Minnesota Vikings Vs. Houston Texans Matchup Preview (10/4/20): Betting Odds, Depth Charts, Live Stream (Watch Online)
If you are tuning in for the first time this year you might be surprised that these two teams are 0-3 after the success over the last few seasons. Minnesota is going through a transition on the defensive side but also have battled some injuries in the front seven. Justin Jefferson broke out last week but the Vikings are certainly looking for more consistency in the passing game. As for Houston, the schedule has been brutal. They have faced the three best teams in the AFC to start the season, with the Chiefs, Ravens, and Steelers. The Vikings is a small break for them, but it might be a must-win game, and yes this early in the season. This is a small break for the Texans because they will then face the Titans and Packers after this. Oddsmakers have this one as another high scoring game with the over/under set over 50. For odds movement and full matchup history, visit the Minnesota Vikings at Houston Texans Matchup Page.
Date: Sunday, October 4th, 2020
Time: 1:00 PM ET
Location: NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas
TV Coverage: FOX
Vikings vs. Texans Live Stream
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Minnesota Vikings: Kris Boyd (Q), Mike Hughes (Q), Cameron Dantzler (Q)
Houston Texans: PJ Hall (Q), Zach Cunningham (Q), Charles Omenihu (Q), Duke Johnson (Q)
Minnesota Vikings Analysis
After a few years of strong regular season records and postseason wins, the Vikings kick off 2020 with an 0-3 record. While we will look at the defensive troubles, Minnesota has not played well offensively either. Kirk Cousins has completed 59% of his passes and has six interceptions over the first three games. His game against the Colts was one of the worst we have seen. There is no surprise that the Vikings have locked into Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen as the heavily targeted options. Jefferson broke out last week and is up to a 12-245-1 line through the first three games. Thielen has a 12-170-3 line, on 21 targets. The surprising aspect of the passing offense is that Irv Smith has only been targeted five times and that isn’t because Kyle Rudolph is getting targets. Both have combined for 11 targets and under 60 yards of offense. Despite three negative game script games, the Dalvin Cook show has been rolling. He has 294 yards and four touchdowns through the first three games.
Both these teams defensively have had major issues. The Vikings will have a tough task slowing down the offense of Houston with a limited secondary. They have allowed 292 yards per game already this season. The numbers on the ground have been bad as well, allowing 147 rushing yards per game. Minnesota has also forced just two turnovers so far this season, ranking inside the bottom third of the league. It will be hard to generate anything against the Texans and with the pass rush also in bad shape, taking advantage of a bottom half Texans offensive line won’t make much of a difference.
Minnesota Vikings Depth Chart
Houston Texans Analysis
It is hard to really fault anyone for the Texans start to the season, although we can point at Bill O’Brien for putting the Houston roster in shambles every offseason. Deshaun Watson has been under pressure a ton, already sacked 13 times this season. He is still averaging 280 yards per game, and against some tougher defenses. Will Fuller did miss one game given he bowed out early but has been looked at quite a bit when on the field. It has been a fairly balanced attack as five players are in double digits for targets, including Jordan Akins and David Johnson. The receivers are in a great spot this week as the Vikings have allowed the third-most passing yards per game this season and 34 points per game. Johnson has been slow on the ground outside of the first week against Kansas City, but matchups certainly play a part there. With Minnesota allowing 147 yards on the ground per game, Johnson can have a big week.
Houston’s defense has yet to force a turnover this season and they are allowing 387 yards of offense per game, alongside 31.7 points per game. While they have faced two of the top offenses in the first three weeks, this defense still is in a rebuild. This doesn’t bode well for Houston even against Minnesota who struggled in two of the three games offensively. There is still a lot of playmakers who can hang a crooked number on this defense. Many believe that will happen with the over/under being so high.
Houston Texans Depth Chart
Betting Corner: Texans
Spread: HOU -4.5
Moneyline: MIN +170 / HOU -200
There is a lot of desperation in this game as both are 0-3. Both teams have a lot of playmakers but defensively have been all over the place. The over/under is high here and I do like Houston clicking in this one and Minnesota playing their typical catch-up. We have seen the over a combined 4-2 between the two teams. The Vikings have lost 6 of their last 7 going back to last season and the over has been friendly in that span as well. This Minnesota team is different from the one from the last five years or so. Historical data isn’t really viable here. The defense is banged up and the offense is extremely hit and miss, mainly Kirk Cousins. Public money is actually on Minnesota here, which is a bit odd, but the over is being hammered as expected. I like Houston quite a bit this one, so I expect them to cover and an over to be hit.
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Daily Fantasy Picks
This should be a get-right game for the Houston Texans on offense, but defensively this could turn into a shootout. Starting with Houston, Deshaun Watson has not had the best start to the season, but that was because of prior matchups. This week is his first top matchup with a banged-up Vikings secondary that is going through a transition period regardless. They have allowed 278 yards and 1.6 passing touchdowns per game through the first two weeks. With this comes a couple of solid wide receiver plays as well, starting with Will Fuller and Brandin Cooks. I like Fuller by a wide margin but both are in play. Minnesota has allowed 29.8 fantasy points per game to opposing point guards. Jordan Akins is also a value dart throw but has had inconsistent targets. David Johnson is in a great spot too, as Minnesota has allowed 126 yards per game on the ground and 1.17 rushing touchdowns.
With Minnesota, Dalvin Cook is in a great spot and has been the only consistent Viking through the first three weeks. The Texans defense has allowed 148 yards on the ground per game and 1.2 rushing touchdowns per game. Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson are both in play against a relatively weak secondary.