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Vikings vs Colts Odds, Prediction | Your Saturday NFL Betting Preview

Vikings vs Colts Odds, Prediction | Your Saturday NFL Betting Preview article feature image
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Getty Images. Pictured: Colts quarterback Matt Ryan (left) and Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (right).

Vikings vs Colts Odds

Saturday, December 17
1 p.m. ET
NFL Network
Vikings Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-3.5
-115
47
-110o / -110u
-200
Colts Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+3.5
-105
47
-110o / -110u
+170
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.

This season started about as poorly as you could imagine for the Colts. They have one of the worst offenses in the league despite acquiring former MVP Matt Ryan in the offseason and bringing back Jonathan Taylor, who led the league in rushing just last year. The offensive line could not hold up no matter how many combinations were tried, and Frank Reich ended up paying the price.

Jeff Saturday took over in Week 10, and things appeared to immediately turn around. The Colts beat the Raiders on the road and hung with the then-undefeated Eagles before losing by a single point. 

The Vikings, on the other hand, are having their best season in years. It appears that Kevin O’Connell is pulling all of the right strings in close games as this team just keeps getting wins. How sustainable is this going forward though?

Find a pick and prediction for the Week 15 matchup between the Colts and Vikings below.

Vikings vs Colts Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how the Vikings and Colts match up statistically:

Vikings vs Colts DVOA Breakdown
Offense
Defense
Edge
Overall DVOA 32 22
Pass DVOA 32 27
Rush DVOA 31 14
Offense
Defense
Edge
Overall DVOA 18 12
Pass DVOA 18 15
Rush DVOA 21 15

Over the past two weeks, the Colts have taken a couple of high-profile losses. The first was on Monday Night Football to the Pittsburgh Steelers before they were embarrassed in the fourth quarter against the Dallas Cowboys. The one thing that these two teams have in common? Problems with pass rushers. 

Indianapolis ranks last in the league in ESPN’s Pass Block Win Rate and 27th in PFF Pass Block grades overall. Meanwhile, Minnesota has struggled to generate much of a pass rush as they rank 31st in ESPN’s Pass Rush Win Rate metric.


Bet Indianapolis vs Minnesota at FanDuel


The secondary has been a legitimate problem for the Vikings, especially as injuries have stacked up. Minnesota ranks 23rd in PFF Coverage grade on the year. They are also ranked 23rd in Dropback EPA per Play Allowed and 24th in Dropback Success Rate Allowed. As Ian Hartitz of PFF pointed out this week, the Vikings defense has been particularly terrible against outside wide receivers.

Vikings defense vs. wide receivers aligned on the outside (PFF)

Passing yards allowed: 32nd
Explosive pass-play rate: 32nd
Yards per attempt: 32nd
Passer rating: 32nd pic.twitter.com/2RJULpw3dQ

— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) December 14, 2022

Since Jeff Saturday has taken over, the Colts are really leaning into Jonathan Taylor and their running game more. In terms of Passing Frequency Over Expected, the Colts passed 1% less than expected on all plays and 1% more than expected on first down under Reich. Since Week 10, they now pass 6% less than expected on all plays and 13% less than expected on first down.

These tendencies have fed off of the Colts having more success on the ground since Saturday took over. Under Saturday they rank 21st in Rushing EPA and 24th in Rushing Success Rate over this time period – compared to 31st in both categories under Reich. This has led to the offense improving from 28th in Offensive Success Rate under Reich to 25th under Saturday.

Indianapolis’ defense has been solid this year despite missing their leader Shaquille Leonard for most of the season. The Colts rank ninth in EPA per Play Allowed and 13th in PFF Defensive grade.

Dalvin Cook’s decline could end up being a major problem for the Vikings down the stretch. For years this offense was built around Cook’s ability to generate explosive plays on the ground, but that has not happened nearly as often this season. He has shown obvious signs of decline and become much less effective overall.

Two different graphics shown by Ben Baldwin (@benbbaldwin) on Twitter this week illustrate how Cook has struggled to pick up yards that he should in this offense with solid run blocking around him.

 

Betting Picks

Minnesota has been coming up big in late-game situations and winning close games all season at a very unsustainable rate. Nine of the Vikings’ 10 wins have come by eight points or fewer, and they have a -1 Point Differential on the year. This team should likely be closer to .500, but instead they are within striking distance of the one seed in the NFC. This luck in close games will reverse at some point, but it’s hard to tell when.

After the brutal fourth quarter the Colts had against the Cowboys in primetime, many won’t be able to stomach taking Indianapolis as a road underdog. However, at 4.5 this number is too high for the Vikings, and they can keep this game within a field goal or even win outright.


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