Featured Video from Scott Reichel
The Denver Broncos have continued to head south as the season has worn on, putting themselves out of playoff contention. They are fresh off their bye week with their previous game topping the Cleveland Browns at home.
Meanwhile, the Minnesota Vikings have continued to head up the ranks with their fourth win in the last five games. The Vikings are coming off a strong performance on the road where they topped the Dallas Cowboys.
Broncos hoping to grab second straight winIt has been a steady decline throughout the season for the Broncos that has seen them fall out of playoff contention as the season has worn on. They have struggled to garner any type of significant traction with the bulk of their issues coming on the offensive side of the ball. It has led to veteran quarterback Joe Flacco to be sidelined with backup Brandon Allen taking over the reins as the starter in his spot. The Broncos were able to move past another disappointing team in the Browns, but there isn't much to be enthused about with the team's future the rest of the way in the 2019 campaign. Allen is limited in his impact with his arm, which has put their offense in tight spots.
Allen put forth a respectable outing against the Browns where he tallied 193 passing yards on 12 of 20 completed passes with two touchdowns in the win. It's clear that Denver doesn't truly trust him to carry the offense as that will need to be the case against a strong opponent in the Vikings, who possess plenty of game-changing talent on the defensive side of the ball. They may need to see second-year running back Phillip Lindsay take up a more prominent role in the running game to give them much-needed balance to their offensive game plan. Lindsay has pilled up 584 rushing yards with five touchdowns. He is coming off a productive outing where he had nine rushes for 92 yards with a touchdown. If there is any hope for them on Sunday, it will need their offense to step it up.
Vikings gaining steam behind offenseAs the season has worn on, the Vikings have moved further up the list as one of the most formidable teams in the NFC as the playoff picture draws closer. There is still an uphill battle to climb in the NFC North with the Green Bay Packers still firmly in control of the division, but they have caught steam winning four out of their last five contests and that has them in a promising spot. In recent weeks, it has been their offense that has been heading the charge for them with former Pro Bowl quarterback Kirk Cousins finally beginning to live up to his massive contract as being a game-changing factor under center. Cousins is coming off a strong outing where he completed 23-of-32 passes for 220 yards with two touchdowns in the win over the Cowboys on the road.
Cousins has been a major asset to the offense as he has been a big factor with his arm as he has passed for multiple touchdowns four times in the last five games, while holding a passer rating above 100 four times over that stretch. However, the true workhorse of their offense has been the play of running back Dalvin Cook, who has been showing what he is capable of when he is finally fully healthy on the field. Cook has piled up 991 rushing yards with 10 touchdowns along with 40 catches for 424 receiving yards. He is coming off a strong outing against the Cowboys where he had 97 rushing yards and a touchdown along with seven catches for 86 receiving yards in the contest. With the Vikings offense finally having balance, it's easy to envision them cruising past a struggling Broncos team.
The top supporting trends for this game, found on Covers.com, are:
- Minnesota is 4-1-1 ATS against a team with a losing record.
- Minnesota is 6-2 ATS in their last eight games in November.
- Minnesota is 20-7 ATS in their last 27 home games against a team with a losing road record.
- Denver is 3-7 ATS in their last 10 road games against a team with a winning home record.
- Denver is 8-21-1 ATS in their last 30 games after allowing more than 350 total yards in their previous game.
- Denver is 3-8-1 ATS in their last 12 games after allowing more than 250 yards passing in their previous game.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
This will be one of the easier games to pick this week given the unreliability that the Broncos have shown. Bye or no bye, the Broncos have no chance against a quality defense with a quarterback with just one game under his belt. The Vikings' balanced offensive attack will simply be too much for Denver to handle on the road. In other words, expect this be a one-sided affair on Sunday afternoon.
Prediction: Minnesota -10.5
Full-Game Total Pick
At the same time, it's simply too hard to trust the Broncos offense being able to keep up with the Vikings on that side of the ball. It will also be tough to play in a difficult environment in Minnesota, especially with a backup quarterback under center. The Vikings will hold up their end of the bargain, but the Broncos won't.
Prediction: Under 40