A big game between a couple of teams with their eyes firmly set on the post-season will square off Sunday during the 4:00 hour. The red-hot Minnesota Vikings head to the sunshine down south to take on a surprising Oakland Raiders squad. Nobody really expected a 6-2 start for the Vikes, and definitely nobody foresaw the Raiders staying afloat with a 4-4 record through 8 games, but here we are. Minnesota has definitely been fortunate the past couple of weeks, but they’ve been doing just enough to emerge victorious. Teddy Bridgewater’s status was in doubt throughout the week, but he’s been cleared and is good to go for Sunday. Meanwhile, for the Raiders, they’ve been doing some impressive things of late. They dismantled a solid Jets team two weeks back, and deserved a better fate last week in Pittsburgh. Derek Carr is restoring football pride to his last name (remember David Carr?), and Latavius Murray is cleared and ready to go after a concussion scare. This is going to be a very fun game between two upstart teams. Read on below for the game breakdown, analysis, and the official Week 10 prediction for Raiders/Vikings.
Vikings vs. Raiders Betting Odds:
Minnesota Vikings +2.5 (+100)
@ Oakland Raiders -2.5 (-120)
Over 44 (-110)
Under 44 (-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Vikings vs. Raiders Pick:
While many viewed the Minnesota Vikings as nice little underdog/sleeper team for this season, getting off to a 6-2 start wasn’t in the cards. They’ve been playing great defense and their timely offense has carried them to these heights. This week, look for the Vikings to demonstrate some good offensive skills against a suspect defense from the Raiders. For all the positivity surrounding Oakland right now, they still struggle at stifling the opposition – as was seen last week vs. the Steelers where Antonio Brown put on an absolute show. The Raiders also conceded a ton of rushing yards to DeAngelo Williams, so look for Adrian Peterson to pick up where he left off. Oakland is a bit banged up in the secondary right now, with the wily veteran Charles Woodson playing through an injured shoulder. Expect the Vikes to move the chains and put up some solid yardage plays on Sunday.
That said, the Raiders can bring the heat as well on offense – they’ve been explosive of late. Derek Carr has emerged and is a legitimately good quarterback. One of the reasons for all of his success has been the stellar play of his offensive line in front of him. They’re excellent in pass protection and will nullify the Vikings’ best asset – their pass rush. With Minnesota being unable to get to Carr, expect a big game for the Raiders offensively. Oakland has a ton of talented receivers, and despite the strength of Minnesota’s secondary, the Raiders can definitely move the chains on Sunday.
Looking deeper into this match-up, you’ve got to wonder about the Vikings mindset fresh off an emotional OT victory last week vs. the Rams. Add in the fact they’ve got probably their biggest game in years coming up next week vs. Green Bay, and I could see the Vikings be a little sloppy and/or distracted for Week 10 vs. the Raiders. Oakland is no joke anymore. Derek Carr has morphed into an excellent quarterback, while Bridgewater seems to have stagnated and enters Week 10 with some injury concerns. Oakland is solid at home, and with them only laying a measly -2.5 points, side with the Raiders to bump their record to over .500 on Sunday.
PICK = Raiders -2.5 (-120)