Washington Redskins (3-5 SU, 3-5 ATS) vs. Minnesota Vikings (3-5 SU, 4-4 ATS)
NFL Football Week 9
Date and Time: November 2 – 1pm ET
Where: TCF Bank Stadium
by Evergreen, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: WASH +2.5/MINN -2.5
Over/Under Total: 44.5
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Wow, it is hard to believe that we are already into the second half of the NFL season but Week 9 is here and a couple of teams struggling to hang on to that glimmer of playoff hope square off as the Washington Redskins tangle with the Minnesota Vikings. Washington is coming off of a surprise win against the Cowboys on Monday Night Football and are trying to hang until Robert Griffin III returns while Minnesota is looking to build consistency with their rookie QB and gain ground while the rest of the NFC North is on a bye.
There is some question as to the playing status of RGIII and that has kept this line off the board at many online betting sties but the ones that are taking action have the Vikings as 2.5 favorites with the over/under at 44.5. Minnesota is 7-3 against the spread in their last ten games against NFC opponents and has five ATS wins in their last seven games at home. Washington is just 1-4 ATS in their last five overall but the underdog has won six of the last seven against the spread in this series.
Colt McCoy has performed remarkably in his limited time, completing 85% of his passes for 427 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He was 25-of-30 for 299 yards against the Cowboys and while he didnt throw a TD, he did run one in. The Redskins have a bye next week so expect RGIII to stay on the sideline until Week 11 but that isnt bad news if McCoy can continue his efficient play. DeSean Jackson (32-664-3) and Pierre Garcon (39-443-3) are viable threats in the passing game and Washington ranks 5th in pass yards per game.
Minnesota has seen its share of QB issues on the year but it is Teddy Bridgewaters turn to show if he is capable of being an NFL starter. Bridgewater has completed 60% of his passes in his four starts but has just two touchdown throws against five interceptions. Teddy is a mobile playmaker and can extend plays with his legs but he is working with a pretty bare cupboard as far as weapons go and Minnesota is just 29th in points, averaging just 17.4 per game.
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The Washington defense has seen its fair share of injuries but might be getting some help as CB Terry Porter may be back after missing four games due to a hamstring injury. The Skins are without DeAngelo Hall and Brian Orakpo but have managed to stay in the top-15 in yards allowed. Ryan Kerrigan leads the team with 7.5 sacks but there hasnt been many impact plays and Washington is just 25th in points allowed.
The Vikings are similar in that they are far better on defense than their record would suggest. Minnesota is top-10 in passing and total yards allowed and a very respectable 12th in points allowed, surrendering just 21.6 per game. Jerick McKinnon has come on of late to fill in the Adrian Peterson void and has done well in limited time, averaging 5.2 yards per carry. He needs some passing presence to take a defender out of the box but no Vikings receiver has caught more than 29 passes so far. Cordarrelle Patterson is coming off his best game of the year where he caught six passes for 86 on 12 targets, all season high totals. If he and Bridgewater can gain some chemistry, this offense should start to produce at a much higher rate.
The Vikings are a tough, scrappy team and have done well at controlling the clock with their run game. Run defense is where Washington is weakest so look for the Vikes to stick to their guns and keep the ball away from Jackson and Garcon. The Redskins are traveling on a short week and are coming off an emotional division win so there is always that hangover looming. Minnesota should be able to move the ball enough to get some points on the board and tough out a win in this one if they can avoid the costly turnover. McCoy has to backslide a bit from his completion rate eventually and the Vikings win a grinder. Minnesota 22 Washington 16
Evergreens Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Minnesota