Vikings vs Broncos Picks: How to Bet Sunday Night Football
Stephen Maturen/Getty Images. Pictured: Josh Dobbs.
Vikings vs Broncos Picks | Sunday Night Football
Regular readers are familiar with my weekly column — How to Bet Every Game & Every Team — so let's run the format back for this Sunday Night Football game and find a Vikings vs. Broncos pick for each side. Be sure to come back every Saturday for picks for the full slate each week.
For now, let's get into my Vikings vs. Broncos picks on Thursday night.
What You Need To Know
- This may not feel like the most exciting Sunday Night Football matchup you've ever seen, but believe it or not, these teams have the longest current win streaks in football. The Broncos have won three in a row and the Vikings have won five straight.
- Denver's defense still ranks last in DVOA against the pass, run, and overall, but it's going to be hard to get away from that number when one 70-point game skews things so badly. In the six games since that embarrassment, the Broncos are up to a respectable 19th in Defensive DVOA, including 11th against the pass, though still league-worst against the run.
- Russell Wilson is 15-8-2 (65%) against the spread at home in primetime for his career, though most of those games obviously came in Seattle. He's only played two home Denver primetime games, and both were memorable for how completely unmemorable they were: a 12-9 loss to the Colts and an 11-10 win over the 49ers. Gross. Let's hope we don't get another one of those baseball scores here.
- Justin Jefferson is practicing but looks doubtful for this game. Minnesota could also be down to third-string running back Ty Chandler.
How to Bet the Vikings: Tease Minnesota +2.5 to +8.5
Denver is always tough at home, where the offense has been much better, and the Broncos defense has been stout in recent weeks. It feels like both defenses could have the advantage here, and primetime unders continue to hit (25-7 this season (78%) and 62% over the past four years). That sets up for a cold, low-scoring game between two pretty evenly-matched teams.
The Vikings have the better defense and more reliable weapons, and they've also proven they can hang in tough games with an ability to keep things close. You remember all of Minnesota's one-score games last season. This is a perfect teaser spot to +8.5, crossing the key numbers of 3 and 7 and forcing Denver to win by two scores. Minnesota has covered a line of +8.5 in all 10 games this season and in 23 of 27 games since the start of last season (85%).
How to Bet the Broncos: Jerry Jeudy Over 43.5 Receiving Yards
Minnesota's defense has been one of the most surprising units in football this season under Brian Flores. The Vikings rank top 12 against the run and the pass and eighth overall. The Vikings have done a great job limiting opposing WR1s, but have bled yardage against WR2s, perhaps by design. Minnesota ranks 31st in DVOA against opposing WR2s.
It's clear at this point that Courtland Sutton is the go-to guy in this passing attack, but this could be a Jerry Jeudy game. Minnesota has allowed the opposing WR2 to go over 43.5 yards in eight of 10 games this season (80%), and Jeudy has gone over that line in five of eight games (63%). He could be a nice outlet for some short passes if Wilson is under pressure all game.
My Vikings vs. Broncos: Tease Vikings to +8.5
This is a classic Wong teaser spot for the Vikings on the road, and it's my favorite teaser of the week. A six-point teaser crosses both of the most important key numbers and all we have to do is bank on the Vikings staying within one score against a pretty middling opponent, something Minnesota has repeatedly proven capable of.
As long as Joshua Dobbs doesn't turn into a pumpkin in primetime on the cusp of Thanksgiving, this looks like a safe teaser spot. I like teasing the Vikings with the Lions.