Vikings vs. Chiefs Odds: How To Bet This Spread With Patrick Mahomes Out
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Dalvin Cook
- The Minnesota Vikings at 3.5-point road favorites against the Kansas City Chiefs.
- Our experts analyze the betting odds and whether you should back or fade a Patrick Mahomes-less Chiefs team.
Vikings at Chiefs Odds
- Odds: Vikings -3.5
- Over/Under: 46.5
- Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET
- TV Channel: FOX
Odds as of Sunday morning and via PointsBet, where Action Network users can access an exclusive promotion to get a 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150).
Patrick Mahomes is listed as questionable, but ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the star quarterback is expected to miss his second straight game, meaning Matt Moore will get the start for the Kansas City Chiefs.
Books finally opened the line early Sunday morning, making the Minnesota Vikings 3.5-point favorites.
Our experts analyze whether there’s value on this spread and break down the biggest mismatch.
Vikings Run Offense vs. Chiefs Run Defense
Although Kirk Cousins is currently playing at an elite level with his 9.9 adjusted yards per attempt, the real edge the Vikings have is their running attack.
With the offseason addition of center Garrett Bradbury and right guard Josh Kline, as well as rushing guru Gary Kubiak as an offensive advisor, the Vikings’ offensive line has improved significantly. In 2018, they were No. 23 with 4.09 adjusted line yards per attempt. This year, they are No. 6 with 4.84. In fact, they’re top-six in all of Football Outsiders’ rushing offensive line metrics.
Since taking over as the offensive coordinator in Week 15 last season, Kevin Stefanski has overseen an aggressively ground-based system. In his 11 play-calling games, the Vikings have a 52.0% run rate. For this season specifically, they have a 53.4% run rate.
With a better offensive line and a coordinator who leans on the run, it’s no wonder running back Dalvin Cook is having a breakout season: He’s No. 1 with 346 yards created (per Player Profiler).
As for the Chiefs, they are straight-up bad against the run. Last year, they were No. 31 with a 65.3 Pro Football Focus run defense grade. This year, they’ve somehow gotten even worse, ranking No. 32 with a 57.5 mark.
In early-down success rate allowed, the Chiefs are dead last in the league at 58% (per Sharp Football Stats).
Coaches often don’t act rationally, but I expect the Vikings to attack the Chiefs regularly with their ground game.
Entering Week 5, the Chiefs looked nearly unbeatable, but since then they’ve lost three of four games to opponents who funneled touches to their running backs in order to keep the explosive Chiefs offense on the sideline. In a copycat league, the Vikings will likely follow the formula that other teams have successfully used.
Additionally, the Chiefs have a funnel defense that naturally skews opposing offenses to the ground game. The Chiefs are No. 4 against the pass (-7.6% DVOA) but No. 30 against the run (7.3% DVOA, per Football Outsiders). It makes sense for opponents to attack them where they are weakest, and the Chiefs are obviously weak when it comes to stopping the run.
And this weakness is all the more apparent because of the injury issues the Chiefs have. Jones (groin) and Clark (neck) both missed Week 8 and are uncertain for Week 9. The Chiefs could be without the top players on their defensive line.
As bad as the Chiefs normally are in run defense, they might be even worse this week. — Matthew Freedman
John Ewing: Chiefs -3.5
Mahomes is out and the Chiefs have lost three of their past four games while the Vikings have won four straight and covered the spread in five games this season.
This won’t shock you, but bettors are on the Vikings. More than 60% of spread tickets are on Kirk Cousins and Co. as of writing (see live public betting data here).
It’s easy to understand why casual bettors would want to back the Vikings, but this is a good spot to fade a team covering the spread on average by 5.12 points per game.
Against the spread records tend to regress to the mean over the course of a season as bookmakers adjust to team performance and public perception. As a result, it’s been profitable to bet against teams that have covered the spread by a big margin.
Following this system, bettors have gone 387-311-21 (55.4%) ATS since 2005. A $100 bettor would have returned a profit of $5,188 following this strategy.
Without Mahomes starting, bettors have little faith in KC covering. But history suggests bettors should fade the Vikings — plus the Chiefs backup, Matt Moore, has been a capable quarterback in the NFL going 20-11 ATS in starts.