The Washington Redskins couldn’t care less what the pro football betting odds are on their game with the Minnesota Vikings. What they know is that they have a case of “Deja Vu” and sense that they can make a move in the NFC East with a win at the Mall of America Field on Thursday. The game, which will be televised by NFL Network, begins at 8:25 PM ET.
The Redskins have a 3-5 record, which is also their mark against the NFL betting lines, and the Vikings are just 1-7 straight-up, with a 3-5 record against the pointspread.
In the pro football betting odds that are posted on this game courtesy of the Best Pro Football Betting Sites For USA Players, the Redskins are favoured, but only by a point:
Washington Redskins -1
Minnesota Vikings +1
Over 48.5 Points -110
Under 48.5 Points -110
The Redskins have the heralded Robert Griffin III at quarterback, but despite a nice performance against San Diego last week, where he completed 23 of his 32 passes, he is still erratic; witness his “balance sheet” of nine touchdowns and nine interceptions. He has never really regained the sharpness that he showed last season, when he was intercepted only five times and led a charge that saw the ‘Skins win and cover their last seven games to reach the playoffs, although to be fair, he is getting more comfortable in the offense. Remember, he had the knee surgery in the off-season and there has always been talk that he came back into action a bit too soon.
NFL bettors know that Minnesota has had all kinds of problems beating the pro football odds because of their own quarterback difficulty, which is different in that they have had a hell of time settling on a guy. Christian Ponder started the season, but his inconsistency irked head coach Leslie Frazier, who then made a move to Matt Cassel, who directed the team to its only win (in London against Pittsburgh) but blew up the next time out. Josh Freeman was signed to a contract, then rushed into the lineup, with disastrous results.
Now it is back to Ponder, who may have learned a lesson or two from his benching. He was 25 of 37 against Dallas, and he got help from Adrian Peterson, who ran for 140 yards. The Vikings did not roll over against the Cowboys, at least not until the final stages, when Tony Romo took his team on a 90-yard touchdown drive to win it. The bottom line is that they are still fighting.
It would seem a foregone conclusion to most pro football bettors that both of these teams would like to win this game by establishing that they are superior on the ground. After all, the Vikings have Peterson, while the Redskins have Alfred Morris, not to mention Roy Helu Jr. and Griffin, who is obviously a threat from the QB spot. As everyone knows, coach Mike Shanahan is a architect of great running games. The Vikings have had a hard time keeping their offense on the field, as they have averaged just 25 minutes and 41 seconds of possession time. They will have to do better than that if they are to come away with their first win inside United States borders this season.