The NFC North-leading Minnesota Vikings look to bounce back from a loss to the Lions as they play host to the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday.
The Colts had a bye last week, and that might have been for the best, as they are coming off a 54-19 loss to the Cowboys. The game actually was right there for the taking, as it was 21-19 after three quarters, but the Colts imploded and gave up 33 fourth-quarter points. As has been the case all year, turnovers doomed the Colts, as Matt Ryan threw three interceptions and the team lost two fumbles. The Colts have a league-high 26 turnovers.
Like the Colts, the Vikings will be looking to bounce back from a tough loss, as they lost 34-23 to the Detroit Lions. The defense of the Vikings has been an issue all year. Once again, that unit struggled against the Lions. The Vikings gave up 464 yards of offense, including 330 passing yards by Jared Goff. Wide receiver Justin Jefferson did have a monster game, finishing with 11 catches for 223 yards.
Caesars Sportsbook lists the Vikings as a 4-point favorite with an over/under of 48.5.
Let’s take a closer look at the odds and trends:
Indianapolis Colts at Minnesota Vikings
Time/TV: 1 pm. ET Saturday, NFL Network
Point spread (from Caesars Sportsbook): Minnesota -4
Money line: Indianapolis +175, Minnesota -210
Analysis: It has been a tough year for the Colts, as the team was looked at as a team that could win the AFC South. Still, against some of the best teams in the NFL, the Colts have been pretty competitive. They have a win against the Chiefs and a one-point loss to the Eagles. Jonathan Taylor hasn’t had quite the season that was expected of him, but his 861 yards are good for 10th in the league, and that is with him missing three games. The Matt Ryan experiment hasn’t gone well either, as he has thrown as many interceptions (13) as touchdowns. Linebacker Zaire Franklin has been a bright spot, as he ranks fourth in the NFL in tackles with 131.
The Vikings are 10-3 but have not always looked like much of a contender. Against the other two best two teams in the NFC (Eagles and Cowboys), Minnesota has been outscored 64-10. That includes a 40-3 loss to the Cowboys at home. When the Vikings are at their best, they rely on an offense that can compete with nearly any. Justin Jefferson has 99 catches for 1,500 yards and six touchdowns and has a legitimate chance to break Calvin Johnson’s single-season receiving record (1,946 yards). The defense has given up at least 22 points in 10 games this year and ranks 24th with 24.1 points allowed per game.
While it wasn’t pretty last week for the Vikings, there is still a ton to play for in Minnesota. The No. 2 seed in the NFC is still an attainable goal.
Prediction: Minnesota 31, Indianapolis 21