Vikings-Jets Betting Preview: Will Minnesota Stifle Sam Darnold & Co.?

Vikings-Jets Betting Preview: Will Minnesota Stifle Sam Darnold & Co.? article feature image

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) throws a pass against the Denver Broncos during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium.

Betting odds: Minnesota Vikings at New York Jets

  • Spread: Vikings -3.5
  • Over/Under: 46
  • Time: 1 p.m. ET
  • TV channel: FOX

>> All odds as of Friday morning. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NFL odds and track your bets

Betting market: Books are basically in two camps for this game: Move Minnesota to -3.5 with +100 or -105 juice or keep the Vikings at -3 with heavy juice between -120 and -130 (see the live odds here).

This is one of a handful of games this week in which sharps like the dog plus the hook, but everyone else likes the favorite at -3.

Though more than 70% of bets are on the over, more than half of the money is on the under. This has caused the total to drop from 47 to 46.5 since opening. — Mark Gallant

Trends to know: In Kirk Cousins’ career as a starting quarterback with the Redskins, he made five starts in New York at MetLife Stadium against the Jets and Giants.

Cousins’ teams are 1-4 straight up and against the spread and he has struggled to say the least: 4 TD, 9 INT, 54% completion rate, 5.3 yards per attempt, 10 sacks and four completions of 25-plus yards — Evan Abrams

Did you know? Jets kicker Jason Myers made 7-of-7 field goals and all three of his extra points last Sunday. The 24 points he scored were more points than the Jets have scored as a team in 15 of their previous 21 games.John Ewing

Biggest mismatch: Jets red-zone offense vs. Vikings red-zone defense

NFL rookie quarterbacks see their inexperience exposed in the red zone, where the field is condensed and passing becomes much more difficult. That has been the case at times with Sam Darnold this season.

New York has scored a touchdown on just 30% of its red-zone trips, which ranks last in the NFL. While Darnold has struggled at times inside the 20, you can’t blame it all on the USC product; the Jets had been the least-productive red-zone offense over the past two seasons.

Head coach Todd Bowles and the staff certainly deserve some of the blame — as does the running game, which has averaged a league-worst 1.2 yards per carry in the red zone.

Don’t expect that to improve against a Vikings team that has only allowed opponents to score touchdowns on 37.5% of drives in the red zone — the second-lowest rate in the NFL. And to show that’s not a fluke of this veteran group, Minnesota only allowed a touchdown on 40% of its opponent’s red-zone trips during the 2017 regular season. That was good enough for third in the league. — Stuckey

Which team is healthier? Vikings

The Jets are very thin at receiver and corner. Terrelle Pryor (groin) could join Quincy Enunwa (ankle) on the sideline, while the defense could again be without starters Trumaine Johnson (quad) and Buster Skrine (concussion).

Jets running back Isaiah Crowell (foot) is tentatively expected to suit up, but his Vikings counterpart, Dalvin Cook (hamstring), remains uncertain.

The Vikings are fairly healthy at their skill positions, but defensive tackle Linval Joseph (ankle) and defensive end Danielle Hunter (groin) could join defensive end Everson Griffen (not injury related) on the inactive list. Left tackle Riley Reiff (foot) should be considered very questionable.

Note: Info as of 6 p.m. ET Thursday. See our Injury Dashboard for daily practice participation and game statuses up until kickoff. — Ian Hartitz

DFS edge: With Enunwa (ankle) ruled out, Jermaine Kearse will man the slot for the Jets. He’ll primarily line up against slot corner Mackensie Alexander after the Vikings just placed Mike Hughes (ACL) on IR.

Kearse is coming off a 10-target outing last week, and he should only benefit from the increased role on Sunday. He costs just $4,100 on DraftKings with a +2.49 Projected Plus/Minus. — Justin Bailey

Bet to watch: Vikings -3.5

Coming off back-to-back wins against the Broncos and Colts, the Jets are being massively overvalued in this spot. Minnesota’s defense is well equipped to stifle the Jets’ run game and force Darnold to beat the Vikings.

And when that happens, it won’t be pretty for the rookie quarterback against the fierce pass rush.

I like the way the Vikings offense is clicking, too. Take Minnesota and lay the points here. — BlackJack Fletcher

Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.