Totally Covered – Week 10: Vikings at Raiders

Complete analysis of the Minnesota Vikings and Oakland Raiders game with Over/Under betting stats backed by the SDQL

VIKINGS at RAIDERS

Line: Oakland -3 and O/U 43

Minnesota is off a hard fought home win over a tough St. Louis D, and now they travel out west where Oakland is 2-2 SU/ATS. QB Teddy Bridgewater had a concussion against the Rams but passed all his tests and practiced full on Friday; he’s starting.

Oakland RB Latavius Murray also had a concussion against Pittsburgh and left the game but he’s ready to go as well. He has been steady in the run game, not so much in the passing game, but no other back on the team has more than 100 RY on the year. Marcel Reece has been the red zone RB passing target but Murray has been an essential part of the offense, blocking and leading the charge on carries. The big concern on Oakland is with starting center Rodney Hudson (ankle). It looks like he will miss and that affects run blocking and pass protection.

The Vikes have won four in a row since their bye week, including two divisional road games at Detroit and Chicago. They beat the Rams last week in OT and are playing close games since beating San Diego by 17 in Week 3. Next, they have their first big game against the Packers. It’s in Minnesota and the second time they face them is at Lambeau Field in Week 17. To say next week’s game is critical for Minny’s hopes of winning the division is an understatement.

The Vikings are 13-23 SU, 10-25-1 ATS and 20-15-1 O/U when looking ahead to the Packers; scoring avg’s are 20-25. Minny split two pre-Pack games in HC Mike Zimmer’s first year (2014), losing 21-13 on the road at Chicago, and dismantling the Falcons at home in Week 4. Atlanta’s D was ranked No. 32 in the league. Oakland right now is ranked 18th on D and their scoring averages on the season are 27-26, but their past two home games the Raiders held Denver and the Jets to 16 and 20 points.

RUNNING WILD

Minnesota is rushing the ball fourth most in the league at 48-percent of their plays (30 per game), and that’s as much as anyone the Raiders have seen all year. The three teams Oakland played played this year that carried more than 28 times against them went 3-0 SU, so it’s a pretty safe bet Minny will lean on its ground game and try to pound away; get this one over with.

At San Fran in Week 1, Minny looked like they weren’t sure if running was legal in the NFL (14 carries) and then at Denver, they rushed 21 times against the league’s top D. Detroit and Chicago have two of the weakest run D’s in the league and Minny carried 35 and 25 times. Oakland’s run D is mid-pack, so the Vikes are going to rush 30 times — And 30 is the magic number.

Non-conference road dogs off a home win, with a divisional game on-deck that rush the ball more than 30 times are 41-10-1 SU and 46-4-2 ATS. 30 has to be the goal for Minny and they’ve got the league’s most effective weapon to do it with. Check this betting trend with the following link to the free sports database at Killer Sports:

SDQL Text: not C and AD and p:HW and n:DIV and rushes > 30

Intending to rush 30 times and actually rushing 30 times are two different stories and if we look at team’s in this spot that came in averaging 30-plus carries, we see a .500 record for sides and totals. But the average number of total points scored is just 41 and the average total was 41.5. Out of 55 games in this sample, only 14 finished with more than 54 points (25-percent). The average total in those games was 43.5.

Games with a total of 44 or more with a small ATS line, suggesting the dog had a chance for an upset, went 5-0 O/U and the road dog was 4-1 SU/ATS. If you take the ‘dog’ part of this profile away and include road faves, the record for teasing these games over is 17-0 O/U. Since 2010, even flat betting games such as this with a total of 43 or more is 9-0 O/U and if you drop the total to 42, teasing them over is 28-2 O/U all-time.

`CAPPING NOTES & SYSTEMS

The Vikes are 15-1 ATS their past 16 games against a pass-first opponent, including a 7-0 ATS record since Zimmer took over. Since the start of 2014, Minny has outscored these teams 31-23, so teasing the “Over” is perfect. Ahead of a divisional game, MIN is 6-0 ATS and 4-0-2 O/U. The two pass-first teams they’ve played this year ahead of divisional matchup, MIN beat SD 31-14 at home and then lost 23-20 at Denver.

Minnesota has Green Bay on-deck and as noted, they are notoriously bad in that spot, but Zimmer has only been in town since 2014. I thought it might be worth checking how Norv Turner did in travel spots with divisional games on-deck and the answer is, “Not very good”.

His last nine games with San Diego, Norv went 1-8 SU/ATS. The “Over” was consistently strong and only one of 15 games ended with fewer than 44 points. Only two had less than 48 total points scored.

Zimmer is averaging 50 points per game vs. the AFC and in Zimmer’s six years with the Bengals, his team was 14-9-1 SU and 16-6-2 ATS against the NFC. From 2011-13, Cinci was 9-3 SU and 8-2-2 ATS vs. the NFC, outscoring teams 28-19. Of note, Norv was 3-9 SU/ATS on the road vs. the NFC; his team’s being outscored 29-23.

WHAT’S THE PICK?

My first instinct for this game was to back the Raiders but with their starting center out, I could see them having a hard time running the ball. Oakland passes on 62-percent of its plays but they’ve been able to rely on a fairly steady run game, getting 4.5 YPC. If the run shuts down, that might start to limit what Derek Carr can do on third down but the Vikings don’t have a great defense, especially on the road. I think this total is low based on Minnesota’s travel and look-ahead situation, but I don’t think Zimmer and Turner are the kind of guys to back down from this opportunity to steal a win. Green Bay (6-2) is hosting Detroit today, a likely win, so the Vikings (6-2 SU) need to step on the gas and try to carry some momentum into Week 10.

TC Pick of the Week: Vikings—Raiders OVER 43

Totally Covered is written by Jarvis Simes, lead handicapper at Pick Sixty Sports. Follow us on Twitter for free NFL picks, winning systems and Best Bets throughout the season!