• Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

NFL betting: It's time to ride the Vikings against the Steelers

·Betting analyst
·4 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Minnesota Vikings
    Minnesota Vikings
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|
  • Pittsburgh Steelers
    Pittsburgh Steelers
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|

Each week during the NFL season a team suffers a devastating upset loss. Sports bettors stare at the TV screen in utter disbelief with that oddly familiar feeling of betrayal. After a few minutes of rubbing their eyes and reconciling what they just saw, it's on to the next one. The best thing to do is go back to the drawing board and understand that every result provides value for the following week's slate of games.

It was the Minnesota Vikings' turn in Week 13. As 7-point favorites and trying to improve their position in the playoff race, the Vikings lost 29-27 to the winless Detroit Lions. I liked the Vikings to bounce back coming off a loss to the 49ers and featured them in our breakdown of valuable teams that should rebound last week. The Minnesota money never made it to our pockets, but it may have provided a gift that gives back this week.

Betting on a team to rebound against an opponent that just covered the spread has paid off this year. The "buy low, sell high" trend went 4-2 ATS last week with the Steelers and Seahawks coming out of nowhere to defy the odds in upset victories. It's 54-30 ATS (64%) on the season and gives us some matchups I like, starting with Thursday night with the Vikings and Steelers.

All lines provided by BetMGM.

Pittsburgh at Minnesota (-3.5)

Ben Roethlisberger is reborn! Or maybe he played against a defense that allows more yards per play than everyone but the Jets. The Steelers upset the Ravens in a physical AFC North slugfest. The same Steelers team hit-rock bottom the previous week in a 31-point loss to Cincinnati. The Steelers now travel to Minnesota to take on the Vikings at their lowest point. Can there be a better opportunity to buy low on Minnesota?

The Steelers got a market bump after Big Ben turned back time and threw for 236 yards and two TDs against a depleted Ravens secondary. I am not buying the resurgence. The Steelers offense' is still bottom five in yards per play and offensive success rate. The underachieving Vikings are still ranked 14th in net EPA per play — 12 spots above Pittsburgh. Laying more than the key number of three is always a sweat with Minnesota. I'm confident we are getting the better team at home at an advantageous price due to last week's surprising results.

Detroit at Denver (-7.5)

Dan Campbell even made the Grinch's heart grow three sizes bigger as he celebrated the Lions' first win. It was an incredibly emotional day for a team relieved to avoid a winless season. Now it's up to the first-year head coach to get his guys motivated to play in one of the most challenging environments in the NFL. Detroit has to leave climate-controlled Ford Field and travel to Denver to play the Broncos at elevation. It's a difficult spot for any team.

The Broncos are coming off an ugly 22-9 loss to the Chiefs in which they held their own in the box score. Turning the ball over on downs at the 8-yard line and three costly turnovers made a frustrating loss look less competitive. Denver outgained Kansas City by 107 yards and almost a full yard per play (.7). Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater will have a much easier time against a Lions' secondary that ranks 30th in EPA per dropback. Denver is 4-0 S/U and ATS with an average margin of victory of 17 when scoring over 24 points this season. The Lions allow 26.3 per game. Bet on a letdown for the Lions.

Seattle at Houston (+7.5)

This one is a contrarian play based on the number. There isn't much to like about a Texans team that just got shelled 31-0 and is contemplating handing the season over to Davis Mills. I am just not sure how anyone can lay 7.5 points with a Seahawks team that is 26th in offensive success rate. Seattle appears to have righted the ship with its surprise win over the 49ers. Are we sure Russell Wilson is back? Houston, as hard to watch as it has been, has covered some large spreads this season.

The Texans are a respectable 4-5 ATS in games in which they are underdogs of more than seven points. If there is one team that is going to play down to its opponent after a big win — it's Seattle. Hold your nose and take the points for a small stake.

Stats provided by teamrankings.com, rbsdm.com, and Football Outsiders.