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Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 13:56 PM

TNF - Redskins at Vikings

LAST WEEK

The Vikings (5-2 SU, 5-2 ATS) remain in second place in the NFC North behind the 6-1 Packers, but Minnesota is rolling of late by winning three consecutive games. The offense has woken up since Minnesota was limited to six points in a Week 4 loss at Chicago by scoring 28, 38, and 42 points the past three weeks. The Vikings followed up an 18-point home blowout of the Eagles by rallying past the Lions, 42-30 this past Sunday to cash as 2 ½-point road favorites.

This was a huge victory for Minnesota following an 0-2 start inside the division, as the Vikings have now played all three NFC North rivals on the road. The Vikings trailed twice by seven points in the opening half at Ford Field before grabbing a 21-14 advantage on an eight-yard touchdown run by Dalvin Cook, marking the six time in seven games that the former Florida State standout has reached the end zone.

Detroit evened the game before the half at 21-21, but the Vikings outscored the Lions in the second half, 21-9, including Cook’s second touchdown of the game and a pair of scoring tosses from Kirk Cousins. The Vikings’ quarterback finished with 337 yards and four touchdowns, as Cousins has thrown 10 touchdown passes during this three-game winning streak. Wide receiver Stefon Diggs has racked up over 300 yards the last two weeks, but was held of out the end zone after scoring three touchdowns against Philadelphia.

The Redskins (1-6 SU, 2-5 ATS) covered for the first time since a Week 1 loss at Philadelphia in last Sunday’s 9-0 home defeat to the undefeated 49ers. Washington cashed as 10-point favorites in a rainstorm at FedEx Field as the Redskins held the Niners out of the end zone. However, San Francisco managed three field goals and held Washington’s anemic offense to 154 yards and 10 first downs.

The Redskins’ offense has been limited to seven points or less three times in the past four games, with the lone exception coming in a 17-16 triumph over the winless Dolphins. The only positive for Washington the last two weeks is the defense allowing 25 points and two touchdowns, while veteran running back Adrian Peterson is coming off a 118-yard effort at Miami and 81 yards against a solid San Francisco defense.

Following last Sunday’s loss, the Redskins fell to 0-8 SU and 2-6 ATS in the past eight games at FedEx Field since edging the Cowboys in Week 7 of 2018. In the last 16 games overall, Washington owns a 3-13 record and it has scored 17, 16, and 16 points those victories.

HOME/ROAD SPLITS

The Vikings have stomped all three opponents that have invaded U.S. Bank Stadium this season with the margin of victory being 16, 20, and 18 points. Minnesota closed as 3 ½-point favorites against Atlanta in a 28-12 opening week rout, while laying 3 ½ against Philadelphia in a 38-20 Week 8 blowout. The largest number the Vikings have laid at home is 8 ½ in a Week 3 shellacking of the Raiders, 34-14, to improve to 6-2 in the past eight games in Minneapolis.

The Redskins put up 17 points in the first 20 minutes of the season opener against the Eagles. Washington squandered a 17-0 lead in a 32-27 defeat at Philadelphia, but grabbed the cover as 10-point underdogs thanks to a late touchdown with six seconds remaining. Since that 17-0 advantage, the Redskins have scored 20 points in the past 10 ½ quarters away from FedEx Field, including 'unders' against the Giants and Dolphins.

SERIES HISTORY

These teams didn’t meet in 2018, but hooked up seven of eight years from 2010-17. The Vikings outlasted the Redskins, 38-30 at FedEx Field back in 2017, as Cousins and Case Keenum started that game at quarterback – for the other team. Cousins threw for 327 yards for Washington, while Keenum tossed four touchdowns and racked up 304 yards in the win for Minnesota. Wide receiver Adam Thielen (who is out Thursday with a hamstring injury) put up 166 yards for the Vikings, marking his second-highest receiving yardage output in his career.

The last six meetings between these NFC squads have eclipsed the 'over', as the winning team has scored at least 29 points five times during this span. Washington is making its first trip to Minnesota since 2014, while the 16-point line on Thursday is the highest in this series since 1998 when the Vikings blew out the Redskins, 41-7 as 13 ½-point chalk on the way to an NFC Championship appearance.

TOTAL TALK

The total on this game opened at 40 ½ and has been pushed up to 42 as of Wednesday evening. Chris David of VegasInsider.com offered up his thoughts on this week’s number and his lean.

He said, “If you’re looking at current form, this particular matchup could have you scratching your head. After watching the ‘over’ cash in each of the first three weeks of the season, the ‘under’ has gone 4-0 in the last four games for the Redskins and the Washington offense has only scored 27 points during this span, which includes last week’s 9-0 shutout loss at home to San Francisco.

Bettors riding Washington’s ‘under’ streak and Minnesota’s 2-1 ‘over’ run may be inclined to play team total wagers for this contest. Washington is hovering around 12 ½ points while Minnesota is listed at 28 ½.

David added, “Minnesota is a clear-cut bully and its 11-1 record in its last 12 games as a favorite is very impressive, plus they’ve posted a 9-1-1 ATS record during this span. The defense is a beast at home and the unit is only allowing 17.6 PPG this season, 15.6 PPG at home and they actually faced decent quarterbacks in Matt Ryan, Derek Carr and Carson Wentz. The club faces a familiar foe this week in Keenum and while some folks may buy that narrative, I don’t see it happening here. With back-to-back road games against the Chiefs and Cowboys on deck, I expect a clinical victory for Minnesota with the clock running early and often. My lean would be to the game ‘under’ and also the Redskins team total ‘under’ as well.”

For those keeping track, the ‘under’ has gone 4-3 on Thursday Night Football this season, which includes last week’s 30-6 outcome between Kansas City and Denver that went to the low side.

Washington hasn’t played in the midweek game since the 2017 season and the total went 1-1 in their games while the Redskins only managed to score 20 and 17 points. Minnesota played in one Thursday Night game in 2018 and the Vikings dropped a 38-31 decision at Los Angeles versus the Rams.

HANDICAPPER’S CORNER

The Vikings continue to own a strong home-field advantage at U.S. Bank Stadium, as NFL expert Joe Nelson checks in with their success under head coach Mike Zimmer, “His home record since taking over the Vikings is amazing at 32-13 SU and 32-12-1 ATS including going 21-7 S/U and 20-7-1 ATS since the team moved to U.S. Bank Stadium in 2016. The Vikings have only once in that time been this big of a home favorite, and that was last September’s shocking 27-6 loss to Buffalo playing as a 16.5-point favorite.”

From an offensive standpoint, these teams are on completely different ends of the spectrum, “Washington has been one of the league’s least productive offenses at 267 yards per game while 28th in the league in yards per play. Minnesota is 4th in the NFL in yards per rush and surprisingly 2nd in yards per pass attempt. Cousins passed Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes and Seattle’s Russell Wilson and is currently the top-rated passer in the NFL at this juncture while Keenum has been adequate in that measure, ranking 16th, surprisingly in-between New England’s Tom Brady and Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson,” Nelson notes.

Nelson also points out the strong record of Thursday night home favorites of 10 points or more are 19-0 SU and 15-4 ATS since 2005, which includes a 5-1 SU/ATS ledger the last five seasons. The Patriots pulled away from the Giants in Week 6 with a 35-14 drubbing as 17-point chalk, ending a five-week run of Thursday night underdogs winning and covering.

PLAYER PROPS – According to Westgate Superbook

Total Completions – Case Keenum (WSH)
Over 20 ½ (-110)
Under 20 ½ (-110)

Total TD Passes + Interceptions – Case Keenum (WSH)
Over 2 (-110)
Under 2 (-110)

Will the Redskins ever have the lead?
Yes +200
No -250

Total Gross Passing Yards – Kirk Cousins (MIN)
Over 259 ½ (-110)
Under 259 ½ (-110)

Total Touchdown Passes – Kirk Cousins (MIN)
Over 1 ½ (-200)
Under 1 ½ (+170)

Total Rushing Yards – Dalvin Cook (MIN)
Over 102 ½ (-110)
Under 102 ½ (-110)

Total Receiving Yards – Stefon Diggs (MIN)
Over 76 ½ (-110)
Under 76 ½ (-110)

LINE MOVEMENT

In spite of Thielen sitting out this game for the Vikings, Minnesota has moved up from 15 ½-point favorites on Monday at the Westgate Superbook to 16-point chalk. The total sits at 42, which is the second-lowest total for Thursday night game this season behind the 38-spot in Week 3 between the Jaguars and Titans.

You can reach Kevin Rogers via e-mail at [email protected]

Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.

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