Friday, December 8, 2023

Broncos vs. Vikings prediction: NFL ‘Sunday Night Football’ odds, pick

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From an outsider’s perspective, “Sunday Night Football” might seem like a dud of a game.

But these are two teams with captivating storylines with their playoff hopes still very much alive. 

The Broncos have won three straight including a prime-time win over the Bills at Orchard Park last week.

This is a team that went from allowing 70 points to the Dolphins to making a 180 on the defensive side of the ball.

They’ve held the Bills and Chiefs to a combined 31 points over the last two weeks. 

They welcome in the Vikings who, despite losing starting quarterback Kirk Cousins for the season, have not lost a beat.

Joshua Dobbs was acquired via trade and was immediately thrust into a starting role after an injury to Jaren Hall.

The Vikings have won five straight, including two under Dobbs. 

There’s a side and prop that I am targeting in this Sunday night bout at Mile High, and while I think it’s been a magical run for Dobbs and the Vikings, the fairy dust is about to subside.

We have finally seen the potential of this Broncos team, and I’m not sure they’re stopping anytime soon.

So long as they are under a field goal, I side with the home team in this matchup. 

It should not be understated the Broncos turnaround on the defensive side of the ball.

Since Week 6, they are allowing just 16.8 points per game.

That’s the third-fewest in football.

Their analytics are skewed because of early-season woes, but this is a team fresh off holding Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes to a combined 417 yards and a 1-4 touchdown-to-interception ratio. 

Now they draw a Vikings offense that enters with several question marks.

While Justin Jefferson returned to practice, it seems unlikely that he’ll suit up this week.

Joshua Dobbs
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Alexander Mattison is still in concussion protocol and starting cornerback Akayleb Evans is out with a calf injury. 

This is a defense that is taking advantage of mistakes and making opponents pay.

We saw Denver do so against Buffalo — turnovers proved to be a huge difference in such a close game.

While Dobbs has yet to throw an interception in his two games with Minnesota, he threw five in his final four games as an Cardinal.

For what it’s worth, he did fumble three times in his debut against Atlanta (two lost). 

I’m going to continue to buy on Denver here, especially at home.

This is a raucous environment with a defense that is trending up and an offense that has finally gotten its legs underneath it. 

Javonte Williams has been a huge difference-maker, finally settling in after a torn ACL last year.

All the while, Russell Wilson has looked way more comfortable, which often comes with an established run game. 

As for my favorite prop of this game, I am targeting rookie wide receiver Marvin Mims.

I may be reading through the tea leaves a bit too much, but this is a player that the coaches talked about involving heavily out of the bye week.

He had just one rush against Buffalo — an end around — and was otherwise running wind sprints on the field. 

Betting on the NFL?

But there is one positive to take from the game and why I have reason to believe he’ll go over his prop Sunday.

He ran a career-high 69 percent of routes.

He’s established himself as WR3 in the offense, and his 14.5 yards prop is too low. 

Our Action Labs projections have this closer to 22 yards, a near 10 percent edge based on the current market.

Mims is an explosive receiver and can take advantage of a Minnesota defense that will be without one of its starting cornerbacks. 

The best time to strike is when no one is looking, and the Vikings will be plenty full with selling out to both stop the run game and Courtland Sutton.

That’ll leave opportunities for Mims to take advantage. 

Back Denver to take home a big win on Sunday night all while the rookie Mims makes an impact for this offense. 

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