Houston Texans vs. Minnesota Vikings
Date and Time: Sunday, October 9, 2016, 1 p.m. ET
Location: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN
Week 5 NFL Odds at BookMaker.eu: Vikings -5.5
Texans vs. Vikings TV Coverage: CBS
This was supposed to be the year. The offense got a shiny new toy in Brock Osweiler to lead the offense, and the running game was supposed to flourish with the dependable Lamar Miller taking over for the oft-injured Arian Foster. It hasn’t panned out that way. While the rushing attack has been decent in averaging 112.5 yards per game, the passing attack has been a huge disappointment ranked No. 26 overall. On top of that, the unit owns the No. 29 ranked offensive yard per point average and has scored an average of just 17.2 point per game (No. 29).
The pass defense ranks out as the No. 1 unit in the league, but it remains to be seen if the Texans have attained that ranking with smoke and mirrors. Chicago, Kansas City and New England with Jacoby Brissett in charge hardly solidifies that ranking. Limiting the Titans to just 202 yards passing is nothing to brag about either as bad as Marcus Mariota has been this far. Houston was blanked 27-0 at New England in their lone road game.
Once Teddy Bridgewater went down with a season ending injury before the season even began, linemakers rushed to judgement and immediately lowered their season win total. Those that saw through the noise and hit the over got some nice value. Through four weeks of play, they’ll likely be laughing their way back to the pay window.
Save for struggling a bit with the Titans in Week 1, Minnesota has waltzed its way to an undefeated mark heading into Week 4. They took care of business against the Packers at home winning outright as negligible home pups, and then followed it up with a defensive clinic in Carolina. Then they made the Giants look like a bunch of whining sissies on Monday Night Football. With Sam Bradford being an optimal game manager and the defense making life a living hell for opposing offenses, it looks as if the Vikings are 100 percent one of the teams to beat out of the NFC.
Player to Watch
The Giants went into last week’s game owners of the fourth best passing attack in the league. The Vikings limited Eli Manning and company to just 261 yards through the air and once again made Odell Beckham Jr. look like a crying bitch. Most of those yards were attained on dump-offs. OBJ ended up catching three passes for a whopping 23 yards.
That spells big trouble for DeAndre Hopkins whose been missing in action each of the last two weeks in reeling in five catches for just 60 yards and no touchdowns. Will Fuller is the Texans leading pass catcher which is tells us that Nuk is yet to build a rapport with Osweiler, or he just hasn’t been able to break free from the double teams. Either way, he must step up in this one to give his squad a shot at handing the Vikings their first loss of the season.
Texans vs. Vikings Free Picks
If not for a punt return touchdown last week, the Texans would have likely fallen at home to the Titans and absorbed a second straight defeat. Houston is going to have a heck of a time trying to log back-to-back victories against the odds at BookMaker.eu as locked in as the Vikings are right now. I really thought Monday night’s game with the Giants was going to be a good one. The Vikings had none of that as they dominated from the opening kick.
With J.J. Watt out of the equation, the Texans just aren’t generating a pass rush. They’ve tallied just two sacks over the last two weeks, and Sam Bradford showed Monday night that if you give him any kind of time, he will find the open receiver downfield. I’m willing to bet a pretty penny Houston doesn’t have the top ranked pass defense after this one’s said and done with Jerick McKinnon and Matt Asiata loosening the coverage up by taking advantage of their porous run D to allow Bradford to finally connect for some big plays deep. Look for the Vikes to head into the bye in style.
Texans vs. Vikings ATS Pick: Vikings -5.5 at BookMaker.eu
Texans vs. Vikings Score Prediction: Vikings 31 – Texans 9