The Minnesota Vikings are preaching (and pleading) for patience from their supporters as they head into a Week 3 matchup with the Oakland Raiders. The Vikes continue to say they have confidence that quarterback Kirk Cousins will find his groove, but after another disappointing effort in last week’s loss to the Packers, Minnesota fans are growing restless. If he can’t put some numbers on the board in this spot and avoid costly turnovers, it’s going to get worse.
NFL Point Spread and Betting Analysis
For now at least, bettors like the Vikings to get back on track this week. Minnesota opened as a 7.5-point favourite against Oakland and that line has stretched to -9 with about two-thirds of wagers coming in on the home team to cover the number. The Raiders, who are coming off a nasty beating at Kansas City, have been good bouncing back after a loss. They’re 5-0 against the spread (ATS) coming off their last five losses.
The Raiders looked to be suffering from an Antonio Brown hangover last week. They banded together after the mercurial wide out landed with the Patriots and earned and upset win over Denver in Week 1. Then they were just outclassed at home by K.C., falling 28-10 as 7-point underdogs. After taking a 10-0 lead in the first quarter, the Chiefs stormed back with all of their 28 points in the second quarter to put the game to bed before halftime. Rookie running back Josh Jacobs was one bright spot with 99 yards on the ground in 12 rushes. Oakland, which has five sacks in two games, will look to pressure Cousins in the pocket and hunt for turnovers.
The Vikings have dynamic offensive weapons, but Cousins needs to do a much better job delivering the ball consistently. While Dalvin Cook is coming off 152-yard rushing day against Green Bay, Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen haven’t been given enough opportunities to make plays. Cousins is completing just 52.4 percent of his passes for 324 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. One of those picks put the nail in Minnesota’s coffin against Green Bay in the fourth quarter.
“There’s no justification,” Cousins told reporters. “It was unacceptable, it put my team in a terrible position. We had worked so hard to get down there, had a great chance to take the lead, potentially win the game. I just took it out of our hands by making that throw.”