This weekend features our first Saturday matchups of the NFL season as the College Football season is over and we find ourselves in the middle of December. The first matchup this Saturday for the early afternoon slate will be the Indianapolis Colts heading to Minnesota to take on the Vikings. The Colts enter this game off a much-needed bye week in a season that has seen its fair share of turmoil. After firing Head Coach Frank Reich, interim HC Jeff Saturday currently stands at 1-3. His most recent loss featured a 30 point beatdown from the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night. They enter this game at 4-8-1 and find themselves in a space of whether they should ultimately tank for a draft pick or continue trying competing to get a playoff spot by some odd miracle.
The Minnesota Vikings enter this game at 10-3 and fresh off a tough loss against the Detroit Lions. The Lions are red hot but they also exposed many flaws the Vikings have on the defensive side of the ball that could definitely be used to hurt them in the future. The Vikings are still competing for that No. 2 spot in the NFC, so bouncing back with a big win is crucial for them at home. Let’s get into this game’s picks and predictions.
Indianapolis Colts vs. Minnesota Vikings Betting Odds
The Vikings enter this game as favorites at home which should come to no surprise when comparing the two teams’ record. They are currently moneyline favorites at -205 odds. The surprise is that they are only favored -4 points with the spread line. How is a Colts team that just lost by 30 to the Cowboys only 4 point underdogs? Well, before the 4th quarter in that game, the Colts were keeping that game incredibly close. They also narrowly lost by one to the top NFC team in the Eagles. Indianapolis was also able to beat the Kansas City Chiefs who stand tied atop the AFC. The Colts have shown they can stay close in games against top teams. The biggest struggle they have shown has been closing out games, which usually comes down to their offense underperforming.
The Minnesota defense is not the strongest however, as they allowed the Lions to score 34 points on them. Jeff Saturday has already announced QB Matt Ryan will be starting after a very mediocre showing against Dallas. He will need to be playing like his old self against a defense that has shown struggles. Indy’s defense has been one of the strongest in the country, but going up against wideout talent in Justin Jefferson will certainly be a test. The over/under total is currently placed at 48.5 points for this game as well.
Minnesota Vikings Picks & Predictions
My Pick: Minnesota Vikings -4 (-110)
I am expecting the Vikings to bounce back in a big way at home and cover the -4 spread. They have 10 wins this season for a reason, they find a way to win. Interim HC Jeff Saturday is still getting a feel for coaching in this league and he has shown an ability for his team to keep games close, but still struggling to finish out games and especially against a very talented team in Minnesota will be a hard bargain. I think this game could stay close early, but ultimately the offensive gaps between these two teams will show.
I like the under in this game as well. I don’t know if the Indianapolis offense can hang enough on the board to keep this one from going over. The Colts average only 16.1 PPG but their defense also only allows 22.9 PPG. Minnesota averages 24 PPG and 24.1 points allowed.
- Colts are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 road games.
- Vikings are 5-2-1 ATS in their last 8 games overall.
- Under is 6-1 in Colts last 7 vs. a team with a winning record.
- Over is 4-0 in Vikings last 4 vs. a team with a losing record.
- Colts are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 meetings.
- Under is 4-0 in the last 4 meetings.
Kenny Moore II, questionable
Blake Brandel, questionable; Garrett Bradbury, questionable; Christian Darrisaw, questionable; Bisi Johnson, Injured Reserve; Harrison Smith, questionable
Matt Ryan vs. Minnesota Vikings Defense
The biggest matchup will be seeing how Matt Ryan will bounce back against in this game. It has been quite some season for Ryan. After signing up for a potential swan song ride and competing for a Super Bowl. The Colts have been anything but, as this offense has simply not clicked as expected. He has gone from starting, to being bench, to being resurrected back to the starting lineup by the new head coach. He has had his ups and downs but the downs have certainly been the highlight. Matt Ryan threw for 3 INTS against the Cowboys and was a big reason the game got away from Indianapolis. He will need a big game on the road to keep Indianapolis in this.