Minnesota Vikings vs. Las Vegas Raiders: Prediction, Odds, Depth Charts (12/10/23)

The Minnesota Vikings take on the Las Vegas Raiders this Sunday (12/10/23). Get Vikings vs. Raiders odds, picks and predictions below as our best bet is Vikings -3.

Vikings vs Raiders Prediction

Don’t let a defeat to a quietly resurgent Bears team fool you; these Vikings are a solid bunch, and they’re only getting better. The bye came at just the right time for Minnesota, as it afforded them the chance to not only mentally and physically bounce back from the Chicago defeat, but more importantly, it’s widely believed that the time off has been used to get Justin Jefferson back up to game speed after his return has been rumored on and off for weeks now.

The Vikings may have gambled a bit with Jefferson; the sentiment among some is that they’ve been slow bringing him back, out of abundance of caution, and due in part to a belief that they could win the games they need to make the playoffs even without him. But things have changed over the past couple of games, as they’ve lost those contests by a combined three points. They’re still sitting in the NFC’s sixth seed as of right now, but they’re the top team out of four tied at 6-6, by virtue of tiebreakers. One slip, and they could fall right to the 10-seed and out of the postseason field, so it’s officially time to “break the glass in case of emergency” and bring Jefferson back after the much-needed bye.

Of course, the Raiders are coming off of a bye as well, so there’s no rest differential, and you could argue that they needed the pause just as much. Vegas has lost their last two games, and their last win against a team other than the two dumpster fires that play at MetLife Stadium was in mid-October against a similarly awful Patriots team. The “interim bump” is officially over for Vegas, who won those two games against the Jets and Giants right after the firing of Josh McDaniels but haven’t picked up a victory since.

Overall, it’s hard to fathom how these teams are perceived closely enough for the spread to be just a field goal, even with Vegas as the home team. The Vikings are 15th in the league in DVOA, while the Raiders sit in 27th by that metric. The biggest gap between the two teams is when the Raiders have the ball; their offense is 29th in DVOA, as it’s been awful regardless of who’s at quarterback, while Minnesota’s defense ranks eighth. It’s hard to figure out how Vegas will be able to move the ball enough to threaten the Vikings, while the return of Jefferson, even if in a limited capacity, will be enough to create some real mismatches on the other side.

Vikings vs Raiders Prediction: Vikings -3

Vikings vs Raiders Best Odds

The Vikings are road favorites by an even three points in this one, or odds of -155 on the moneyline. The Raiders are +130 to win at home, while both sides of the total of 40.5 are set at -110.

Vikings vs Raiders Key Injuries

The big story for the Vikings is the potential return of superstar wide receiver Justin Jefferson, while star edge rusher Maxx Crosby is banged up for Vegas.

Vikings vs Raiders Key Matchups

Will a slumping Josh Dobbs be able to take advantage of Vegas’s mediocre pass defense with Justin Jefferson back in the fold? Or can Vegas establish the run against a really good Minnesota ground defense? Let’s dig into these game-defining matchups.

Vikings Passing Offense vs. Raiders Air Defense

Until the Bears game, the Vikings’ air game had been the team’s greatest offensive strength, even with Dobbs at the helm rather than Kirk Cousins, who had been in great form until his disappointing injury. Jefferson of course is one of the game’s great talents, while rookie wideout Jordan Addison has been fantastic as well, as the former Biletnikoff winner has lived up to the billing thus far. Still, the team receiving leader is tight end T.J. Hockenson, with 786 yards and 80 catches.

Vegas is going to be in trouble against this unit, as they’re one of the worst teams in the league when it comes to pressuring opposing passers. Their coverage unit hasn’t been quite as bad, but it ranks below average as per PFF, which will not fly against this talented group of pass catchers. Overall, they’re 18th in DVOA against the pass which on the surface, stacks up well with Minnesota, but with Jefferson re-entering the fold, the Vikings team we see won’t quite be congruent with their season-long numbers.

Raiders Ground Game vs. Vikings Run Defense

Just a year ago, Josh Jacobs was the NFL’s leading rusher, and the centerpiece of a Vegas offense that many pundits thought had a good amount of upside. Now, the Raiders’ rushing offense is ranked 28th in the league, and the offense at large is 29th. The offensive line has provided little help, ranking 26th in adjusted line yards, and their PFF run blocking grade is a lukewarm 62. Jacobs is the only rusher on the team with more than 20 carries, so he’s still the entire ground game, but he’s averaging just 3.5 yards per carry after a career-high 4.9 last season.

He’ll be running into a Minnesota defense that ranks sixth against the run in terms of DVOA, or 10th when it comes to EPA. Interestingly enough, the unit is just 18th in success rate, so paired with their other metrics, this means that they’ve done a good job limiting the big plays. The Vikings defense as a whole has taken a big step up under coordinator Brian Flores, and should be a real issue for Vegas this Sunday.

Vikings Depth Chart

QB: Joshua Dobbs
RB1: Alexander Mattison
RB2: Ty Chandler
LWR: Jordan Addison
RWR: KJ Osborn
SWR: Brandon Powell
TE1: TJ Hockenson

Raiders Depth Chart

QB: Aidan O’Connell
RB1: Josh Jacobs
RB2: Ameer Abdullah
LWR: Davante Adams
RWR: Jakobi Meyers
SWR: Hunter Renfrow
TE1: Michael Mayer

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From starting my own blog in Middle School, to working on a friend’s in college, and finally joining the Lineups team this year, I’ve been writing about sports for over a decade and betting on them as long as I’ve been legally able. I graduated from the University of Michigan last year, where I took sports journalism classes alongside my business major. Having played and watched sports for almost my whole life, I aim to provide insight and entertainment, as well as profitable picks, in my writing about professional and collegiate leagues.

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