The Minnesota Vikings look to continue an improbable run to a postseason berth when they host the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday. Jacksonville has dropped 10 straight contests, though three of its last four losses have been by four points or less. The Jaguars have put up some fight at times this season, but they just have not been able to get a win outside of a season-opening victory over Indianapolis.
Minnesota’s top offensive weapon, Dalvin Cook, has been regarded as questionable this week, though he participated in practice on Thursday a bit, which could mean he’ll be ready to go for this one. That’s not good news for a Jacksonville defense that allows 136.2 yards on the ground per game, the fourth-worst average in the NFL. Cook’s status is definitely something those that are betting online need to pay attention to leading up to the game.
|Game: Jacksonville (1-10) vs Minnesota (5-6)
Location: U.S. Bank Stadium
Time: Noon ET
NFL Betting Lines
|Team||Point Spread||Moneyline||Over/Under||Team Total|
Moneyline: Jaguars +400 | Vikings -500
This isn’t an easy bet to make, considering how much you have to bet on the Vikings to make a decent return. Throw in the fact that the Jaguars have shown some fight in recent weeks, including last week against Cleveland, and it might not be worth the trouble. Still, if you’re going to make a moneyline bet, the home-standing Vikings are the play to make.
Pick: Vikings to win
Point Spread: Vikings -10½
The NFL odds are really stacked against the Jaguars with this one, but again, Jacksonville has shown some fight of late, and they have a veteran under center in Mike Glennon for the second straight week. Glennon threw for 235 yards and two touchdowns against Cleveland as the Jaguars came a two-point conversion away from at least forcing overtime against the Browns. This was while the Vikings were needing to rally late to edge Carolina. We like Jacksonville to at least keep this one close.
Pick: Jaguars to cover
Over/Under: 51 points
These two teams both average over 20 points a game — Jacksonville 20.6, Minnesota 26.5 — but more importantly, these defenses both give up points — Jacksonville 29.5, Minnesota 27.7. The Vikings are supposed to get Adam Thielen back this week, which will only help Kirk Cousins when he goes to the air.
As stated earlier, having Glennon at quarterback makes the Jaguars dangerous as well. And if this game becomes a ground war, two of the top three rushers in the league, Cook (1,130 yards) and Jacksonville’s James Robinson (890), will be toting the pigskin. We like this one to be a high-scoring affair.
Pick: Over 51
Final score: Vikings 31, Jaguars 27
Props Talk for Jaguars vs. Vikings
If the Vikings want any chance at a postseason berth, they need this win. This is their third straight home game, with three of their final four games on the road, including trips to face Tampa Bay and New Orleans. Jacksonville is fighting hard for a team with nothing to play for, which is a tribute to the coaching of Doug Marrone.
Let’s take a look at some NFL betting props for the game.
First Scoring Play: Vikings TD +120
Minnesota needs to come out and make a statement in this game, hopefully putting Jacksonville on its heels and maybe taking some of the fight out of the Jaguars. Look for Cousins to go for a deep ball to rookie wide receiver Justin Jefferson, the team’s leading receiver in terms of yardage, to take some of the wind out of the Jaguars’ sails early.
Longest TD In the Game: Over 43½ Yards -115
The return of Thielen should make things easier for Jefferson to get open for some deep balls. Thielen himself could be a target for a long one or two as well. The Jaguars will be trying to stack things up close to the line to slow down Cook, which will leave them open for some long passes. We think you should make your NFL picks on this one with the belief at least one of those is going to hit for a score.
Team Scoring 1st Wins Game: Yes -190
If you want to really double-up your chances, if you’re taking the Vikings to win the game and to score first, it certainly stands to reason that you like this one as well. We do, because we’re expecting big things from the Minnesota offense in this one. When the Vikings are healthy, they can be a dangerous team.