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Of all the games to pick from a betting aspect this week, we won’t deny it—the Minnesota Vikings hosting the Los Angeles Chargers is the hardest. Both teams have defenses that can’t close out games while having potent offenses.
On Wednesday, the Vikings acquired running back Cam Akers. He played under Kevin O’Connell during his time with the Rams, but it’s unclear how involved he’ll be.
Still, we’ll look to navigate this one after examining odds from the best NFL betting sites.
Los Angeles Chargers
OK, where to begin with this one—this will be an intriguing matchup.
Through two weeks, both the Chargers and Vikings are 0-2.
The Chargers allowed a touchdown in the final minutes to lose in Week 1, 36-34, and to the Tennessee Titans in overtime on the road, 27-24.
The Vikings lost 20-17 at home against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers despite 344 passing yards from Kirk Cousins. In Week 2, they lost on the road against the Philadelphia Eagles, 34-28 as 6.5-point underdogs.
Here’s the practice report from Wednesday for both teams:
Other players like Christian Darrisaw, Josh Metellus, Jordan Hicks, and Joey Bosa were limited.
Should Darrisaw not suit up, the Vikings' offensive line will have some issues, but the Chargers pass rush, if Mack is out and Bosa’s status is up in the air, might not be potent enough to take advantage of it. The pressure will come from the interior, with Tuli Tuipulotu and Morgan Fox bearing down on backup center Austin Schlottmann.
As for the Chargers offense against the Vikings defense, they’ll oppose some unique players like Ivan Pace Jr., who’s been excellent rushing the passer, and Camryn Bynum, playing safety, who’s been excellent in coverage and against the run.
At home, the Vikings should have the advantage here with wide receiver Justin Jefferson and rookie Jordan Addison.
We’ll side with the home team here, but this will be an excellent game.
In a matchup this close on paper, we’ll side with the home team despite a 20-17 loss in Week 1 against the Buccaneers.
The Chargers are dealing with several injuries at key positions, especially on the edge, which could offset some of the lack of ability should Christian Darrisaw either miss this game or play a a much lesser capacity. On the right side, Brian O’Neill has been excellent.
The interior pressure will be an issue, but the Vikings have excellent pass catchers who should overwhelm a porous Chargers secondary.
The Chargers also have a collection of pass catchers, but the Vikings have players that match up better.
This total is now up to 54 points, and that’s simply too many points to feel comfortable betting the over on. Between these two teams, they’ve had one game each that’s gone over this total, but some matchups could help slow it down.
The running game for each team is far from lethal, which should help out both defenses. The Vikings run 62 offensive snaps per game compared to 74.5 from the Chargers. Despite the disparity, the Chargers run the ball far more at 37.4% of their offensive snaps compared to 20.5% from the Vikings.
It’s not the best analysis, but we’re taking the under mainly on the principle that 54 is a large number to feel comfortable betting the over on.
Through the season's first two weeks, Jefferson has 20 receptions on 25 targets for 309 yards. He had 150 yards in Week 1 and 159 yards in Week 2 but has yet to score a touchdown.
Whether he opposed Asante Samuel Jr. or J.C. Jackson, Jefferson will prevail.
Look for Cousins to get the ball out of the gate to his No. 1 option. We'll take the risk at +600 for Jefferson to score the first touchdown.
Statistics courtesy of Pro Football Focus.
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After graduating from the University of New Hampshire with a BA in Journalism, Richard Janvrin has been covering iGaming and sports betting since December 2018. Richard has covered betting at Bleacher Report, Gambling.com, The Game Day, Forbes, and more.More info on Richard Janvrin
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