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In-Depth Prediction, Preview, and Odds

Redskins vs. Vikings Prediction

Thursday, October 24, 2019 at 8:20pm EDT
U.S. Bank Syadium, Minneapolis

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In-depth Coverage

This is an in-depth analysis of this game, covering every possible detail and angle. Use the table of contents to navigate between each section, or just jump on in!

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Table of Contents

Last Updated: Thursday, October 24, 2019 at 3:32pm EDT

Introduction

A pair of NFC teams kick off the week 8 slate in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. The Washington Redskins are on the road as they take on the Minnesota Vikings Thursday night. Washington was blanked 9-0 at home in a soggy contest by San Francisco Sunday afternoon. Minnesota ran their win streak to three games as they took care of Detroit on the road, 42-30, in their last game Sunday afternoon. The Vikings own an 11-10 edge in the all-time regular season series, including a 38-30 road win in the most recent matchup on November 12, 2016.

Washington Redskins Review

The Redskins have had problems trying to make plays at critical junctures on both sides of the ball this season. Washington led Philadelphia 17-0 in the first half of the opener only to lose 32-27. The Redskins followed that up with a 31-21 home loss to Dallas and a 31-15 defeat to the Bears at home on Monday Night Football where they gave up four second-quarter touchdowns. Throw in a pair of duds, a road loss to the Giants (24-3) and a home defeat to the Patriots (33-7) for a 0-5 start that cost Jay Gruden his job. In week 6, Washington earned their first win in week 6 as they held off the Dolphins by stopping a potential game-winning two-point conversion in the final seconds. That set them up for a potential two-game win streak heading into the game with the 49ers.

Washington saw their win streak halted at one as their defense played well in the weather but their offense was completely neutralized. The Redskins continue to flounder as they have been unable to generate more than 17 points in any of their last five games after scoring 48 points combined in their first two. Washington missed a field goal on their first drive after taking 8:14 off the clock: they lost a fumble inside the San Francisco 30 and were stuffed on a fourth and inches from the 49ers’ 28. The Redskins were outgained 283-154, lost the first down battle 17-10 and saw San Francisco control time of possession by a 33:24 to 26:36 margin. Both teams turned the ball over once.

Minnesota Vikings Review

Minnesota earned their third straight win as they carved up another struggling defense in the Lions. The Vikings improved to 5-2 and stayed one game behind the Packers in the NFC North though Green Bay won the first matchup between the teams. Minnesota opened their season with a 28-12 home win over Atlanta but followed that up with a 21-16 road loss to Green Bay. The Vikings whipped the Raiders (34-14) at home before being stifled by the Bears (16-6) on the road in a game where they didn’t find the end zone until late in the fourth quarter. Minnesota drubbed the Giants (28-10) on the road in week five before taking care of business against the Eagles at home. That set the tone for the tilt on the road in the Motor City.

The Vikings continued their recent aerial assault, which helped set up the run game and made their offense unstoppable. Even the loss of receiver Adam Thielen in the first half with a hamstring injury didn’t slow Minnesota. The Vikings were tied at 21 at the half and took the lead for good on the opening drive of the second half. Minnesota owned a 503-433 edge in total offense, rolled up 32 first downs while allowing 26 and won the time of possession by a 32:10 to 27:50 margin. The Vikings forced the game’s only turnover and did damage through the air as Kirk Cousins threw for 337 yards and four touchdowns. He has six touchdowns on play-action passes in the last three weeks.

The Running Game

Washington Redskins Running Offense
vs. Minnesota Vikings Running Defense

Washington Redskins Running Offense

Washington left Adrian Peterson as a healthy inactive for the first time in his career in the opener. The decision to go with Derrius Guice as the starting back didn't pay immediate dividends as he was held in check by a swarming Eagles' defense. Adding insult to injury, Guice was injured in the contest with a torn meniscus in his knee: he was placed on injured reserve and remains out. As a team, the Redskins were limited to a total of 28 yards on 13 carries. The run game hasn’t gotten much better since that point: Washington mustered 17 carries for 47 yards and a score against Dallas, followed by 21 carries for 69 yards against the Bears in week 3. In week four against the Giants, they ran the ball 17 times for 55 yards. Recently, the run game has been more effective: they ran the ball 20 times for 145 yards against the Patriots in week five and 33 times for 145 yards against the Dolphins in week six. In the loss to San Francisco last week, the Redskins ran 26 times for 104 yards.

Adrian Peterson leads the team with 83 carries for 307 yards plus a score this season. He was hampered last week by a downpour and an ankle issue. Steven Sims Jr. is next in line with six carries for 82 yards plus a score and Chris Thompson has 23 carries for 79 yards. Wendell Smallwood has 13 carries for 58 yards while Dwayne Haskins has run the ball twice for 23 yards. Guice had 10 carries for 18 yards before going down with his injury in week 1. As a team, the Redskins have no run plays of at least 20 yards: their longest run this season is only 14 yards. Washington has only eight first downs via the run game so far this season.

Minnesota Vikings Run Defense

Minnesota has been fairly decent at stopping the run so far this season. The Vikings look to continue their early success against the ground game of the opposition here. This season, Minnesota allowed 73 yards on 17 carries to the Falcons in the series opener. The Vikings were sliced for 33 carries for 144 yards plus a score against Green Bay in week 2 before holding Oakland to 20 carries for 88 yards in week 3. Minnesota held the Bears in check in last week’s action, holding Chicago to a measly 72 yards on 33 rushing attempts for a 2.2 yard per carry average. The Vikings had another solid outing against the Giants, limiting New York to only 64 yards on 20 carries. Minnesota did have some problems against the Eagles, allowing 22 carries for 108 yards in week six. The Vikings held the Lions to 20 carries for 81 yards last week in their win.

Eric Kendricks leads the team with 61 tackles (49 solo) plus a forced fumble on the season. Harrison Smith (41 tackles, forced fumble, fumble recovery), Xavier Rhodes (30 tackles), Danielle Hunter (34 tackles) and Anthony Harris (35 tackles, fumble recovery) are solid defenders as well. Hunter leads the team with nine tackles for loss on the season while Everson Griffen (17 tackles) has five. Linval Joseph (16 tackles) adds four, Kendricks has 3.5 while Eric Wilson (22 tackles) and Anthony Barr (34 tackles, fumble recovery) both have three. As a team, the Vikings have recorded 38 tackles for loss as a team with three forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries on the year.

Stats

WAS

  • 22nd in run play percentage (38.58 percent)
  • 27th in rushing attempts per game (21)
  • 24th in rushing yards per game (84.7)
  • 17th in yards per carry (four)
  • Tied for 27th in rushing TD (two)
  • 6th in longest rush (65 yards)

MIN

  • 6th in percentage of run plays against (36.26 percent)
  • 11th in run plays per game against (23.6)
  • 7th in rushing yards allowed per game (90)
  • 9th in opposing yards per carry (3.8)
  • Tied for 1st in rushing TD allowed (one)
  • 1st in longest rush allowed (18 yards)

Who has the Edge?

Washington has had their struggles moving the ball on the ground this season though they've gone over the century mark in the last three games. The Redskins are going to have to be able to hang in the game to commit to the run, which has been a problem for them this season as the Vikings have been hot offensively lately. Minnesota has been effective this season and has shut down the run pretty well this season and is tied with San Francisco by allowing only one rushing touchdown. With Peterson battling ankle sprains, you have to be concerned about Washington's chances.

Advantage: Minnesota Vikings

Minnesota Vikings Running Offense
vs. Washington Redskins Running Defense

Minnesota Vikings Running Offense

Minnesota has been extremely effective on the ground this season and their ability to move the ball in the run game has made things that much easier for the rest of the team. The Vikings started the season by piling up 38 carries for 172 yards and three scores against the Falcons in the opener. In a losing effort against the Packers in week two, Minnesota ran the ball 27 times for 198 yards and a score: that was followed up by 38 carries for 211 yards and three scores against the Raiders last week. Against the Bears in week 4, it was tough sledding for the Vikings as they were stifled to a season low 40 yards plus a score on 16 carries. Minnesota bounced back in their week five win against the Giants, racking up 211 yards on 34 carries in the victory. The Vikings ran the ball 35 times for 122 yards against Philadelphia in week six before racking up 37 carries for 166 yards and two scores against the Lions last week.

Dalvin Cook leads the team with 133 carries for 725 yards and eight scores on the season. Alexander Mattison has 55 carries for 270 yards plus a score while Kirk Cousins chips in 21 carries for 37 yards and a score. Ameer Abdullah (six carries, 34 yards) and Mike Boone (three carries, 28 yards) are quality depth pieces. As a team, Minnesota has rung up 10 run plays that have covered at least 20 yards: Cook has six, Mattison three and Boone has one. The Vikings have moved the ball 55 times via the ground this season.

Washington Redskins Run Defense

Washington has struggled when it comes to stopping the run so far this season of the season and they are going to have to find a way to improve in that category. The Redskins have given up at least 84 yards in each game this season and has allowed at least four yards per carry in five of them. In the opener, Washington gave up 31 carries for 123 yards plus a score against Philadelphia. The Redskins were gouged for 213 yards plus a score on 34 carries by Dallas in week 2 and allowed 24 carries for 90 yards to the Bears in week 3. In week four against the Giants, Washington was gashed for 37 carries for 164 yards plus a score. The Redskins allowed 27 carries for 130 yards plus a score against New England before holding the Dolphins to 21 carries for 84 yards and a touchdown in week six. Last week against San Francisco, Washington allowed 39 carries for 137 yards.

Safety Landon Collins leads the team with 59 tackles (41 solo) plus a forced fumble on the season. Linebackers Jon Bostic (51 tackles) and Cole Holcomb (48 tackles, forced fumble), along with safety Monte Nicholson (35 tackles, fumble recovery) and defensive tackle Matt Ioannidis (34 tackles) are among the team leaders in tackles for Washington. Ioannidis, Collins and Ryan Kerrigan (12 tackles) each have 4.5 tackles for loss to share the team lead while Montez Sweat (26 tackles) is right behind with four. As a team, the Redskins have recorded 33 tackles for loss, forced three fumbles and recovered two fumbles this season.

Stats

MIN

  • 2nd in run play percentage (52.82 percent)
  • 3rd in rushing attempts per game (32.1)
  • 3rd in rushing yards per game (160)
  • 4th in yards per carry (five)
  • Tied for 2nd in rushing TD (11)
  • 5th in longest rush (75 yards)

WAS

  • 26th in percentage of run plays against (45.61 percent)
  • 27th in run plays per game against (30.4)
  • 27th in rushing yards allowed per game (134.4)
  • 21st in opposing yards per carry (4.4)
  • Tied for 9th in rushing TD allowed (five)
  • 15th in longest rush allowed (42 yards)

Who has the Edge?

Washington has had their issues stopping the run this season as they've yet to hold a team under 84 yards on the ground this season. The Redskins are going to have to find a way to contain Cook, which has been a massive challenge for their defense here. Minnesota has been very good at moving the chains on the ground this season and they have the ability to give Cook a breather by going with Mattison on the ground game. The Vikings should run over and through the Redskins defense in this contest.

Advantage: Minnesota Vikings

The Passing Game

Washington Redskins Passing Offense
vs. Minnesota Vikings Passing Defense

Washington Redskins Passing Offense

Washington has thrown the ball more than they would like so far as they’ve been unable to sustain a lead for any extended period of time in a game this season. The Redskins last held a lead in the second quarter of their week 2 contest against Dallas. Case Keenum recorded the eighth 300-yard game of his career and set a new career-high for passing yards in the loss to Philadelphia as he threw for 380 yards in the season opener. He followed that up with 221 yards against the Cowboys in week 2 and 332 yards against the Bears in week 3. Against the Giants in week four, Keenum and first-round draft pick Dwayne Haskins struggled as the team put up only 144 yards passing. That was followed by 122 yards against New England, 166 yards against the Dolphins and a season-low 77 yards in the monsoon against San Francisco.

Keenum has hit 114 of 172 passes for 1,213 yards with nine touchdowns and four interceptions on the season. He has been sacked 10 times for a loss of 97 yards. Colt McCoy is 18 of 27 for 122 yards with no touchdowns and an interception: he has been sacked six times for 44 yards. Haskins is nine of 17 for 107 yards with no touchdowns and three picks: he has been sacked twice for 21 yards in losses. Thompson leads the team with 27 receptions for 276 yards this season. Paul Richardson Jr. (20 receptions, 163 yards, two TD), Terry McLaurin (24 catches, team-high 419 yards, five TD), Trey Quinn (22 grabs, 165 yards, TD) and tight end Vernon Davis (10 catches, 123 yards, TD) are valuable options as well. The Redskins have 15 pass plays that have covered at least 20 yards this season: McLaurin leads the team with eight while Thompson has three.

Minnesota Vikings Passing Defense

Minnesota's pass defense has been soft this season though some of that can be attributed to the fact that they had garbage time against the Falcons and Raiders. This season, Minnesota allowed 304 yards plus two scores to the Falcons in the opener. The Vikings held Green Bay to 209 yards in week 2 before giving up 242 yards in week 3 against the Raiders. In week 4 against the Bears, the Vikings allowed 204 yards through the air to the combination of Mitch Trubisky and backup QB Chase Daniel. The Vikings allowed only 182 yards through the air in week 5 against the Giants. In week six, the Vikings allowed their second 300-yard passing game of the season as the Eagles finished with 306 yards, many coming with the game already decided. The Vikings were hurt by the pass again in week seven against the Lions, giving up 364 yards through the air. Minnesota has picked up at least one sack in each of their games this season.

Hunter leads the team with seven sacks on the year and Griffen is next in line with four. Wilson and Joseph each have a pair of sacks while Barr, Ifeadi Odenigbo (four tackles, tackle for loss) and Shamar Stephen (14 tackles, tackle for loss, pass defense) each have one sack to their credit. Kendricks leads the team with nine pass defenses while Smith has six: Harris and Trae Waynes (24 tackles, two tackles for loss, forced fumble) both have five while Mike Hughes (nine tackles), Rhodes and Barr each have three. Harris leads the team with two interceptions while Smith, Waynes, Griffen, Mackensie Alexander (seven tackles, half a sack, half a tackle for loss, pass defense) and Barr have the others. As a team, Minnesota has 19 sacks, 40 pass defenses and seven interceptions on the year.

Stats

WAS

  • 11th in pass play percentage (61.42 percent)
  • 13th in completion percentage (65.3)
  • 31st in passing yards per game (182.9)
  • Tied for 17th in TD passes (nine)
  • Tied for 24th in INT thrown (eight)
  • 28th in net yards per pass attempt (5.9)
  • Tied for 10th in longest pass play (69 yards)
  • 26th in passer rating (82.8)

MIN

  • 27th in pass play percentage against (63.74 percent)
  • 15th in passing yards per game allowed (237.9)
  • 23rd in completion percentage allowed (67.5)
  • Tied for 25th in TD passes allowed (14)
  • Tied for 7th in INT (seven)
  • Tied for 9th in sacks (19)
  • 19th in passer rating allowed (92.7)
  • 6th in net yards per pass attempt (6.1)

Who has the Edge?

Washington's passing game has spiraled downhill in recent weeks and it's going to be tough to get back on track. The Vikings have a quality secondary that is capable of making plays on the ball and a pass rush that can get after Keenum. Washington's offensive line has had their struggles this season and they have their hands full dealing with Griffen and Hunter in the front seven. The Vikings are going to give up their share of yards but they have the weapons to shut down the Redskins in this contest while the game matters.

Advantage: Minnesota Vikings

Minnesota Vikings Passing Offense
vs. Washington Redskins Passing Defense

Minnesota Vikings Passing Offense

Minnesota has been extremely effective with the run game this season. As a result, the passing game has suffered as it's taken somewhat of a back seat in the early part of the 2019 campaign. The Vikings had only 98 yards and a score through the air in the opener as they threw only 10 passes against the Falcons. Against Green Bay, Minnesota had 230 yards through the air, a season-high to date, but completed less than 50 percent of their throws. In week 3 against Oakland, the Vikings had 174 yards through the air. That was followed by a showing where Minnesota had 233 yards in week 4 against the Bears but gave up six sacks for 51 yards in the contest. The Vikings went over the 300-yard mark for the first time this season as they threw for 306 yards against the Giants in week 5. Minnesota followed that up with a second straight 300-yard game in week six against the Eagles, racking up 333 yards through the air: the string was extended to three games as the Vikings picked up 337 yards passing against the Lions in week seven.

Kirk Cousins is 132 of 189 for 1,711 yards with 13 touchdowns and three interceptions on the year. He's been sacked 12 times for a loss of 94 yards as the team has gotten the passing game ramped up of late. Adam Thielen is second on the team with 27 receptions for 391 yards and six scores on the year. Cook has 24 catches for 220 yards but the Vikings need more from Stefon Diggs (team-high 30 grabs, 562 yards, four TD) and tight end Kyle Rudolph (14 catches, 130 yards, TD) in the passing game. Minnesota has 25 pass plays of at least 20 yards on the year: Diggs has nine such plays: Thielen is right behind him with eight while Irv Smith Jr. (12 catches, 153 yards) has four and Cook two on the year.

Update (8/24): Thielen is listed out on Thursday due to a hamstring injury. His streak of 87 consecutive games will end tonight. Fortunately for the Vikings, he's the only key player who is out. Everyone on the roster other than Thielen and DT Jaylen Holmes (illness) practices fully on Wednesday.

Washington Redskins Passing Defense

Washington has had their problems when it comes to keeping the opposing passing game in check. The Redskins have gotten their pass rush turned up lately: after recording just five sacks in the first four games, the team has 11 in the last three. Washington is going to have to keep that up in order to keep their secondary from being hung out to dry. The Redskins gave up 313 yards through the air to the Eagles in week one plus three touchdowns. That was followed by 269 yards and three scores to Dallas in week two and 231 yards plus three touchdowns to the Bears in week three. Washington held the Giants to 225 yards and a score in week four before allowing 348 yards with three touchdowns to New England. The Redskins held Miami to 217 yards in week six and limited the 49ers to just 151 yards last week in the driving rain.

Jonathan Allen (21 tackles, three tackles for loss, pass defense) leads the team with three sacks. Ioannidis is next in line with 2.5 sacks while Kerrigan contributes two on the year. Quinton Dunbar (22 tackles) leads the team with five pass defenses while Josh Norman (27 tackles, sack, tackle for loss) and Montae Nicholson (35 tackles, half-tackle for loss, fumble recovery) each have four. Dunbar has three interceptions to lead the team in that category. Nicholson has two while Shaun Dion Hamilton (17 tackles, tackle for loss, pass defense, forced fumble), Troy Apke (nine tackles, pass defense) and Norman each have one. As a team, the Redskins have picked up 16 sacks, 24 pass defenses and eight interceptions so far this season.

Stats

MIN

  • 31st in pass play percentage (47.18 percent)
  • 4th in completion percentage (69.8)
  • 17th in passing yards per game (231)
  • Tied for 5th in TD passes (13)
  • Tied for 6th in INT thrown (three)
  • 4th in net yards per pass attempt (8.3)
  • Tied for 15th in longest pass play (66 yards)
  • 1st in passer rating (114.3)

WAS

  • 7th in pass play percentage against (54.39 percent)
  • 12th in passing yards per game allowed (236)
  • 31st in completion percentage allowed (71)
  • Tied for 25th in TD passes allowed (14)
  • Tied for 3rd in INT (eight)
  • Tied for 19th in sacks (16)
  • 22nd in passer rating allowed (97.6)
  • 16th in net yards per pass attempt (6.9)

Who has the Edge?

Minnesota has been very effective via the passing game in the last three games as Cousins has broken the 300-yard mark in each of those contests. It has brought the balance that the Vikings have been looking for all season long. Washington has gotten their pass rush going of late, which has been a boost to their secondary as it forces opposing quarterbacks to get rid of the ball a little sooner than expected. The Vikings will miss Thielen if he can't play and that would impact them but the reemergence of Rudolph last week is a boost to them. Minnesota is dangerous right now and that's a problem for the Redskins.

Advantage: Minnesota Vikings

Intangibles

Washington Redskins

Washington is 30th in the league in scoring offense as they put up an average of 12.9 points per game this season. The Redskins are 29th in the league in total offense with 267.6 yards per game and stand 28th in yards per play with an average of 4.9 yards per snap. Washington is 20th in scoring defense as they allow 25.1 points per game. The Redskins are 21st in total defense as they give up 370.4 yards per game and stand 16th in yards per play as they allow 5.6 yards per snap. Washington is tied for 21st in the takeaway/giveaway department as they are -2 this season.

The Redskins are a dismal 27th in the league in red-zone success as they convert 46.15 percent of their trips inside the 20 into touchdowns this season. Washington is 13th in red-zone defense as they give up touchdowns on 53.85 percent of their opponents' trips inside the 20 this season. The Redskins are 31st in the league in third-down conversions as they convert 24.66 percent of their chances. Washington is abysmal getting off the field on third down defensively as they are 30th: opposing teams are converting 49.49 percent of their opportunities. The Redskins are 32nd in time of possession as they hold the ball 44.40 percent of the time this season.

Dustin Hopkins has hit all nine extra-point attempts and five of eight field-goal tries on the season with a long of 48. Tress Way averages 50 yards on his 37 punts this season with a net of 44.5 yards per boot. He has dropped 14 punts inside the opposition’s 20-yard line with one touchback this season. Steven Sims Jr. averages 22.2 yards on 13 kickoff returns with a long of 45 while Trey Quinn has nine punt returns, averaging 7.1 yards per return with a long of 15 yards.

Minnesota Vikings

Minnesota is 6th in the league in scoring offense as they put up an average of 27.4 points per game this season. The Vikings are 6th in the league in total offense with 391 yards per game and stand 3rd in yards per play with an average of 6.4 yards per snap. Minnesota is 6th in scoring defense as they allow 17.6 points per game. The Vikings are 6th in total defense as they give up 327.9 yards per game and stand 7th in yards per play as they allow five yards per snap. Minnesota is tied for 11th in the takeaway/giveaway department as they are +2 so far this season.

The Vikings are 1st in the league in red zone success as they convert 70.83 percent of their trips inside the 20 into touchdowns this season. Minnesota is just 20th in red zone defense as they give up touchdowns on 61.11 percent of their opponents’ trips inside the 20 this season. The Vikings are 13th in the league in third down conversions as they convert 42.11 percent of their chances. Minnesota is decent getting off the field on third down defensively as they are 13th: opposing teams are converting 37.08 percent of their opportunities. The Vikings are 17th in time of possession as they hold the ball 49.68 percent of the time this season.

Dan Bailey is 22 of 23 on extra points and eight of 10 on field goal tries this season with a long of 50. Britton Colquitt has averaged 46.6 yards per punt on 22 boots this season: he boasts a 42.7-yard net average with eight punts inside the opposing 20-yard line against no touchbacks. Ameer Abdullah has averaged 29.2 yards on five kick returns with a long of 38 yards while Chad Beebe has one for 13 yards: he's run back seven punts for a 6.6-yard average with a long of 15. Marcus Sherels has one kick return for nine yards and has averaged 5.5 yards on six punt returns this season. Eric Wilson has blocked a punt: that came in the opener against Atlanta.

Who has the Edge?

Washington has been awful in a lot of categories this season and the numbers here don't hold a lot of optimism. The Redskins are near the bottom of the league in both third down conversions and third down defense this season. Washington's best player may well be their punter Way as he does a solid job of flipping field position. Minnesota has been solid and leads the league in red zone success this season. The Vikings have a better kicking game and a solid return game to work with: that gives them the upper hand in this category.

Advantage: Minnesota Vikings

Final Outlook

Washington is dealing with plenty of issues on both sides of the ball and that's a major problem coming in to face a hot Minnesota team. The Redskins have been a bit better under Bill Callahan than they were this season under Jay Gruden, who was fired after the team fell to 0-5. Peterson dealing with both high and low ankle sprains is going to potentially limit one of the few weapons the Redskins have in the passing game. Minnesota has been hot of late and Cousins has rejuvenated the passing game for the team with three straight 300-yard games. Couple that with a power run game makes life tough to stop the Vikings. Seeing how effective the Vikings have been at moving the ball of late, you have to think it's an uphill climb for the Redskins in this one. Minnesota has won their last three games by 18, 18 and 12 points: all five of their wins have come by double digits this season.

The Vikings are 5-1-1 ATS in their last 7 games after accumulating more than 250 yards passing in their previous game, 4-1 ATS in their last 5 Thursday games and 4-1 ATS in their last five overall. Washington has gone 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games overall, 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games on fieldturf and 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up loss.

Latest Updates, Injury Reports, and Line Movements

Washington has a series of injuries to deal with in this contest. Chris Thompson is out again with a toe injury, which means Wendell Smallwood will see an increased workload. That could increase further if Peterson is limited at all by his ankle issues. Vernon Davis is also out at tight end with a concussion, which puts Jeremy Sprinkle into the starting mix. Backup guard Wes Martin (chest), along with linebacker Josh Harvey-Clemons (hamstring) and safety DeShazor Everett (ankle) are all out as well. That list doesn't even mention tackle Trent Williams, who remains a holdout.

The Redskins have several question marks as well that can impact the game here. Steven Sims Jr. is questionable with a toe injury. The problems in the secondary are more damning as Montae Nicholson (ankle) and Josh Norman (thigh/hand) are both questionable. There's not a ton of depth in the Washington secondary: Troy Apke would step up if Nicholson can't play while Simeon Thomas, Aaron Colvin and Fabian Moreau all would move up if Norman is out.

Minnesota is remarkably healthy for this contest with only two players on the injury report. One of them is a big one as Thielen has been ruled out with the hamstring injury that he sustained early on against the Lions Sunday. He's not expected to miss a ton of time but the short turnaround proved to be too much to overcome. That means Laquon Treadwell and Bisi Johnson have to step up opposite Diggs. The only other player on the injury report is defensive tackle Jalyn Holmes, who is questionable.

The weather could end up being a factor in this one but only if you're tailgating since U.S. Bank Stadium is an enclosed venue. The game-time temperature is expected to be in the high-30s for this contest with clear skies. Winds are expected to come from the west around five miles an hour with gusts up to 10 miles per hour. There is no precipitation in the forecast for the tailgaters. Inside, the temperature will be in the high-60s with no weather to speak of: once you get inside, everything will be good to go, at least for a few hours.

When the initial lines opened for this contest, Minnesota was installed as a 14-point favorite with the over/under set at 4 points. As of Thursday afternoon, the line has moved upward slightly with the Vikings are now a 16.5-point favorite in the contest. The over/under ticked upward slightly to 42 points in this contest. Currently, the moneyline shows Minnesota a lofty -1200 to -1400 favorite while the Redskins can be found as a +750 to +850 underdog depending on the sportsbook. As of this writing, 597 percent of the bets are backing the Vikings -16.5 points. When it comes to the moneyline, a solid majority, 57 percent of the wagers, are backing the Vikings as the home team. Meanwhile, 62 percent of bets are projecting this one to go over the total.

Washington is riddled with injuries and are a 1-6 team playing for little more than pride. Minnesota has been on a roll with three straight wins coming into this contest and they've made life for opposing defenses with the resurgent passing game. The Vikings will miss Thielen but the Redskins' inability to do much on offense is going to be their undoing again. Minnesota makes it four straight wins as they roll over the Redskins in this one.

Prediction: Minnesota Vikings -16.5

Second Opinion on this pick from StatSalt.com

Additional Insiders' Best Bets

Full-game Total Bet

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Washington has struggled to put points on the board this season and that is a major reason the team is 1-6 on the year. The Redskins have been held to single-digit point totals in three of their games and to 17 points or less in five of their seven games this season. Minnesota has been extremely effective offensively, putting up at least 28 points in five of their seven games this season. The Vikings have scored 108 points in their last three games and they are facing a Washington defense that has struggled to shut down opposing offenses. Minnesota has been extremely good in the red zone and that makes for the potential for some big point totals. If Washington fails to deliver on defense, they're going to be in for a long night.

The over is 7-1 in the Redskins' last 8 Thursday games, 5-1 in their last 6 games following an ATS win, 9-2 in their last 11 road games vs. a team with a winning home record and 7-2 in their last 9 games after allowing less than 15 points in their previous game. The teams have gone over the total in each of the last four meetings in Minnesota and in each of the last six meetings overall. Given the Vikings' penchant for racking up hefty point totals, this one goes over the number.

Prediction: Over 42

Half-time Side Bet

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Washington has held the lead just twice in their seven games at the half this season. The Redskins were in a scoreless tie last week at the half against the 49ers. That's a challenge for Washington in this one: trying to score points and slow down the Vikings' offense. Minnesota has held the lead four times at the half this season and they were tied against the Lions last week. The Vikings are by far the superior team here and they should take advantage of the Redskins to own the lead at the half.

Prediction: Minnesota Vikings -10

Half-time Total Bet

Insiders Status:

Rating:

Washington hasn't done much offensively in the first half of games this season. The Redskins have been outscored 81-47 in the first half this season, meaning they average less than seven points a game in the opening half of contests. Minnesota has taken opponents to the woodshed to the tune of a 115-66 advantage in the opening half of games this season. That means the Vikings average better than 16 points a game in the first half. Minnesota put 18 on the board against the Giants in the opening half, 24 against the Eagles and 21 against the Lions in their last three games. Given the way the Vikings have clicked of late, this one goes over the number as Minnesota leads 20-3 or something similar at intermission.

Prediction: Over 21
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Written By Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in-depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. Now he is writing for our team here at Winners @ Whiners. Chris keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college. He is also very knowledgeable in the NHL, the NBA, college basketball and MLB. If you want consistency, then be sure and check out Chris’ content daily.