Important game for both teams
Week 9’s Sunday NFL slate is a solid one, but this matchup between AFC North’s 5-2 Baltimore Ravens and the NFC North’s 3-4 Minnesota Vikings looks like easily the most interesting offering. With a total of 50.5 and a game featuring two of the league’s top quarterbacks, we are expecting some fireworks here.
The Ravens are leading their division in front of the 5-3 Bengals, but analysts are forecasting this race to come down to the wire. Baltimore is coming off their bye week, so this game is surely marked as a win in their calendar given, they had an extra week to prepare for Minnesota.
The Vikings are also expecting to come away with a victory here. Minnesota has multiple fluky losses on their record including an overtime loss to Cincinnati that they only lost due to a late missed field goal. The Vikings also lost by one point against Arizona in a game where they were clearly playing the better football. On the top of these two games, the Vikings lost by 4 points to Dallas last week after going just 1 for 15 on third downs in that game.
Minnesota Vikings vs. Baltimore Ravens Betting Odds
Minnesota can still turn their season around
Luck hasn’t been on Minnesota’s side so far, as this team is playing much like a 5-2 team than a 3-4 one. Things would take a dramatic turn though if the Vikings come away with the victory this week as their division rival, Green Bay are without their starting QB this week and are facing Kansas City as 7.5-point underdogs.
The Packers are only getting Aaron Rodgers next Saturday, so he also won’t be able to practice all week, that is only if he is not getting a suspension for breaking the NFL’s Covid-protocol. With some positive fortune, the Vikings can easily cut Green Bay’s lead to just two games before the last few weeks of the season.
Strong offensive weapons helping the road team
The Vikings are getting World-class quarterback play from Kirk Cousins this year. Cousins already has 1953 passing yards in just seven starts and his 14 – 2 touchdown/interception ratio is among the best in the league. NFL analyst site PFF currently grades Cousins as the second-best QB in the league this season only trailing the greatest of all time, Tom Brady. Not too shabby!
Cousins is completing 69% of his passes and he is facing a Baltimore defense that is allowing one of the highest average depth of target to opposing quarterbacks at 8.2 yards. With two top-tier pass catchers at his disposal in Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen, you can be sure that Cousins will put up some points this week facing a weak secondary that is allowing 12.9 yards per reception.
Serious injuries to Baltimore
Despite having two full weeks off, Baltimore’s offense is not as healthy as their backers would like. The Ravens will be without running back Latavius Murray on Sunday, and guard Patrick Mekari is also missing this game. The WR core is also dealing with injuries with Rashod Bateman and Sammy Watkins both being questionable. If these two pass catchers end up sitting this game out, we would expect this spread to move to 5 or 5.5 points before kick-off.
Pick: Minnesota Vikings +6 –110 (1.91x) Bet365
This matchup really favors Minnesota here. The Ravens are strong against the run, but weak against the pass and that means good things for the Minnesota here. Our model projects the correct spread of this game to 4 points, resulting in a solid value on the +6. This is as close to a 50-50 shootout as you will find and getting almost a touchdown here with the road team is just too good to pass up!