Zylbert’s NFL Over/Unders: How Will Josh Rosen Fare Against Tough Vikings D?
Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen (3) reacts after the game against the Chicago Bears at State Farm Stadium.
Betting odds: Arizona Cardinals at Minnesota Vikings
- Over/Under: 43.5
- Time: 1 p.m. ET
- Channel: FOX
>> All odds as of 9 a.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NFL odds and track your bets
Zylbert’s 2018 NFL Over/Under Betting Record: 3-2-1, +0.8 units
Last Week’s Result: Titans-Bills Under 40 (WIN)
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit
Everybody remembers the last time the Vikings hosted a bottom feeder starting a rookie quarterback with the first name of Josh (especially if you partake in survivor pools).
It was only a few weeks ago and it led to one of the biggest upsets in NFL history when Josh Allen and his Bills downed Minnesota in embarrassing fashion, 27-6.
We’ll make use of that recent rock-bottom performance for the Vikings to springboard into my next over/under of the campaign.
See, when you’re a legitimate top team in your conference, it’s definitely possible to underestimate an opponent — especially one that was outscored 78-23 in its first two games on the season.
But when it does happen, you can be assured something like that won’t happen again.
That’s great news if you’re with me on this over bet as we’ll be relying on a deep and talented Vikings offense that has done some wonderful work in the early going.
Other than that uncharacteristic defeat at the hands of lowly Buffalo, this is a unit that’s been very difficult to slow down, hence why it has scored more than 21 points in each of its other four games.
Kirk Cousins has lived up to the lofty expectations set before him, at least through the first five weeks.
Entering this tilt with Arizona, he ranks second in completions (161), second in passing yards (1,688) and fourth in completion percentage (71.2%), while compiling a desirable 11/2 TD/INT ratio.
In the process, Cousins has amassed a 105.1 passer rating, which would go down as the highest such mark of his career.
The 30-year-old quarterback has certainly taken advantage of the most talented supporting cast with which he’s ever played.
Undoubtedly, Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen are two perennial Pro Bowl-caliber talents and have continued to play like it, and tight end Kyle Rudolph has been solid, as well.
While the Vikings boast one of the best passing offenses in all of football, however, their running game could be better, recording the second-fewest yards on the ground per game (65.8).
Now, a lot of that has to do with running back Dalvin Cook missing a couple of games because of injury, but he’ll be back in this one (albeit on a limited snap count).
And fortunately for the former Florida State Seminole, he’ll get to take on a defense that is getting gashed by running backs. Arizona is surrendering the second-most rushing yards (142.4) per game.
Of course, the biggest obstacle this bet will encounter relates to how rookie Josh Rosen can fare versus a stout Minnesota defense.
At the very least, Rosen should be much more comfortable out there as he makes his third careers start. Last week, the No. 10 overall draft pick was able to secure his first career win — and his team’s first win of the season — in San Francisco.
Rosen’s stat line from that effort (170 yards and one TD) may not look like much, but he definitely played better than the numbers indicate as he was hampered by a handful of key drops from his receivers.
Overall, he’s been decent and can build upon what he’s showcased thus far.
Rosen certainly has the talent around him to do just that with Larry Fitzgerald still on this roster. He also has two nice up-and-coming pass catchers in Christian Kirk and Ricky Seals-Jones.
And you can’t forget about David Johnson, one of the game’s most dynamic tailbacks.
The Cardinals have been smart in feeding Johnson often lately, as the 2015 third-round draft pick has received 45 touches over the last two games.
Another critical element of Rosen’s game is that he knows how to hold onto the football. In nearly 60 pass attempts, he’s committed only one turnover.
That’s not exactly common when analyzing rookie quarterbacks, so it’s something to appreciate in his skill set.
This will be a matchup of two clubs riding high in terms of momentum, and I believe that can be a prevailing factor in churning out a higher-scoring outcome in Minnesota.
I’m buying the over down from 43.5 to 43.
Play: OVER 43 (-120)