Redskins vs. Vikings Expert Picks: How We’re Betting Thursday Night Football

Redskins vs. Vikings Expert Picks: How We’re Betting Thursday Night Football article feature image

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Stefon Diggs

  • Where's the value on Thursday Night Football's massive spread between the Redskins and Vikings?
  • Our experts break down their picks, including whether they're laying or taking the points.

Redskins at Vikings Odds & Picks

  • Odds: Vikings -16.5
  • Over/Under: 42
  • Kickoff: 8:20 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: FOX, NFL Network

Odds as of Thursday afternoon and via PointsBet, where Action Network users can access an exclusive promotion to get a 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150).

The Minnesota Vikings host the Washington Redskins as massive favorites on Thursday Night Football. So where’s the best betting value on the spread?

Our experts reveal how they’re betting tonight’s game, complete with three picks, including one prop bet.

Sean Koerner: Case Keenum Under 1.5 Pass TDs (-230)

It’s easy to simply pass on a moneyline above -200 because you’d rather have a beer than that much juice, but that’s a mistake. In order to demonstrate just how much value there is in a line like this, I’ll break down the math behind my process.

Let’s start with the Redskins’ team total, which is currently at 12.5 to 13 points. From the get go, we can already tell they’re technically favored to score fewer than two touchdowns tonight, but how many TDs are they projected for? My model pegs them for around 1.2 with that team total.

There are obviously many other ways to score TDs than via the pass, so how many can we expect to come through the air? Most teams score offensive TDs via the pass 62-68% of the time. The Redskins have scored 81% of their TDs via the pass this season, which makes sense as they’re typically trailing, so are much more likely to lean on the pass and put up TDs in garbage time.

They’re due to regress to league-average, but I’m still giving them a healthy 76.5% rate of their offensive TDs to come via the pass. This gives us 0.89 passing TDs for them tonight.

Simulating this game 10,000 times to get an average of 0.89 TDs produces the following TD distribution, which is what we should compare the price to:

So I’m getting a 77.6% chance Keenum throws fewer than 1.5 TDs tonight, which means a “fair” price for a prop like this would be closer to -340. This isn’t even factoring the chances of rookie Dwayne Haskins coming in at some point in the second half, once the game has gotten out of hand, to get him some work.

We can’t ignore a prop like this just because the juice is high — when you actually break it down, it’s an incredible +ROI% play.

Matthew Freedman: Vikings -16.5

No one wants to lay 16.5 points, but I think this could go to -17 and I have zero respect for the Redskins.

It’s unfortunate for the Vikings that they’ll be without Adam Thielen, but the Redskins also probably won’t have Josh Norman (questionable), so those two losses would basically cancel each other out.

I’ve been impressed with the Vikings recently, and bettor extraordinaire Rufus Peabody gave them his top game grade for Week 7.

Top NFL Wk7 game grades:
(these represent exp pt diff on neutral field vs avg tm based on how tm played controlling for opp, weighting stats by predictive value)
1) MIN +12
2) GB +11.6
3) KC +9.8
4) LAR +9.7
5) DAL +9.0
6) NO +9.0
7) TEN +4.6
8) HOU +3.4
9) JAC +3.3
10) BAL +2.8

— Rufus Peabody (@RufusPeabody) October 21, 2019

Under head coach Mike Zimmer (since 2014), the Vikings have had all sorts of edges against the spread, offering a strong return on investment in several different scenarios.

They’ve been a profitable regular-season team to back (per Bet Labs):

  • At home: 30-12-1, 38.2% ROI
  • As favorites: 34-15-1, 34.5% ROI
  • Outside of division: 40-13-1, 46.2% ROI

These trends make sense within the context of who Zimmer is as a coach and what kind of team the Vikings are.

Zimmer is a focused, no-nonsense, risk-adverse, process-oriented, defense-directed “manager” (for lack of a better word), and the Vikings are a disciplined team that doesn’t often make big mistakes. They don’t waste the natural advantage they have at home. They don’t play down to the level of their underdog opponents. They don’t present a known and easy challenge to teams that aren’t familiar with them.

This week, the Vikings are in a “solar eclipse” spot with all of Zimmer’s historical edges lining up.

As non-divisional home favorites, the Vikings are 19-2-1 ATS (73.5% ROI).

I bet this at -16 but like it at -16.5. [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]

nfl betting picks odds-week 8 early analysis
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Mike Zimmer

Mike Randle: Vikings -16.5

The Vikings have been a dominant home team under Zimmer, especially as favorites with a 24-8-1 record (per Bet Labs). If you had wagered $100 on each of those games, you would be up $1,476 during Zimmer’s tenure.

Washington has put up minimal defensive resistance this season, ranking 24th overall in efficiency. The Vikings are the fifth-most efficient offense, and their passing efficiency has greatly improved during the recent hot streak of Kirk Cousins, who has thrown eight touchdowns over the past two games.

This is a terrible matchup for a Washington defense that allows the eighth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs. Leading NFL rusher Dalvin Cook will power a strong Minnesota ground game.

Washington’s 28th-most efficient offense is centered around 34-year-old running back Adrian Peterson (questionable), who is nursing two sprained ankles. In short, this game features an inefficient Washington offense and defense, in an early-week turnaround against a dominant home team.

Thursday night home teams are covering at a 89% (8-1) rate when favored by 12 or more points. I’m laying the large spread and would feel comfortable taking Minnesota up to -18. [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]

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