Vikings vs. Buccaneers Betting Predictions

Vikings vs Buccaneers NFL
Minnesota vs. Tampa Bay, NFL Betting Predictions, December 13

The Minnesota Vikings have won five of their last six games, but it has been anything but pretty as they climbed back into the playoff picture. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have dropped three of their last four as the offense has gone stale and put them in a perilous spot when it comes to playoff seeding. This is a matchup to figure out if momentum means something in the NFL, and I think it does mean something this week.

Vikings vs. Buccaneers Betting Odds

Minnesota is known as the team that relies on Dalvin Cook and the running game to jumpstart the offense. And that is still true to some extent, but Kirk Cousins has been sensational in the passing game during this recent stretch of success. He’s thrown three touchdowns in each of the last three games and four of his last five while also protecting the ball with just two interceptions since the bye. Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen are top-tier receivers who will give this Tampa Bay defense fits this week as the Buccaneers rank 22nd against the pass compared to being the top-ranked rushing defense. Cook will still get his carries against that stout rushing defense, but Cook is also a strong weapon in the passing game out of the backfield with 19 catches in the last four games compared to 16 in his first seven games.

Tampa Bay should have used the bye week to figure out its offensive identity because Tom Brady and the Buccaneers have been off kilter on that side of the ball. The Buccaneers were able to get the engine started in the second half of their last game against Kansas City, but otherwise, it’s been a slog for this offense to score points. Some of that falls on Brady, who has tossed multiple interceptions in three of his last four games, but some of that is on the play calling. Tampa Bay is not hitting on as many of its deep shots, which is putting the offense in bad situations on subsequent downs. The Buccaneers have also gone away from their running game as they have had less than 100 rushing yards in five of their last six games and less than 80 in three of their last four. Those changes can make a world of difference and not put as much pressure on the Buccaneers’ defense, which was wilting before the off week by allowing at least 400 yards of offense in three of the last four games.

The NFL betting sites in New Jersey might have a little too much faith in the Buccaneers offense to set the over/under on this game at 51.5 points. Four of Tampa Bay’s last five games have not hit this mark, and the only one that has was against a depleted Panthers squad. Minnesota’s recent trend has been slightly above this number, but this total seems connected to Tampa Bay’s offense. The Buccaneers have not scored more than 25 points in four of its last five games and they face a defense that hasn’t allowed 300 passing yards since its bye in Week 7. The Vikings found ways to slow down Aaron Rodgers, so they can do the same thing to Brady. I’ll bet the under 51.5 points for -110 odds.

Vikings to win

Tampa Bay deserves to be favored in this game by the New Jersey online sports betting sites. On paper, the Buccaneers are the more talented team, they have the better quarterback, the better defense and coming off a rejuvenating off week. Everything points to Tampa Bay winning this game. However, the Vikings have found ways to win games recently while the Buccaneers have not, and that is not something I can ignore. It hasn’t been pretty in the slightest, but Minnesota has confidence that it can win games. Tampa Bay isn’t playing with that same confidence and there is a lot of pressure on Brady to get this team fixed. The Vikings have flown under the radar all season, and it will stay that way this week as I bet Minnesota laying 2.5 points at +270 odds.

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Josh Walfish is an award-winning journalist who has been covering college and professional sports in the United States. He holds a journalism degree from Northwestern University and his work has appeared in the Miami Herald, Chicago Sun-Times and Providence Journal. He most recently chronicled the UMass hockey teams rise to prominence over the last two years for the local newspaper

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