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NFL Football Betting – Oakland at Minnesota
Two teams coming off tough losses in which they generated very little offense hook up on Sunday at the Metrodome in Minneapolis (artificial turf) when the Minnesota Vikings (3-6 SU, 3-4-2 ATS) play host to the Oakland Raiders (2-7 SU, 3-6 ATS). In the Top Sportsbooks NFL football betting odds, Minnesota is a five-point favorite with a posted total of 35.5 points.
Now that we know Adrian Peterson, the star rookie running back for the Vikings is out of action, what will these two offensively-challenged ball clubs produce? We take a look at things from the “total” perspective.
First, let’s take a look at the TOTALS-RELATED pro football betting trends concerning this matchup:
* MINNESOTA is played five of its nine games UNDER the total this season
* MINNESOTA has played OVER the total in four of its last six games
* MINNESOTA has played OVER the total in four of its last five home games
* OAKLAND has played UNDER the total in four of its last five games
* OAKLAND has played eight of its last 10 road games UNDER the total
* MINNESOTA and OAKLAND have combined to score 36 points per game
Minnesota has scored over 30 points twice this season, but has tallied 17 or under in every other game except for the season opener against Atlanta. The team got bad news this past Monday when it was revealed that Peterson would miss this game with a ligament tear in his knee, although he will not need surgery. Peterson had gained 1061 to that point and was on his way to busting the all-time rookie record of 1808 held by Eric Dickerson.
It’s not just that the loss of Peterson makes the Vikings offense less potent. That goes without saying. It’s that when it comes to the Vikings, we KNOW which way they’re going to play; this is not the Seattle Seahawks, who lose Shaun Alexander and decide that their best fortunes lie in throwing the football on almost every down. Minnesota can’t throw the football effectively, whether it’s Tarvaris Jackson or Brooks Bollinger in the game. Brad Childress is not going to change the style of this football team. They will continue to pound the ball into the line, with Chester Taylor, who is not at all incapable. But Minnesota will most likely become even MORE conservative here, because in Peterson, they lost what was in effect their equivalent of a deep receiving threat. A.P. was able to take the ball from coast-to-coast almost as quickly as any long-range pass-catcher would. That will be missing from this Minnesota game plan, so they will have to grind things out and execute on more plays, which creates more of a chance for them to sputter.
We’ve been satisfied with the way we’ve analyzed Oakland’s games from the over/under standpoint thus far. The passing game for the Raiders just doesn’t work; Josh McCown was just 14-for-27 for 108 yards against Chicago, going through a 29-minute period where he completed just one pass. And even though Justin Fargas had a relatively decent game (81 yards on 23 carries), the Raiders only managed to put six points on the board. That makes 42 points over the last month of action, or just 10.5 per game. The storyline is circulating around the possibility of either Daunte Culpepper returning to Minnesota as the Oakland starter, or for JeMarcus Russell to get his first taste of NFL betting action. Either way, we can’t see a major improvement in Oakland through the air. Once again, this is a team that doesn’t execute well enough to really open things up, and will go with its bread-and-butter – the running game – even though it means they will be running into the teeth of a Minnesota defense that even after surrendering 120 yards to Ryan Grant and the Packers, is still the second-toughest in the league to run on (3 ypc allowed). Would a 32-year-old head coach be tempted by the trap set by Green Bay, and force the run, even though it probably won’t work all that well for him? You bet he would.
Although Minnesota should find some running room against Oakland’s weak run defense (allowing 4.8 ypc), we’re going to look for another drab game from these two, and we’ll move UNDER the 35.5-point total, as it is posted in the Top Sportsbooks NFL football betting odds.
BetUS NFL football betting odds: Minnesota -5.5, Total: 35.5
NOTABLE STAT: Oakland 10.5 ppg over their last four
KEY NFL FOOTBALL BETTING TREND: Oakland has played eight of its last ten road games under the total
Free Pick JAY’S PLAY: UNDER 35.5 ** (Graded on a scale of 1-4 stars)
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