Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 11:30 AM EST.
1:00 PM EST. At 7-6 and tied with the Ravens for the Wildcard in the AFC, the Dolphins are very much alive in the playoff picture. If the season ended today, Miami would miss out but they close the season against the Vikes, Jags and Bills so the playoffs are within reach. With a worse record at 6-6-1, the Vikes would make the playoffs if the season ended today as the sixth seed. Thus, Minnesota controls its own fate while the Dolphins need help but it is safe to suggest that if Miami wins out, they’ll very likely get in. That said, Miami isn’t likely to win out and its misery starts here.
What follows a euphoric win is almost always a big letdown. Euphoric wins like Miami’s miracle over the Patriots often last well into the night and beyond. It lingers for days and now this weak group has to hit the road again, where they are 1-5, to play a team that was embarrassed and ripped apart by every media source from one end of the continent to the other. The Vikes disgusting offense and horrible play calling came under so much scrutiny in that Monday loss to Seattle that the Vikes were forced to fire OC John DeFilippo. When the Vikings hired DeFilippo this offseason, it was fair to believe they had brought in one of the top up-and-coming offensive minds in the NFL. After all, he had just played a role in winning the Super Bowl with Nick Foles under center.
After that ugly display in prime time, it’s not going to be easy for many in this market to spot a converted TD with the Vikes but we’re big supporters of getting behind teams off an ugly prime-time loss. You may also read or hear this week that Kirk Cousins has a career 4-24 record against opponents who have an above .500 record and that none of the Vikings victories have come against a team over .500 this season. That meaningless fodder is even more reason to get behind the Vikes this week.
You see, the Dolphins have been hot garbage on the road and Minnesota's defense could really have themselves a day against Miami's offensive line. Miami’s pass rush is also one of the league’s worse and now an offense under scrutiny with so much talent is in line to rip apart someone. It is worth noting that in the Monday night game, the Vikings actually outgained the Seahawks 276 yards to 274 and ran just six fewer plays than Seattle. The final score was 27-7 but it was 3-0 for the longest time and Minnesota could have very easily won. After the season, metrics will likely point to Minnesota being a better team than its final record and we promise you that the other teams in the NFC are praying that their first round opponent isn’t the Vikings. The Dolphins are ripe to get slaughtered and the Vikes in a very foul mood.
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MINNESOTA -7½ -108 (Risking 2.16 units - To Win: 2.00)