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Minnesota Vikings Will Win, But Won’t Cover Spread

The Minnesota Vikings will win their Thursday Night matchup with the Washington Redskins, but they won't cover the 16.5-point spread.

The Minnesota Vikings are on fire entering their Week 7 matchup against the Washington Redskins. Kirk Cousins is playing like one of the best quarterbacks in the league, the running back cannot be stopped, and the defense ranks among the league’s elite. The Washington Redskins, meanwhile, are the living embodiment of a dumpster fire. Case Keenum is playing like, well, Case Keenum, the offense has no weapons, and the defense is one of the worst in the league.

There is a clear gap in talent here, and the Vikings should walk away with a relatively easy victory. However, Vegas currently set the line at -16.5 points, which is just too much to bet on. Smart gamblers will take the Vikings to win, but not cover the spread.

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Minnesota Vikings Won’t Cover Spread on Thursday Night Football

Minnesota’s Offense

The Vikings have had one of the best offenses in football over the past month. After a slow start, Kirk Cousins has gone on a tear and even inserted himself into the MVP discussion. Cousins has shown the ability to go on these types of runs in the past, but he’s never managed to sustain it for a full 16-game season. Regression is coming, and it’s coming soon.

Kirk Cousins is a league-average quarterback, and his recent hot stretch can be explained as positive regression following his atrocious start to the season. From here on out, he’s probably going to play more like a top 15-20 quarterback instead of a top-five passer. His presumed decline in play is obviously going to affect Minnesota’s offensive output, which is bad news for anyone picking the over.

Additionally, Adam Thielen is probably going to miss Thursday’s contest. The star wide receiver suffered a hamstring injury early in Sunday’s matchup against the Detroit Lions and didn’t return to the field. Thanks to the short week, it’s hard to imagine Thielen suiting up and risking further injury. Stefon Diggs is more than capable of handling WR1 duties, but the Vikings don’t have much behind him. Dalvin Cook can carry the running game, but you need a high-powered passing attack if you’re going to cover a 16.5-point spread.

Vikings Defense

The offense is probably going to take a step back, but that won’t matter if Washington cannot move the ball. However, the presence of Terry McLaurin ensures that the Redskins should move the ball enough to keep this a two-score game.

McLaurin is the lone bright spot on an otherwise dreary offense. Drafted in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft, the Ohio State product has already established himself as one of the most exciting wide receivers in the league. McLaurin only had one catch for 11 yards in Week 6, but Washington played in a torrential dourpour which made passing the ball all-but impossible. McLaurin has recorded at least 51 receiving yards in each of his other five games. He’s averaging just under one touchdown per game and looks like a genuine stud in the passing game. Xavier Rhodes isn’t the player he once was, and McLaurin should have a big game. With McLaurin moving the chains and the Vikings offense cooling down, the Redskins should be able to keep this game within 14 points.

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