NFL Week 8 Picks Against the Spread: Washington Redskins vs. Minnesota Vikings
Another split on our Thursday picks last week as we recommended Denver getting the 3.5 points and "under" the total of 48.5 vs. Kansas City. Was feeling pretty good about that spread pick when the Broncos went right down the field and scored a touchdown on their opening drive, but then the Broncos missed a two-point try - after converting a one-pointer but opting to take it off the board following a penalty - and really nothing else went right for them afterward. Kansas City won 30-6 despite losing superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes to a dislocated kneecap.
Probably going to be another blowout this week, and I'll be watching the NBA on TNT doubleheader instead of the atrocious, unwatchable Washington Redskins as the biggest Week 8 underdogs at the Minnesota Vikings. The Redskins have no right being on national television, but the NFL tries to get as many teams as possible in a Thursday night game. Hey, it could be worse in that it could be the Dolphins or Bengals! Sadly, we'll be previewing the Fins this week too because they are in Pittsburgh on Monday Night Football .
About the only interesting story line for this Redskins vs. Vikings game is Kirk Cousins gets to face his former Redskins team for the first time since leaving as a free agent after the 2017 season. Washington for some reason never much tried to lock up him long term at market value and slapped the franchise tag on Cousins twice. Worked out well for him as he got to be one of the league's highest-paid QBs on the tag those two seasons and then got a historic fully-guaranteed three-year, $84 million contract from the Vikings. That didn't look like a good deal for Minnesota last season or early this, but Cousins is on fire right now.
Redskins at Vikings Betting Story Lines
The last time these franchises played, Thursday's starting quarterbacks were on the opposite team that they are on for this one. That was Week 10 of the 2017 season in Maryland and the Vikings won 38-30 behind 304 yards and four touchdowns from Case Keenum. Cousins threw for 327 and a touchdown while rushing for two short scores.
You may not be aware of it as it's a pretty random statistic, but Cousins has done something the past three games - all Vikings wins - that no other quarterback has ever done in a three-game stretch: At least 300 yards passing and a passer rating of at least 130 in each. In Sunday's 42-30 win in Detroit, Cousins threw for 337 yards and four scores. One of those went to Adam Thielen, but he injured his hamstring on the play and didn't return. Probably not playing in this quick turnaround game. NFL rushing leader Dalvin Cook had his fifth 100-yard game in rushing for 142 yards and two scores on 25 carries. Cousins was 13-for-19 for 209 yards and three of those scores off play action; defenses have to respect the run because of how good Cook has been this year.
The San Francisco 49ers are an excellent defensive team, but the Redskins were comically inept offensively in Sunday's 9-0 home loss. Keenum started for the second straight week under interim coach Bill Callahan and threw for just 77 yards. Washington had all of 154 total yards and ran just 41 plays, reportedly the fewest of any team this century.
Callahan says he's sticking with Keenum. Why on earth aren't the Redskins letting rookie first-round pick Dwayne Haskins learn on the job? I guess one can understand not throwing him in there here on a short week and against a very good defense. Haskins relieved Keenum in a Week 4 loss at the New York Giants, but hasn't played in any other game.
Washington played without a few key injured guys Sunday in cornerback Josh Norman, pass-catching running back Chris Thompson and tight end Vernon Davis. Safety Montae Nicholson injured his ankle and was helped off the field. He didn't return.
Redskins at Vikings Betting Odds and Trends
At 5Dimes, Minnesota is a 16.5-point favorite (+105) with a total of 42. On the moneyline, the Vikings are -1050 and the Redskins +675. On the alternate lines, the Vikes are -16 (-102), -15.5 (-110), -15 (-115) and -14.5 (-120). Washington is 1-2 against the spread on the road and 1-2 "over/under." Minnesota is 3-0 ATS at home and 2-1 O/U.
The Redskins are 2-5 ATS in their past seven Thursday games and 2-7 ATS in their past nine vs the NFC. The Vikings are 4-1 ATS in their past five on Thursday and 15-5-1 ATS in their past 21 in October. The under has hit in six straight Washington October games. The under is 8-2 in Minnesota's previous 10 vs. the NFC. The home team is 4-1 ATS in the past five meetings. The over has hit in six straight in the series.
Redskins at Vikings Betting Prediction
Needless to say, there's no question the Vikings will win here. But it could be a bit of a trap game off big wins over the Eagles and Lions and with a trip to Kansas City up next. We'll say the Skins score a garbage-time TD to lose by 14. Something like 27-13 so take the 16.5 points and go under the total.
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