Washington @ Minnesota
Recommended Bet: WAS +16
Cover Probability: 53.68%
Cover Edge: 2.48%
Washington Redskins: (Week 10 bye)
-RB Derrius Guice (knee) was injured week 1 and is on IR.
-RB Chris Thompson (toe) was injured week 7. He will not play week 8.
-RB Adrian Peterson (ankle) was injured week 7. He will return week 8.
-TE Vernon Davis (concussion) was INACTIVE weeks 5 – 7. He will not play week 8.
-TE Jordan Reed (concussion) is on IR.
-LT Trent Williams (holdout) is OUT indefinitely.
-CB Josh Norman (thigh/hand) was INACTIVE week 7. He will return week 8.
-S Montae Nicholson (ankle) was injured week 7. He will not play week 8.
Minnesota Vikings: (Week 12 bye)
-WR Adam Thielen (hamstring) was injured week 7 and will not play week 8.
The spread opened at 14 and was bet up fairly quickly. It reached 16.5 by Monday night, and has bounced around between 15.5 – 16.5 since.
When Washington has the ball:
Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but the Redskins offense isn’t good. Well, their entire team is a dumpster fire. Their offensive DVOA sits at 29th, just ahead of the Bengals, Jets, and Dolphins. Case Keenum will get the nod in this one — there’s seriously nobody better on the roster — and he’s rocking a 66.3% completion percentage and gaining 7.1 yards per attempt. He does have a favorable TD:INT ratio (9:4), but per PFF charting, 5% of his throws are “turnover worthy” — which tells us he’s likely in for some interception regression if he keeps up at current play. To be fair to Keenum, he’s doing it behind one of the worst offensive lines in football with nobody outside of Terry McLaurin (by the way, if you call him “Scary Terry” I hate you) to throw to. McLaurin does deserve credit where it’s due — for a rookie playing in this offense he’s been nothing short of phenomenal. He has at least 6 targets in every game with the exception of last weeks game against the stout 49ers defense in the pouring rain.
Bill Callahan is entering his 3rd game as interim head coach after Jay Gruden was fired. Callahan vowed to “establish the run” — I prefer to call this “establish inefficient football.” True to his word, Adrian Peterson has 20+ carries in both of Callahan’s games. It’ll be interesting to see how this one plays out with Peterson getting injured last game. The only other running backs on the active roster are Wendell Smallwood (he’s more of a receiver) and Michael Burton (he’s played 6 offensive snaps this season).
The Vikings on defense are easily a top 5 defense this year, and really don’t have many weaknesses. Danielle Hunter (49 pressures) and Everson Griffin (40) are quietly one of the better passing rushing duos in all of football. Eric Kendricks and Anthony Barr make a solid 1-2 punch at linebacker, and there’s a solid rotation of players at defensive interior. On the back end, Anthony Harris and Harrison Smith are excellent safeties. If there’s a weakness, it’s at corner — Xavier Rhodes is supposed to be their top corner, but he’s taken a major step back this year.
When the Vikings has the ball:
There was a lot of talk about Kirk Cousins being bad at quarterbacking to start the year — myself included — but his play in his last 3 games has been so impressive that he’s even starting to enter the MVP discussion. In total this season, Cousins is completing 69.9% of his passes, averaging 9.1 yards per attempt, with 13 touchdowns and just 3 picks. The problem for the Vikings in this one is they relay heavily on Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen (the two collectively make up 47% of all targets), and Thielen won’t be able to play due to hamstring injury. That leaves Diggs and RB Dalvin Cook as the top options at receiver, with 2019 7th round pick Olabisi Johnson stepping in as the 2nd receiver. Speaking of Cook, he’s been an absolute beast this season. He’s averaging a ridiculous 5.5 yards per attempt with 8 touchdowns.
On defense, the Redskins.. yeah, they suck. There’s essentially weaknesses all over the field, with the exceptions being Quinton Dunbar at corner (he’s allowing a 34.3 QB rating when targeted), Shaun Dion Hamilton (great coverage linebacker), and interior guys Jonathan Allen/Daron Payne, who both play well against the run. I don’t expect Dunbar to shadow Diggs (he hasn’t shadowed yet this season), but maybe given the fact that the Vikings have a single competent receiver that will change. Just keep it within 16…
That’s it for now, bitches.