The Minnesota Vikings (0-3) head down south to take on the Houston Texans (0-3). Both of these teams have failed to meet expectations so far this season. The quarterbacks haven’t picked up where they left off last year, and both team’s defenses have given up many points. Both Minnesota and Houston look to get their first win and turn around their seasons before it’s too late.
Kirk Cousins has seemed to return to the quarterback of old this season and has struggled. He has thrown six interceptions so far this year and is completing just 59 percent of his passes. After losing 11-28 against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 2, where Cousins threw three picks and zero touchdowns, the Vikings held strong last week against the Tennessee Titans. However, they lost to a go-ahead field goal from Stephen Gostkowski. Despite the mediocre quarterback play, running back Dalvin Cook has run all over defenses so far this season, averaging 6.1 yards per carry and totaling 294 rushing yards. Including a whopping 181 against the Titans last week. Rookie wideout Justin Jefferson also had a breakout performance last week, totaling 175 receiving yards and a touchdown.
Houston’s quarterback Deshaun Watson hasn’t made any plays because he is too busy being sacked. The Texans have given up 13 sacks this season, the second-worst in the National Football League, behind only the Cincinnati Bengals. Teams have also pressured Watson a league-high 44 times this season. Contrary to the Vikings, the Texans have not been able to move the ball on the ground and have totaled just 198 rushing yards putting them 31st in the NFL. Houston’s defense has not been able to slow anybody down and have averaged 31.7 points allowed per game. Wideout Randall Cobb currently leads the team with 177 receiving yards and is tied with three others with one touchdown catch.
Houston is going to have to step it up on defense this game if they want to win. Cook will have a field day against a poor rushing defense, and Houston has yet to force a turnover this season. Not to mention that they’ve only accumulated seven sacks and 20 pressures, tying them for 26th in the league. Edge rushers J.J. Watt and Jacob Martin will have to find a way to get after Cousins all game if they want to force Minnesota to become one dimensional. Otherwise, Adam Thielen and Jefferson will continuously be open against a poor secondary.
Date: October 4, 2020
Start time: 12:00 P.M. CST
Location: Houston, TX
Stadium: NRG Stadium
TV Info: CBS
Betting Odds Sponsored by Jazz Sportsbook
Point Spread: MIN +3.5 (-110) | HOU -3.5 (-110)
Moneyline: MIN +160 | HOU -200
Over/Under: O 53.5 (-110)｜U 53.5 (-110)
Some may think this game will be close, hence why Houston is just a 3.5 point favorite. However, Minnesota has a significant advantage with Cook coming out of the backfield, so bettors should take the Vikings +3.5 in this one. If you want to make a few bucks, also take Minnesota at +160 on the Moneyline.
Minnesota will win this game by at least a touchdown, but it will likely be a shootout. If this game’s over/under was where it was earlier this week at nearly 55, the under was the way to go. However, sitting at 53.5, bettors can be confident that both Houston and Minnesota will reach 27 points with how both defenses have been playing this season.
As mentioned before, this will be a barn burner as both offenses will likely find success in this game. However, Minnesota will jump to a quick lead and rely on Cook to carry them to a high scoring, poorly defended victory.
*Final Score: Minnesota 35, Houston 27*
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