Liking those Vikings: Minnesota hosts Houston Texans

Posted by: Mike Davis
Houston Texans vs. Minnesota Vikings Week 5 Odds

The Houston Texans will go on the road for the second time this season when they visit the undefeated Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday, October 9th. These are the odds for people who bet on NFL:

Texans +6 (-105) 40 (-110)
Vikings -6 (-115) 40 (-110)

The Texans lost their first game of the season to the New England Patriots on September 22nd, but they had an even bigger loss the following day; three-time defensive player of the year J. J. Watt underwent back surgery to repair a herniated disk. Nonetheless, Houston won their first game without Watt – who will miss the rest of the season – against the Tennessee Titans. The Texans built an early 14-0 lead after QB Brock Osweiler threw TD passes to wide receiver Will Fuller and tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz in Houston’s first two possessions. However, the Texans mismanaged the advantage and things were tied at 20 in the third quarter, until Fuller returned a punt 67 yards to score the go-ahead touchdown. It was Houston’s first punt return for a score since 2013.

Like Thor did with Thiazi, the Vikings slew the Giants 24-10 in week 4. Starting QB Sam Bradford connected with tight end Kyle Rudolph for a TD for the third game in a row. Bradford finished 26 of 36 for 262 passing yards and no interceptions. Running backs Matt Asiata and Jerick McKinnon ran for a score each and Minnesota rushed for a season-high 104 yards. The Vikings defense also did that seidhr that they do so well and forced two TDs that resulted in 10 points and generally neutralized the Giants’ two main weapons; QB Eli Manning – who was picked off by CB Xavier Rhodes – and wide receivers Odell Beckham, Victor Cruz, and Sterling Shepard.

Sam Bradford has yet to throw an interception, the Vikings have allowed a league-second best 50 points in four games – or four wins, to be exact – and have a league-best turnover margin of plus-10. In other words, Minnesota is the straight-up favorite of people who bet on NFL at online sportsbooks. Moreover, the Vikings is 5-0 against the spread against a team with a winning record, 21-5 ATS after a game that they covered the point spread, and 22-8 ATS in their last 30 games at home. The Texans are 6-2 ATS in their previous 8 games, 7-3 ATS after a win, and 7-3 ATS after a game that they covered the point spread.

Fans who bet on NFL know that the Vikings win games by virtue of not being outscored, and their offense is modest, for want of a better word – Minnesota ranks 16th in points (22), next-to-last in total yards (290.5), and last in rushing yards (64.2) per game – though the latter stat can be easily explained away by the absence of the 2015 league rushing leader Adrian Peterson. Nevertheless, they have golden chance to improve those numbers on Sunday, what with the Texans having to play without their best player – and arguably the top defensive end in the league –, the aforementioned J.J. Watt.