end, 22 on the perimeter, and 125 in the slot.
- The Vikings have allowed 20.6 points per game, which is 14th in the league.
- Per The Edge, the Vikings have allowed the 28th most yards rushing per game and the eighth most yards receiving per game to running backs this season.
- Minnesota has given up the fourth most yards receiving per game to wide receivers this year.
- Minnesota has given up the tenth most PPR points to perimeter receivers and the sixth most to those in the slot.
- The Vikings have allowed the tenth most yards receiving per game to tight ends this season.
- The Vikings have allowed the fourth most PPR points to tight ends lined up in the slot.
The Vikings Offense vs. Commanders Defense
The Vikings offensive line is a fringe top-ten unit, which is a tier better than I had them before the season. The Commanders front is right in the middle-of-the-pack group with a high-end interior duo. This is a strength vs. strength type of trench matchup that I’m treating as a relative draw.
Betting Notes Per TruMedia
- The Vikings are 3-4 against the spread this season.
- The Vikings are 4-3 on overs this season.
- Kirk Cousins is 66-65-1 against the spread in his career.
- Kirk Cousins is 77-54-1 on overs in his career.
- Kevin O’Connell is 3-4 against the spread in his career as an NFL head coach.
- Kevin O’Connell is 4-3 on overs in his career as an NFL head coach.
- The Vikings are scoring 24.7 points per game, good for ninth in the league.
- Minnesota is 12th in the league in yards passing per game and 21st in yards rushing.
- Per the Edge, Dalvin Cook is eighth among running backs in yards rushing per game.
- Justin Jefferson is fourth in the league in receptions (52), third in yards receiving (752), eighth in target share (28.5%), and 14th in air yards share (37.3%).
- Adam Thielen has breached 70 yards receiving in one of his seven games this season.
- K.J. Osbourn had a relative spike game against Detroit with 73 yards receiving and a score. Otherwise, he’s exceeded 25 yards receiving in one other game, where he had 41 yards receiving.
- T.J. Hockenson will make his debut as a Viking this week.
- Per TruMedia, Justin Jefferson has played 311 snaps on the perimeter and 112 in the slot.
- Adam Thielen has played 288 snaps on the perimeter and 125 in the slot.
- K.J. Osborn leads the Vikings in snaps from the slot with 205. Osborn has played 131 snaps on the perimeter.
- The Commanders have allowed 21.5 points per game, which is 15th in the league.
- Per The Edge, the Commanders have allowed the 21st most yards rushing per game and the 21st most yards receiving per game to running backs this season.
- Washington has given up the eighth most yards receiving per game to wide receivers this year.
- Washington has given up the eighth most PPR points per game to wide receivers in the slot.
- The Commanders have allowed the second-fewest yards receiving per game to tight ends this season.
This is What You’re Betting On in Commanders vs. Vikings
This is a game that has stuck out to me all week as my immediate instinct was that I like the Commanders +3.5. That said, the Commanders are one of the few teams that I don’t have a great read on and while Taylor Heinicke is a very good backup, I wouldn’t exactly call myself an enthusiast, either. From a process standpoint, I have treated this one a little differently, as my goal here is to try and talk myself out of a Commanders bet.
If you’re betting on the Commanders, you are betting on an inconsistent team on a three-game win streak. That winning streak has coincided with Taylor Heinicke taking over at quarterback after Carson Wentz’s Commanders beat the Bears 12-7 on Thursday Night Football back in Week 6. Washington has won three tight, low-scoring affairs during that stretch. If you’re betting on the Commanders you are betting on one of two core outcomes. The first is that Washington continues to play solid defense, while Taylor Heinicke provides reasonably stable quarterback play where this game largely mimics Washington’s 23-21 win over the Packers. The second outcome is that Kirk Cousins’ offense plays its first ceiling game of the season, which forces Washington to keep pace. If I’m betting on the Commanders, the outcome I’m betting on is the 6-1 Vikings coming out a little flat resulting in a tight contest that finishes right around the 43.5 game total.
If you’re betting on the Vikings, you are betting on Kirk Cousins in a revenge game. I’m not exactly sure if that’s a good or a bad thing, but beating Washington probably matters to Cousins. I’ve been saying it for weeks, the Vikings are 6-1 and they still haven’t had a ceiling game. If we get the good version of Kirk Cousins here, there’s a clear path to the Vikings offense beating their 24-point team total in this matchup. On the other side of the ball, Minnesota has a trench advantage against a volatile quarterback that’s thrown 17 interceptions in his last 18 games. If Cousins plays well and Minnesota’s pass rush has a major impact in this game, the Vikings could blow the doors off the Commanders a bit here. My biggest concern with a Vikings bet is that they come out flat and we get the inconsistent version of Kirk Cousins this week.
As we discussed on Josh Larky’s fantasy world show on Friday, we both like the over in this contest.
Awards Market Ramifications: Kevin O’Connell is a Coach of the Year candidate and Justin Jefferson is an Offensive Player of the Year contender.
Winner/ Confidence Pool: I will get a little exposure to Washington as a differentiator in winner pools, but I’m going to primarily take Minnesota. I expect to be a little lower than the consensus on this game in my confidence pool rankings.
Spread Pool: I accomplished my goal, as I was able to talk myself out of a Washington bet from a football stance. I’m going to pass on this game against the spread this week, as I like Minnesota from a football sense and I like Washington from an “I’ve been betting on football for over a decade” stance.
Survivor Pool: This contest should be avoided in survivor pools.
Ryan’s recent betting record:
ATS 2021: 49-31
ATS 2022: 27-13
Props 2022: 26-15
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