The Minnesota Vikings host Washington on Thursday Night Football to open Week 8, and this could get ugly in a hurry. Washington has one win to their name, but since it was over the Miami Dolphins, it really only counts as half a win. On the other side, Minnesota rolled to its third straight win last week to improve to 5-2 on the season.
The Vikings are a massive favorite, laying 16.5 points at DraftKings Sportsbook. It’s the highest point spread for Week 8, while the point total of 42 is tied for the third lowest on the schedule.
The most notable storyline for this game is the “revenge” factor. Kirk Cousins used to play for Washington, and had a less than stellar split. The team hung onto him with the franchise tag before he finally left after the 2017 season. It’s worth noting that Case Keenum spent a season in Minnesota where he had the best season of his career. He turned it into a two-year, $36 million contract with the Denver Broncos. It’s not quite the same level of revenge factor, but I suppose he might look for some measure of revenge.
16.5 points is a lot of points to lay, so I can understand why there would be some hesitancy to bet on the Vikings. That being said, Washington is a bad football team with considerable limitations on offense. The Vikings defense got into a shootout with the Detroit Lions last week, but should be able to bounce back against a Washington offense that has a hobbled Adrian Peterson, and not much in the passing game beyond Terry McLaurin.
The 49ers shutout Washington last week thanks in part to the the driving rain. That being said, Washington’s offense is in rough shape. They could manage some garbage time points, and something like 30-14 is certainly a concern with the back-door cover, but it’s hard to see them finding enough points to get the cover.
Adam Thielen is not going to play in the game due to his hamstring injury. That’s notable, but when you’ve still got Dalvin Cook and Stefon Diggs, I think the offense will be OK. And let’s not forget tight end Kyle Rudolph’s return to relevancy and Olabisi Johnson impressing. Offense will not be an issue in this one.
I don’t blame folks if they choose to stay away from a 16.5-point line. But if you’re going anywhere with this, it’s gotta be laying the points with the Vikings.