Last Updated Oct 01, 2021, 2:00 PM

Cleveland Browns vs. Minnesota Vikings Predictions, Odds, Picks

Oct. 3, 2021
Jonathan Willis
VI Betting Expert

The Minnesota Vikings host the Cleveland Browns on Sunday afternoon in a huge AFC vs. NFC meeting. The game is set to air on CBS at 1:00 p.m. ET from the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Score Prediction: Cleveland 27, Minnesota 23

Best Bet: Cleveland -1.5

Best Bet: Under 51.5

Cleveland Browns vs. Minnesota Vikings Predictions

Kevin Stefanski will have a homecoming on Sunday when his Cleveland Browns take on the Minnesota Vikings. Stefanski was an assistant with the Vikings for 14 years before taking over as the head man in Cleveland last year. He was the 2020 NFL Coach of the Year after leading the Browns to the postseason, and they are one of the contenders to knock off the Kansas City Chiefs in 2021.

Cleveland lost its season opener to Kansas City, but the Browns were in position to win until the fourth quarter. The Browns are clearly a legitimate contender in the AFC with a great run game and an excellent pass rush, and they will show their bona fides on Sunday against the Vikings.

Cleveland Browns vs. Minnesota Vikings Betting Odds

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Cleveland Browns vs. Minnesota Vikings Betting Resources

  • Matchup: AFC North vs. NFC North
  • Date: Sunday, October 3, 2021
  • Venue: U.S Bank Stadium
  • Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • TV-Time: CBS - 1:00 p.m. ET

Cleveland Browns Betting Analysis

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 2-1
  • ATS: 2-1
  • O/U: 2-1
  • ATS - Home: 1-1
  • ATS - Away: 1-0

Stefanski has brought over the Minnesota philosophy to Cleveland. The Vikings run the ball to set up the pass, thriving off play action. That has made Baker Mayfield one of the better quarterbacks in the league. It’s clear that Mayfield is not the type to succeed on his own, but he is averaging 9.8 YPA in this offense.

Cleveland has had one of the best ground games in the league over the last three seasons. Nick Chubb has averaged at least 5.0 YPC in each of his first four years in the league, and Kareem Hunt is averaging 5.7 YPC. Chubb and Hunt are a formidable one-two punch that moves the chains consistently for the Browns.

The Browns have the benefit of their best receiver back in the lineup too. Odell Beckham Jr. returned to the team last week, and it’s clear that OBJ is one of the best receivers in the NFL. They won’t have Jarvis Landry as he is on IR, but Mayfield has his top option available once more.

Minnesota Vikings Betting Analysis

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 1-2
  • ATS: 2-1
  • O/U: 2-1
  • ATS - Home: 1-0
  • ATS - Away: 1-1

This is a run-first offense, but the Vikings may not have star Dalvin Cook available this weekend. Cook didn’t play last week due to an ankle injury, and Minnesota’s offense wasn’t the same without him. Alexander Mattison is a solid back-up running back, but he isn’t as explosive as Cook, who is arguably the best back in the NFC.

Kirk Cousins is off to a great start in 2021. The Vikings’ quarterback has three very talented receivers, and he is completing 73.9% of his passes for 7.7 YPA and has yet to throw an interception. Minnesota is dependent on the ground game to set up the pass though.

The Vikings have the benefit of fielding one of the most underrated receiving corps in the league. Justin Jefferson is one of the best young receivers in the league, Adam Thielen is a solid veteran, and K.J. Osborn is having a breakout season after he didn’t catch a pass as a rookie in 2020.

Inside the Stats - Cleveland Browns

  • Record: 2-1
  • Division Standing: 2nd - AFC North
  • Points Scored: 86
  • Points Allowed: 60
  • PS/G: 28.7 (9th)
  • PA/G: 20 (7th)

Inside the Stats - Minnesota Vikings

  • Record: 1-2
  • Division Standing: 2nd - NFC North
  • Points Scored: 87
  • Points Allowed: 78
  • PS/G: 29 (8th)
  • PA/G: 26 (20th)

Key Players to Watch

  • CLE: Baker Mayfield - QB (59/80, 780 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT)
  • CLE: Nick Chubb (48 carries, 262 yards, 3 TD)
  • MIN: Kirk Cousins - QB (88/119, 918 yards, 8 TD)
  • MIN: Dalvin Cook - RB (42 carries, 192 yards, TD)

Cleveland Browns vs. Minnesota Vikings Betting Conclusion

Minnesota does not have the talent in the secondary that it did a couple years ago. Patrick Peterson and Bashaud Breeland are decent veteran cornerbacks, but they have trouble dealing with speed. Mayfield should hit a few big plays over the top in a win for the Vikings.

Cleveland Browns vs. Minnesota Vikings Betting Trends

  • Cleveland has covered the spread in four of its last five games.
  • Cleveland has covered the spread in five of its last six road games.
  • Cleveland has gone OVER the point total in four of its last six games.
  • Minnesota has failed to cover the spread in eight of its last 10 games.
  • Minnesota has won four of its last six home games.

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