Banged up Vikings can continue unbeaten start against the Texans

Sometimes, things don’t always go to plan. For instance, we set out with lofty ambitions of tipping up many-a winning NFL accumulator on these pages during the 2016 season. But with four weeks gone, and a big fat zero decorating the W column, we’ve cut the cord.

Similarly, over in Minnesota, the Vikings began the campaign hoping that starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and seven-time Pro Bowl running back Adrian Peterson would carry their offense to the playoffs. By the end of week two, both had been ruled out with long-term injury.

Unlike us, however, the Vikings have found a way to succeed, and are one of just two teams heading into the fifth-round of matches without defeat.

Their defense, which has allowed the second fewest points in the NFL and recorded more sacks than all bar one rival, has carried them.

Statement-making wins over the Carolina Panthers and Green Bay Packers have swelled the confidence in the Land of 10,000 Lakes and, with a first day-time game at their brand new stadium on the horizon, there’s palpable momentum coming from the Midwest franchise.

There opponents in week five are the Houston Texans, who have injury worries of their own having seen star defensive lineman JJ Watt suffer a season-ending back injury.

Houston has also found impressive resolve in its reserves, but arrive in Minnesota having been held scoreless by the New England Patriots in week three.

Their 3-1 record and status as away team contributes to our making them the 21/10 outsiders against the Vikes, with the hosts available at 5/13.

We’re taking the 10/11 that Minnesota cover a spread of -6.5 points though, while a low-scoring battle of under 40.0 total points at the same price also appeals considering both of these rivals’ strengths lie in defense.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing


Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.