While this season may be effectively over for the Las Vegas Raiders as a team, key players and interim head coach Antonio Pierce still have plenty to prove. On the other sideline, the Minnesota Vikings are still pushing to make the playoffs in a surprisingly crowded NFC field, so both sides will be bringing the intensity Sunday (12/10/23). Get Vikings vs. Raiders player prop picks & odds, including projections for players such as Aidan O’Connell, Joshua Dobbs and Alexander Mattison.
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While the Vikings will look to assert themselves on the ground and control this game from the first snap, the Raiders will likely be forced to the air early and often as they play from behind.
Aidan O’Connell Over 218.5 Passing Yards (-115)
As with any player prop, the first thing we have to look at for O’Connell’s passing prop is potential game script. DVOA tells us this isn’t a close contest – the Vikings rank 15th by the metric while the Raiders sit in 27th- and while the sportsbooks see it as just a three-point spread in favor of Minnesota, that’s a serious vote of confidence on the road.
On top of that, the Vikings’ run defense is sixth in the NFL in DVOA and 10th in EPA despite ranking 18th in success rate. They’ve done a phenomenal job at limiting the big plays you need to stay in a game where you’re trailing big and come back from behind. So, the Raiders are likely to throw the ball with some frequency in this contest.
That’s definitely been the case in the last two games for Vegas, as O’Connell attempted 33 and 41 passes respectively. Conversely, he threw less than 30 times in the wins over the two New York teams, both wins for Vegas. So it’s big for this prop that the Raiders are underdogs against Minnesota.
In those two most recent games, against solid Kansas City and Miami pass defenses, O’Connell threw for 248 and 271 yards. Given some decent volume in this one, he should be able to replicate that same success in a losing effort.
Aidan O’Connell (-120) and Joshua Dobbs (-110) Each Over 0.5 Interceptions (-120)
We’re going to throw each of these as a half-unit to limit overexposure to either side. But this is a good market to get into at the given odds. The odds of this game being completely interception-free are very low, so you’ll take a very small loss if one hits and the other does not. But it’s incredibly easy to imagine a scenario where both starter turns the ball over at some point and you win both wagers.
O’Connell should be getting the ball in the air plenty. Usually, for the rookie, that’s going to mean picks. Like the three he threw against the Dolphins. As good as the Minnesota ground defense is, the pass defense is solid too, ranking 10th in DVOA. So with plenty of passes coming their way, the secondary should be able to find a takeaway. O’Connell has also been awful against the blitz, so facing the most blitz-heavy defense in the league could be problematic for him.
Dobbs is coming off of a four-interception disaster against a Bears defense that few view as elite against the pass. It’s not going to be like that every week for him, but Vegas’s pass defense is quietly decent, ranking 18th in the league. Dobbs was definitely due for some regression, now that teams have some tape of him in the Minnesota offense, and while four picks in a game is a bit extreme, the near-even odds on this prop provide us with some awesome value.
Alexander Mattison Over 13.5 Rush Attempts (-115)
The other side of the Raiders fighting back from behind is the Vikings playing with a lead. That script is always going to be good for running back volume, and the silently solid Vegas pass defense we discussed above will only contribute to that trend. The Raiders’ run defense? 24th in success rate, 28th in DVOA, and a dismal 30th in EPA. Minnesota coach Kevin O’Connell is savvy enough to make an attempt at exploiting that weakness.
O’Connell will also be trying to lighten the load for Dobbs and make things easier for his quarterback after the Bears debacle, so an emphasis on the ground game could be particularly prominent in this one. Mattison had been over this number in three of four games before a matchup with a shockingly strong Bears run defense, so it would be no surprise to see him get back to getting the ball some more.
So why not his yardage prop? The answer is simple- Mattison is horrible. He’s a huge reason Minnesota’s rushing offense is 29th in DVOA despite sitting around league average in offensive line yards. He’s averaging 3.8 yards per carry this season, and has the worst PFF grade of any back with over 150 rushes.
The only issue for O’Connell is that he doesn’t have any better options, so he will likely keep feeding Mattison the ball as long as Minnesota leads in this one, even if the runs don’t really go anywhere.
Daniel Carlson Over 1.5 Field Goals Made (-105)
Our special teams prop of the day is, once again, heavily based on matchup trends rather than kicker ability. The math here is simple; Vegas ranks 27th in the league in red zone efficiency, as fewer than half of their trips inside the opponent’s 20 turn into a touchdown. Minnesota’s defense, conversely, ranks ninth in the metric.
Carlson has hit this number in five of his last seven games, and on one of the two outliers, he had the attempts to get it done but missed one. In a game where the Raiders shouldn’t quite get clamped down but might struggle to finish dries, this is phenomenal value at essentially even money.