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In-Depth Prediction, Preview, and Odds

Broncos vs. Vikings Prediction

Sunday, November 17, 2019 at 1:00pm EST
U.S. Bank Syadium, Minneapolis

This article covers a past game!

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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: Sunday, November 17, 2019 at 8:45am EST

Introduction

It’s an interconference matchup on the gridiron up in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. The Denver Broncos are on the road as they make the trip to face the Minnesota Vikings Sunday afternoon. Denver comes in off a bye last week: they defeated Cleveland 24-19 at home in their previous contest on November 3. Minnesota bounced back from a tough loss to Kansas City as they dumped Dallas 28-24 on the road in their previous game last Sunday night. The all-time regular season series between the teams is knotted at seven wins apiece with the Broncos claiming the last three matchups. In the last meeting, Denver took a 23-20 home win on October 4, 2015.

Denver Broncos Review

Denver looked dead in the water after the first four weeks of the season as the team struggled to get things going for first-year coach Vic Fangio. The Broncos started the year with four straight losses, including a pair at the final gun on field goals, leaving many to wonder if this was another wait until next year for the team. Denver was beaten on Monday Night Football to open the season, falling 24-16 on the road against the Raiders. That was followed by a 16-14 home loss to Chicago on a 53-yard field goal at the final gun. Denver then lost at Green Bay (27-16) and at home to Jacksonville (26-24), again giving up a field goal on the game’s final play. Things seemed to be going in a positive direction as the Broncos beat the Chargers (20-13) before dropping the Titans 16-0 at home. Despite Kansas City losing Patrick Mahomes to a dislocated knee in their first half of their week seven matchup, the Broncos were hammered 30-6 at home. Denver followed that with a 15-13 road loss to Indianapolis where they fell in the last minute. The team placed Joe Flacco on injured reserve after that game, turning the offense over to Brandon Allen, who had as many NFL starts going into the Cleveland game as you.

Against the Browns, the Broncos didn’t necessarily set the world on fire or sustain drives. What Denver did do was get big plays offensively that put points on the board and their defense came up with critical plays when it mattered. The Broncos scored touchdowns covering 21, 30 and 75 yards while their defense held Cleveland to four first-half field goals, including three drives that reached the red zone. Denver didn’t allow Cleveland in the end zone until the fourth quarter and came up with a fourth-down stop with under four minutes to play. The Broncos ran out the clock from there to earn the win. Denver was outgained 351-302, gave up 21 first downs while collecting 13 and lost the time of possession 35:30 to 24:30 yet prevailed. The Broncos committed the lone turnover of the contest but their big plays and bend but don’t break defense was enough to get a win.

Minnesota Vikings Review

Minnesota won for the fifth time in their last six games as they took down the Cowboys on the road. The Vikings improved to 7-3 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 was followed by a 42-30 road win over Detroit, a home win (19-9) against Washington on a Thursday night and a loss (26-23) at the final gun against Kansas City on the road.

Heading into Big D, the Vikings were intent on turning things around and getting back in the win column and they delivered. Minnesota jumped to a 14-0 lead after the opening quarter and took the lead for good on a Dalvin Cook touchdown run with two seconds to play in the third quarter. In the final stanza, the defense stepped up. Dallas drove to the Minnesota 11 with just over a minute to play before the Vikings stuffed Ezekiel Elliott for a three-yard loss and forced Dak Prescott to throw incomplete to turn the ball over on downs. After punting back to Dallas, Minnesota picked off a Hail Mary attempt on the game’s final play to preserve the victory. The Vikings were outgained 443-364 despite winning the first down battle (27-24) and the time of possession (33:27 to 26:33) in the game. For good measure, the takeaway on the game’s final play was the only turnover of the game.

*Full preview and pick coming Thursday*

The Running Game

Denver Broncos Running Offense
vs. Minnesota Vikings Running Defense

Denver Broncos Running Offense

Denver’s run game has been up and down as they likely need to move away from the time share situation that they have been going with and turn the lion’s share of the workload over to one guy. The Broncos ran the ball 23 times for 95 yards against Oakland in the opener and followed that with 24 carries for 90 yards against Chicago. In the last five weeks, Denver has run for 100 yards four times. The Broncos ran 32 times for 191 yards against the Chargers and 30 times for 103 yards against the Titans. Denver also cracked the century mark against Indianapolis (28 carries, 113 yards) and the Browns (20 attempts, 127 yards) in that span.

Phillip Lindsay leads the Broncos on the ground with 118 carries for 584 yards and five scores this season. Royce Freeman is the second back in the system with 93 carries for 374 yards and two scores while Joe Flacco is a distant third with 12 carries for 20 yards on the season. As a team, the Broncos have seven run plays of at least 20 yards: Lindsay leads the team with six while Freeman has the other. Denver has moved the chains 47 times on the ground so far this season.

Minnesota Vikings Run Defense

Minnesota has been fairly decent at stopping the run so far this season. The Vikings have allowed just three teams to crack the century mark against them on the ground this season. One of those should come with an asterisk as the Chiefs pulled off the feat in week nine, mainly on the strength of a 91-yard touchdown run. Kansas City is the lone team in the last four games to crack the 100-yard mark against Minnesota: in that span, the Vikings held the Lions to 81 yards, the Redskins to 85 and the Cowboys to only 50 last week.

Eric Kendricks leads the team with 80 tackles (53 solo) plus a forced fumble on the season. Harrison Smith (57 tackles, two forced fumbles, fumble recovery), Xavier Rhodes (42 tackles), Danielle Hunter (44 tackles, forced fumble) and Anthony Harris (45 tackles, fumble recovery) are solid defenders as well. Hunter leads the team with 11.5 tackles for loss on the season while Everson Griffen (32 tackles) has nine. Linval Joseph (31 tackles) adds 6.5 while Anthony Barr (48 tackles, fumble recovery) has four. As a team, the Vikings have recorded 56 tackles for loss as a team with eight forced fumbles and six fumble recoveries on the year.

Stats

DEN

  • 12th in run play percentage (42.65 percent)
  • 15th in rushing attempts per game (25.8)
  • 16th in rushing yards per game (111.9)
  • 14th in yards per carry (4.3)
  • Tied for 18th in rushing TD (seven)
  • Tied for 22nd in longest rush (40 yards)

MIN

  • 4th in percentage of run plays against (35.42 percent)
  • 5th in run plays per game against (22.1)
  • 7th in rushing yards allowed per game (91.2)
  • 12th in opposing yards per carry (4.1)
  • 1st in rushing TD allowed (two)
  • 1st in longest rush allowed (18 yards)

Who has the Edge?

Denver is going to have tough sledding here. The Vikings just shut down Ezekiel Elliott last week and with the Broncos going with a quarterback making his second career start, you have to think that they'll load the box. That will force the Broncos to try and move the ball via the air in order to help loosen up the Minnesota defense. Lindsay and Freeman have a rough day in front of them in this one. The Vikings get the solid edge in this category.

Advantage: Minnesota Vikings

Minnesota Vikings Running Offense
vs. Denver Broncos 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 have gone over the century mark eight times in their 10 games with a ninth contest falling just short at 96 yards. Minnesota has run for more than 200 yards twice and gone over the 150-yard mark in seven of their games. In the last four games, the Vikings have run for at least 153 yards three times as they’re increasingly difficult to slow down.

Dalvin Cook leads the team with 203 carries for 991 yards and 10 scores on the season. Alexander Mattison has 79 carries for 389 yards plus a score while Kirk Cousins chips in 25 carries for 49 yards and a score. Ameer Abdullah (seven carries, 36 yards) and Mike Boone (three carries, 28 yards) are quality depth pieces. As a team, Minnesota has rung up 12 run plays that have covered at least 20 yards: Cook has seven, Mattison four and Boone has one. The Vikings have moved the ball 78 times via the ground this season.

Denver Broncos Run Defense

Denver’s run defense has been pretty solid this season, holding six of nine foes under 100 yards and 3.5 yards per carry. The Broncos look to continue that trend and keep themselves in the game. Denver has been tough on the ground game of late, allowing just one of their last five opponents to go over the century mark: the Colts ran for 127 yards in week eight. Twice in the last five weeks, the Broncos held the opposition under 40 yards on the ground. In week nine against Cleveland, Denver gave up 29 carries for 90 yards.

Justin Simmons leads the team with 53 tackles (39 solo) on the season for the Broncos from his safety position. Linebackers Todd Davis (53 tackles) and Alexander Johnson (41 tackles, forced fumble), along with cornerback Kareem Jackson (40 tackles, forced fumble) plus nose tackle Shelby Harris (31 tackles) are among the team leaders in stops. Von Miller (29 tackles) and Derek Wolfe (27 tackles, forced fumble) each have six tackles for loss to share the team lead. Mike Purcell (18 tackles) is right behind them with 5.5 on the season. The Broncos, as a team, have recorded 51 tackles for loss, five forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries on the season.

Stats

MIN

  • 3rd in run play percentage (51.91 percent)
  • 3rd in rushing attempts per game (32.6)
  • 3rd in rushing yards per game (153)
  • 9th in yards per carry (4.7)
  • Tied for 3rd in rushing TD (13)
  • 6th in longest rush (75 yards)

DEN

  • 25th in percentage of run plays against (43.6 percent)
  • 20th in run plays per game against (26.9)
  • 17th in rushing yards allowed per game (107.6)
  • 14th in opposing yards per carry (4.1)
  • Tied for 7th in rushing TD allowed (six)
  • 29th in longest rush allowed (81 yards)

Who has the Edge?

Denver has been pretty good against the run but, to be fair, there aren't many teams in the league that pound the rock as often, or as effectively, as the Vikings. Cook is poised to crack the 1,000 yard threshold and the run game continues to churn out yardage for Minnesota. Denver doesn't see too many teams this committed to the run, especially in the pass-happy AFC West. The Vikings will try to impose their will early to set the tone. Minnesota gets the advantage in this category.

Advantage: Minnesota Vikings

The Passing Game

Denver Broncos Passing Offense
vs. Minnesota Vikings Passing Defense

Denver Broncos Passing Offense

Denver hasn’t been lighting the world on fire offensively this season as the team has only one 300-yard game through the air while being held under 200 yards in each of the last two weeks. The Broncos threw for 268 yards against the Raiders in their season opener followed by a 292-yard showing against the Bears in week 2. Denver threw for 213 yards against Green Bay followed by a season-high 303 yards against the Jaguars. In weeks five and six, fans saw the Broncos lean on the run: they threw for 182 yards against the Chargers and 177 yards against the Titans in their victories. Against the Chiefs in week seven, Denver threw for 213 yards but gave up nine sacks that ate up 79 of those yards.

Joe Flacco has completed 171 of 262 passes for 1,822 yards with six touchdown passes and five interceptions on the year. He has been sacked 26 times, losing 194 yards in the process and hit injured reserve last month. Brandon Allen has taken over the offense: he is 12 of 20 for 193 yards and two scores. He has been sacked three times for 18 yards in losses. Courtland Sutton leads the team with 44 receptions for 692 yards plus four touchdowns. Freeman (27 grabs, 181 yards), Lindsay (25 receptions, 160 yards) and rookie tight end Noah Fant (23 grabs, 300 yards, two TD) are solid targets. The Broncos have 27 pass plays that have covered at least 20 yards on the season: Sutton leads the team with 11 while Fant is next in line with five. Denver will need to find a new #2 receiver as Emmanuel Sanders was traded to San Francisco last month: that means DaeSean Hamilton (11 receptions, 106 yards), Diontae Spencer (five grabs, 31 yards) and Fred Brown (two receptions, 21 yards) are going to have to step up opposite Sutton.

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 in several games. The Vikings have given up more than 300 yards through the air four times this season. Two of those have come in the last four weeks as Minnesota sandwiched decent games against Washington (163 yards) and Kansas City (275 yards) between their two worst games of the year. The Vikings allowed 364 yards through the air to Detroit in week seven and gave up a season-high 397 yards to Dallas last week. Minnesota has recorded at least one sack in each game this season.

Hunter leads the team with 8.5 sacks on the year and Griffen is next in line with six. Ifeadi Odenigbo (nine tackles, four tackles for loss)  and Joseph each have three sacks while Eric Wilson (24 tackles, three tackles for loss) adds two. Kendricks leads the team with 11 pass defenses while Smith, Harris and Trae Waynes (34 tackles, two tackles for loss, forced fumble) each have seven on the year. Mike Hughes (24 tackles, forced fumble) is right behind them with six. Harris leads the team with three interceptions while Jayron Kearse (17 tackles, three pass defenses), Smith, Waynes, Griffen, Mackensie Alexander (14 tackles, half a sack, half a tackle for loss, four pass defenses) and Barr have the others. As a team, Minnesota has 29 sacks, 57 pass defenses and nine interceptions on the year.

Stats

DEN

  • 21st in pass play percentage (57.35 percent)
  • 14th in completion percentage (64.9)
  • 28th in passing yards per game (199.6)
  • 31st in TD passes (eight)
  • Tied for 7th in INT thrown (five)
  • 23rd in net yards per pass attempt (6.4)
  • Tied for 7th in longest pass play (75 yards)
  • Tied for 20th in passer rating (88)

MIN

  • 29th in pass play percentage against (64.58 percent)
  • 18th in passing yards per game allowed (241.9)
  • 26th in completion percentage allowed (67.1)
  • Tied for 25th in TD passes allowed (18)
  • Tied for 5th in INT (nine)
  • 7th in sacks (29)
  • 18th in passer rating allowed (93.5)
  • 11th in net yards per pass attempt (6.5)

Who has the Edge?

Minnesota has been hurt by the pass at times this season and they have had a couple of rough games in the last month. The Vikings do catch a break as the Broncos don't have a veteran quarterback that can take advantage of the situation. Denver also lacks a bunch of proven receivers like the Chiefs, Lions and Cowboys have brought to the fold in recent weeks. That makes it easier for the Minnesota defense to key on Sutton and make him a relative non-factor. Look for this one to go the Vikings' way.

Advantage: Minnesota Vikings

Minnesota Vikings Passing Offense
vs. Denver Broncos Passing Defense

Minnesota Vikings Passing Offense

Minnesota has been extremely effective with the run game this season. As a result, the passing game has been more of a secondary feature in the Vikings’ offense. Minnesota failed to throw for more than 233 yards in any of their first four games of the season. The Vikings then broke out with three straight 300-yard games from weeks five through seven before tapering down a little bit since that point. In the last three weeks, Minnesota has thrown for 285, 220 and 220 yards.

Kirk Cousins is 197 of 285 for 2,437 yards with 18 touchdowns and three interceptions on the year. He's been sacked 17 times for a loss of 123 yards as the team has gotten the passing game ramped up of late. Adam Thielen is third on the team with 27 receptions for 391 yards and six scores on the year. Cook has 40 catches for 424 yards but the Vikings also get production from Stefon Diggs (team-high 41 grabs, 759 yards, four TD) and tight end Kyle Rudolph (24 catches, 184 yards, four TD) in the passing game. Minnesota has 37 pass plays of at least 20 yards on the year: Diggs has 14 such plays: Thielen is right behind him with eight while Cook adds six and Irv Smith Jr. (24 catches, 241 yards) has five on the year.

Denver Broncos Passing Defense

Denver, despite having issues with an inconsistent pass rush along with injuries in their secondary, has held up fairly well against the pass. The Broncos have not allowed a 300-yard passer yet this season. Denver has held six teams to 213 yards or less through the air on the year and five opponents to under 200 net passing yards. The Broncos have gotten their pass rush going as well: after recording no sacks in four of their first five games, the team has 14 sacks in their last four contests. Denver did allow a season-high 273 yards through the air to Cleveland in their last game.

Wolfe leads the team with five sacks on the season. Miller and DeMarcus Walker (18 tackles, five tackles for loss) are next in line with four. Simmons leads the team with nine pass defenses while Harris has six: Jackson is next in line with five. Chris Harris Jr. (26 tackles, tackle for loss, forced fumble) adds four while Johnson and De’Vante Bausby (13 tackles) each have three. Simmons leads the team with two interceptions, while Johnson, Harris Jr. and Jackson each have one on the year. The Broncos have recorded 19 sacks, 39 pass defenses and five interceptions on the season.

Stats

MIN

  • 30th in pass play percentage (48.09 percent)
  • 5th in completion percentage (69.1)
  • 17th in passing yards per game (231.4)
  • Tied for 5th in TD passes (18)
  • 4th in INT thrown (three)
  • 3rd in net yards per pass attempt (8.1)
  • Tied for 14th in longest pass play (66 yards)
  • 2nd in passer rating (112)

DEN

  • 8th in pass play percentage against (56.4 percent)
  • 4th in passing yards per game allowed (202.1)
  • 18th in completion percentage allowed (64)
  • Tied for 2nd in TD passes allowed (seven)
  • Tied for 23rd in INT (five)
  • Tied for 26th in sacks (19)
  • 7th in passer rating allowed (83.3)
  • 6th in net yards per pass attempt (6.2)

Who has the Edge?

Cousins has been very good this season and things have started clicking since week four or so. That was the point when Kevin Stefanski decided to loosen his grip on the playbook and actually start calling some pass plays. Cousins is a master at play-action and that is likely to be a factor here, especially if the run gets going. Denver has been solid against the pass this season and their pass rush has improved of late. With that said, the Broncos don't get much in the way of turnovers against the passing game this season. This one is close, but if Thielen can return, the Vikings have too many weapons for Denver to deal with in this contest.

Advantage: Minnesota Vikings

Intangibles

Denver Broncos

The Broncos have had their issues on the offensive side of the ball this season as they are 28th in the league with 16.6 points per contest. Denver stands 27th in the league in total offense as they average 311.4 yards per contest while ranking 24th in yards per play as they pick up 5.2 yards per snap. The Broncos are currently 6th in the league in scoring defense by allowing only 18.9 points per contest. Denver is 4th in the league in total defense by allowing 309.7 yards per game and a stand 7th in yards per play by allowing five yards per snap. In giveaway/takeaway, the Broncos are tied for 23rd with a -3 ratio this season.

The Broncos have sputtered punching the ball into the end zone once they drive into the red zone as they are ranked 27th in the league by converting only 45.45 percent of their chances. Defensively, Denver has been stellar so far this season, ranking 2nd in red zone defense by allowing 37.04 percent of drives to reach the red zone to end in touchdowns. The Broncos are struggling this season in third-down conversions, ranking 30th by converting only 28.57 percent of their third-down situations so far this season. Denver’s defense is 7th in those situations as they hold the opposition to 34.19 percent success on their third downs. The Broncos are 24th in the league in time of possession by holding the ball 47.96 percent of the time this season.

Brandon McManus has hit 12 of 13 extra point attempts and 15 of 18 field goal tries with a long of 53 this season. Colby Wadman averages 44.2 yards per punt on 47 boots with a 38.5-yard net average. He has dropped 19 punts inside the opponent’s 20-yard line while recording four touchbacks on the year. Devontae Booker averages 25.3 yards on four kick returns with a long of 32 this season. Diontae Spencer has a 29-yard average on four kick returns with a long of 60 and has averaged 8.2 yards on 21 punt returns with a long of 42 on the year. Dre’Mont Jones blocked a field goal against the Chargers in week five.

Minnesota Vikings

Minnesota is 9th in the league in scoring offense as they put up an average of 26.2 points per game this season. The Vikings are 8th in the league in total offense with 384.4 yards per game and stand 4th in yards per play with an average of 6.1 yards per snap. Minnesota is 5th in scoring defense as they allow 18.2 points per game. The Vikings are 13th in total defense as they give up 333.1 yards per game and stand 11th in yards per play as they allow 5.3 yards per snap. Minnesota is tied for 5th in the takeaway/giveaway department as they are +5 so far this season.

The Vikings are 7th in the league in red zone success as they convert 64.86 percent of their trips inside the 20 into touchdowns this season. Minnesota is 6th in red zone defense as they give up touchdowns on 48 percent of their opponents’ trips inside the 20 this season. The Vikings are 9th in the league in third down conversions as they convert 44.17 percent of their chances. Minnesota is decent getting off the field on third down defensively as they are 16th: opposing teams are converting 38.71 percent of their opportunities. The Vikings are 11th in time of possession as they hold the ball 51.15 percent of the time this season.

Dan Bailey is 27 of 29 on extra points and 15 of 17 on field goal tries this season with a long of 50. Britton Colquitt has averaged 45.6 yards per punt on 22 boots this season: he boasts a 42.5-yard net average with 12 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. Hughes has averaged 5.4 yards on seven punt returns this season. Eric Wilson has blocked a punt: that came in the opener against Atlanta.

Who has the Edge?

Denver's strengths come on the defensive side of the ball and makes them a viable team to hang in games as they don't tend to get blown out. The problem for the Broncos here is that they are facing a Minnesota team that loves to grind the ball and the clock while playing tough defense of their own. Both teams have solid kicking games, though McManus's range may be cut down a little by not kicking in the thin air of the Mile High City. Minnesota has the experience factor in the head coaching department and the crowd behind them. Give the Vikings the edge here.

Advantage: Minnesota Vikings

Final Outlook

Denver has had two weeks to prepare for this game but the fact remains that they are dealing with a lot of youth at the skill positions. The most glaring is at quarterback, where Allen makes career start number two against a Vikings' defense that has been stout all season long. Unless he can hit a couple of big plays through the air early, it wouldn't be a surprise to see Minnesota put eight in the box and sell out on the run.  Cousins has been terrific the last six or seven games and even got Rudolph involved in the last couple of weeks after a slow season for the tight end. Denver is going to have their hands full trying to slow down Minnesota. In the end, the Vikings are too much to handle, especially at home. Take Minnesota and give the points.

According to Covers.com, the Vikings are 4-1-1 ATS vs. a team with a losing record, 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games in November and 20-7 ATS in their last 27 home games vs. a team with a losing road record. Denver is 8-21-1 ATS in their last 30 games after allowing more than 350 total yards in their previous game and 3-8-1 ATS in their last 12 games after allowing more than 250 yards passing in their previous game.

Latest Updates, Injury Reports, and Line Movements

Denver has a trio of injuries on the offensive side of the ball that could have an impact on this one. Starting right tackle Ja'Wuan James is doubtful with a knee injury. If he can't go, the Broncos would turn to Elijah Wilkinson at that spot more than likely. Tight end Jeff Heuerman is doubtful with a knee injury, which would elevate Troy Fumagalli to more reps when Denver goes to two tight end sets. DaeSean Hamilton is questionable with a knee injury: if he is limited or out, that means more reps for Diontae Spencer or Fred Brown.

Minnesota has a series of injuries to work through in this one that could impact them. On the offensive side of the ball, Adam Thielen is out again with a hamstring injury: that means Josh Doctson and Laquon Treadwell get more reps. Right guard Josh Kline is out again with a concussion, which pushes Dakota Dozier or Dru Samia into the starting lineup. On defense, Linval Joseph is out with a knee injury, pushing Jaleel Johnson and Jalyn Johnson into more reps. Safety Anthony Harris is also out with a groin injury, which means Jayron Kearse draws the start. Fellow safety Andrew Sendejo is questionable with a groin issue.

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 mid-30s for this contest with cloudy skies. Winds are expected to come from the west-northwest around 10 miles an hour with gusts up to 15 miles per hour. There is less than a 20 percent chance of 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 10.5-point favorite with the over/under set at 38.5 points. As of Saturday afternoon, the line has moved downward slightly with the Vikings are now a 10-point favorite in the contest. The over/under ticked upward slightly to 40 points in this contest. Currently, the moneyline shows Minnesota a lofty -500 to -550 favorite while the Broncos can be found as a +400 to +450 underdog depending on the sportsbook. As of this writing, 57 percent of the bets are backing the Vikings -10 points. When it comes to the moneyline, a solid majority, 55 percent of the wagers, are backing the Broncos as the visiting team. Meanwhile, 64 percent of bets are projecting this one to go over the total.

The Vikings have a series of injuries to deal with with four key starters missing, two on each side of the ball. Denver is still starting a rookie QB making his second career start and that's going to be a problem for the Broncos. As it stands, the Vikings are still the better team right now and they should take care of business as they try to stay on the heels of the Packers in the NFC North. Look for Minnesota to take this one convincingly.

Prediction: Minnesota Vikings -10

Second Opinion on this pick from StatSalt.com

Additional Insiders' Best Bets

Full-game Total Bet

Insiders Status:

Rating:

Points could be at a premium in this contest as Denver comes in ranked sixth in the league in scoring defense. Minnesota is right ahead of them at fifth in the league in that category. With Denver having so many young pieces on offense, especially with Allen making just his second career start, one has to wonder if he'll be able to move the ball successfully. This is his first road start and playing in front of a hostile crowd like Minnesota's can be daunting. The Vikings have won all four of their home games this season by double figures while holding three of their four opponents to 14 points or less. Will we see another shutdown performance?

The under is 5-0 in the Broncos' last 5 games after allowing more than 250 yards passing in their previous game, 5-0 in their last 5 games in Week 11 and 11-1-1 in their last 13 games following a straight up win. Minnesota has seen the under go 6-1 in their last 7 home games vs. a team with a losing road record and 4-1 in their last 5 vs. a team with a losing record. Seeing how Denver is at a disadvantage here and how effective Minnesota has been on both sides of the ball, look for this one to end up falling short of the mark.

Prediction: Under 40

Half-time Side Bet

Insiders Status:

Rating:

Even missing Thielen, there are still plenty of weapons for the Vikings in this contest. Cook and Mattison can do damage on the ground while Diggs, Rudolph and Smith Jr. are versatile weapons in the passing game. Denver is going to have tough sledding to move the ball against the Vikings' defense as Minnesota will key on the run. Look for the Vikings to score early and put the Broncos in a hole as they hold the lead at the half.

Prediction: Minnesota Vikings -6.5

Half-time Total Bet

Insiders Status:

Rating:

Minnesota has been very good at putting points on the board in the first half of games this season as they are sixth in the league in that department by putting up 15.5 points per game. Denver is far down the line, ranking 26th in that category with 9.1 points per contest. Defensively, the Broncos are eighth in first half scoring defense as they allow 8.7 points per game. Minnesota is 13th by allowing 10.6 points per game in the opening half. This one has the feel of a 14-3 or 17-3 at the half, leaving it under the total at intermission.

Prediction: Under 20.5
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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.