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Vikings vs. Texans Betting Lines

When: 1:00pm EST. Sunday, December 23, 2012
Where: Reliant Stadium. Houston, TX

In one of the few ‘good’ games for week 16 we’ve got this matchup between the Minnesota Vikings (8-6) on the road to play the Houston Texans (12-2). Although the Packers have clinched the NFC North, the Vikings are still working towards a wild card birth. They currently own the 6th seed, but have the Bears, Cowboys, and Giants on their heels (all at 8-6). If they want to keep their playoff position, they have to win this tough road game.

The Texans have the AFC South all locked up, and a win guarantees them a bye in the first round of the playoffs. Of course the Texans would love to give their starters some rest in week 17, so a win here has legitimate value to them.

Minnesota vs. Houston Betting Lines

Obviously the Texans come into this home game as big favorites, currently -7.5 (-110) at JustBet. Both teams are still playing for something, which means the spread isn’t out of line. The over/under is 45 (-110) on both sides at all of the most popular sports betting sites. There hasn’t been much movement on the over/under since it opened, but considering this is one of the more high-profile games of week 16, I expect we’ll see more movement as we get closer to kickoff.

BetOnline.com
US Friendly
JustBet.cx
US Friendly
Spread
Money
Spread
Money
Vikings
Texans
+9 (-130)
-9 (+110)
+315
-375
+7.5 (-110)
-7.5 (-110)
+300
-360
Over/Under
o45 (-110) / u45 (-110)
o45 (-110) / u45 (-110)

Minnesota Vikings vs. Houston Stats

Vikings: 8-6 overall, 6-7-1 ATS. 2-5 road, 2-5 ATS road. 6-8 over/under, 3-4 O/U road. 5-3 ATS dog.

Texans: 12-2 overall, 9-5 ATS. 6-1 home, 5-2 ATS home. 7-6-1 over/under, 4-3 O/U home. 8-4 ATS fav.

• Points Scored Per Game: Vikings 22.8 PPG (17th) vs. Texans 28.1 PPG (3rd)

• Points Allowed Per Game: Vikings 22 PPG (14th) vs. Texans 20 PPG (7th)

• Yards Per Game (Offense): Vikings 328.3 YPG (24th) vs. Texans 386.7 YPG (6th)

• Yards Per Game (Defense): Vikings 357.7 YPG (20th) vs. Texans 325.9 YPG (7th)

• Takeaways/Giveaways: Vikings 19/22 (-3) vs. Texans 28/13 (+15)

Adrian Peterson vs. Texans #5 Rushing Defense

This matchup is likely the difference in the Texans being able to cover the spread. If their #5 ranked rushing defense can keep All Day from breaking any huge plays, they should be able to cover. If he can find a couple of seams for TD runs, the Vikings should keep it close enough to cover.

Since week 7, Peterson has been a man amongst men. Since that time he’s recorded 9 TD’s on 176 carries and 1313 yards. That’s an average of 7.46 yards/carry – absolutely insane. In week 8 he beat the #1 ranked rushing defense of Tampa Bay for 15/123 (8.2 avg), although 64 of those yards came on a single run. The very next week he beat another good rushing defense (Seattle) for 2 TD’s and 182 yards on just 17 carries (10.7 avg).

Bet on Vikings vs. Texans – U.S. Friendly

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Since then he’s been up against better-than-average rushing defenses for the most part, and destroying them. Although this Texans rushing D is the best he’s faced since week 7, I’m not sure it matters a lot. All Day is capable of hitting a couple of 50+ yard runs for touchdowns against anyone, and the Texans defense will need to be at their best. A mistake here or there, and Peterson will make them pay.

Overall, I’m expecting a performance similar to week 7. For the most part, Peterson should have one of his tougher games of the year, gaining 3-4 yards/carry for the bulk of his attempts. However, what is hard to predict is if/when/how often he can break a big play. It’s likely to happen, but how much damage will he be able to do? Even my magic 8-ball is having trouble committing to an answer on this, telling me to “Ask Again Later” every time I try.

Predictable, Weak Vikings Passing Game

The biggest problem the Vikings have on offense is that the passing game essentially doesn’t exist. They rank worst in the league gaining just 168.1 PYPG, just pitiful. This will allow the Texans defense to focus nearly all of their attention on Peterson, making it very difficult for this one-dimensional offense.

Houston’s passing defense is about average, plenty good to stop the Vikings. The Texans 5th ranked rushing defense is going to make it hard on Peterson, who may be the only avenue the Vikings have for scoring TD’s.

Defensively, the Texans can get the job done, and potentially make it a very rough day for the Vikings. However, at -7.5, the offense will have to do their job as well.

Will the Houston Texans Cover the Spread?

The Texans put up 28.1 points/game, good for #3 in the NFL. Against this 23rd ranked passing defense, the Texans should be able to pass the ball with impunity. QB Matt Schaub is having a very solid season, and he has plenty of weapons to go to. Arian Foster and Andre Johnson have been killing opponents this year, and I see no reason that should change this week.

Houston is +15 in turnovers, compared to -3 for the Vikings. Peterson is going to be facing a defense focused almost entirely on stopping him.

I don’t expect the Vikings to reach their season average of 22.8 points/game. I see them scoring in the range of 14-20, and not a penny more. The Texans should have a good day passing and running, and barring any rain (20% chance), I think they’re going to stomp the Vikings. Weather.com is showing temperatures in the mid-70’s, mostly cloudy for game time.

Point Spread Pick

I won’t be surprised if the Texans win this by 10+, so I’m taking Houston -7.5 (-110) at JustBet.cx.

The Texans are playing at home, with a chance to lock up the #1 seed in the AFC. They’re going to want to clinch the seed right now, and rest their starters next week. They 6-1 at home, going against a 2-5 road team. They score a ton, and more importantly, they score TD’s. They eat a lot of time off the clock, making it even harder for the Vikings.

Money Line Pick

Although I thoroughly expect the Texans to win this one, I also think they’ll cover the -7.5 point spread. So, I don’t see value on -360. If Peterson can break out for 350+ yards and 4 TD’s, maybe the Vikings can win it. Since that’s ridiculous, I also don’t see any value on betting the Vikings money line of +315. I’ll stay away from the Vikings/Texans money line and stick with the spread.

Vikings vs. Texans Over/Under Pick

The Vikings vs. Texans over/under is 45 (-110) on either side right now. I think the Texans are good for their season average of 28+ points (up to 31), and the Vikings are good for 14-20, more likely 14-17. So, I’ve got a range of 42-51, but I think 42-48 is most realistic. With the over/under right smack in the middle at 45, I think we’re taking a gamble that we don’t need.

Just like the money line, I won’t be betting on the over/under. If it moves down to 43.5 or 44 I might take the over, but otherwise I won’t place a bet.

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This article was written by Jess

Jess is the editor of MobileSportsBetting.com. His job duties include everything nobody else is doing, and making sure it all gets done on time. When he gets a chance, Jess loves to write about NFL, MLB, Formula 1, and tennis betting.


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