December 9, 2021
The Thursday Night Game this week features two teams in the Vikings and Steelers that have had disappointing seasons so far but are still in the mix for one of the Wild Card spots in the NFC and AFC.
Big Ben Roelisthburger announced earlier this week that this will be his last season as the Steelers signal-caller which may inject some life into the Steelers squad over their last six games. The Vikings have dropped two in a row to the 49ers and Lions after impressive consecutive wins against the Chargers and Packers and have shown inconsistency all year so far. Our betting offers page is a great resource if you are looking to place a wager on the Vikings vs. Steelers matchup Thursday Night.
The Vikings are the three-point favorites at home over the Steelers as they look to get back on track in the NFC playoff picture. Statistically, the Vikings would appear to be having a much better record than their record shows. Kirk Cousins has thrown for 25 touchdowns and three interceptions, Dalvin Cook looks like he is on his way to rush for over 1000 yards, and Justin Jefferson already has over 1200 receiving yards. The big disappointment for the Vikings this year has been their defense, which ranks 3rd to last in yards allowed per game with 382 and is giving up an average of 25.4 points a game.
Najee Harris looks like the best bet here as Dalvin Cook is questionable with a shoulder injury and the Steelers will likely rely on Harris to carry the load throughout the rest of the season with Big Ben showing a noticeable decline in arm strength in recent weeks. Rookie Najee Harris has rushed for 779 yards so far this season and looks like he will be a star in the league for years to come.
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The Vikings feel like the more desperate team especially after their embarrassing loss to the winless Lions last week. Chatter picked up this week about Head Coach Mike Zimmer is on the hot seat as the Vikings have fallen short of their expectations and the combination of Zimmer and Cousins have not been able to get the Vikings where they want to go and both could be on their way out the door in the offseason. I suspect the Vikings will come out with an aggressive gameplan in the first half as they look to set the tempo and secure the win at home
With Dalvin Cook questionable and the Vikings in must-win mode, Kirk Cousins will likely come out firing early in the game, and Jefferson should get plenty of looks all night and should be able to get past 90 receiving yards. Get Justin Jefferson over 90.5 yards at Caesars or BetMGM.
I like the Vikings at home in this matchup but the game should be relatively close as the Steelers are fighting for their playoff lives as well. With Harris running the ball for the Steelers they should be able to keep this game close but I think Minnesota’s passing game with Cousins and Jefferson will be the difference and see them winning a relatively high scoring game 27-24.
The Steelers are in the middle of the pack in overall defense but they do lead the NFL with 3.1 sacks per game and it will be interesting to see how they do against a Minnesota offensive line that has done a decent job of protecting Cousins and a good early indication of how this game will likely go. If the Steelers are making early contact with Cousins early in the night it could be a sign this will be another long night for the Vikings.