A pair of teams still searching for their first win of the young 2020 NFL season will lock horns in the early slate on Sunday afternoon when the Minnesota Vikings travel to take on the Houston Texans. With both teams struggling defensively and lacking a consistent offensive threat through the first three weeks, each will be looking to use their Week 4 tilt to make corrections and secure a much-needed victory. The NFL odds and expert NFL picks are projecting a high-scoring, but close affair.
This betting preview will give you the full scoop on the NFL odds and best NFL picks for the Week 4 Vikings vs Texans showdown on Sunday afternoon.
NFL Picks, NFL Odds & NFL Props | Vikings vs Texans
Vikings vs Texans Game Info
Minnesota Vikings (0-3, 0-1 Away) vs. Houston Texans (0-3, 0-1 Home)
Date: Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020
Time: 1 p.m. EST
Venue: NRG Stadium — Houston, TX
Attendance: Up to 13,000 fans will be allowed to attend
Vikings vs Texans NFL Odds
All odds taken from MyBookie Sportsbook
Opening Lines: Texans -3; O/U 52
Moneyline: MIN: (+170) | HOU: (-200)
Spread: MIN: +3.5 (-110) | HOU: -3.5 (-110)
Total: 53.5 — Over: (-110) | Under: (-110)
Vikings vs Texans Overview
The Vikings had shown very little signs of life whatsoever heading into their matchup last week with the Tennessee Titans. Rookie wide receiver Justin Jefferson emerged in a big way, catching 7 passes for 175 yards and a touchdown. His performance had to lead to many Vikings fans breathing a sigh of relief. Perhaps the LSU-product will be able to fill the big shoes left behind by Stefon Diggs after all. Dalvin Cook also had a huge game, totaling 181 yards on the ground over 22 carries, an average of 8.2 yards per clip. If the Week 3 version of the Minnesota offense shows up, this Texans defense could get run over. The Vikings will have a great chance to cover their NFL odds in this scenario.
The problem is it’s very tough to say that the Week 3 Vikings will show up. After falling by 1 to the Titans last week, Minnesota had their week of practice thrown off when Tennessee sustained multiple COVID-19 tests. Having been their last opponent, the Vikings also were forced to shut down their team facilities as a precaution, losing a day of practice as a result. How this affected their game preparation remains to be seen but getting thrown off of regular routine certainly couldn’t have helped any.
The real concern for Minnesota in this game is how to defend the Texans offensive attack. While the unit hasn’t been itself through the first three weeks, Deshaun Watson is still the quarterback. After three straight matchups against elite AFC defenses in the Kansas City Chiefs, Baltimore Ravens, and Pittsburgh Steelers to open the season, Houston has to be welcoming the chance to go up against a young and wounded Minnesota unit. Expect Will Fuller and Brandin Cooks to have numerous big gains, while a steady dose of David Johnson will be critical to wear down the Vikings defensive front.
With no major concerns about the Texans offense to address for this matchup, the focus shifts to their defense. Overall, the unit enters Sunday’s matchup ranked 26th in adjusted efficiency per Football Outsiders. Any potential boost that veteran safety Earl Thomas might have provided is now out the window. After reports that Houston planned to sign him earlier in the week, the Texans ultimately opted to pass on the former All-Pro over concerns about how he would fit into the locker room. With the current Texans secondary not likely to phase even Kirk Cousins, establishing pressure up front figures to be paramount for Houston to cover their NFL odds.
Vikings vs Texans NFL Betting Trends
- Vikings 2020 Betting Trends: 1-2 ATS; 2-1 to the Over
- Texans 2020 Betting Trends: 0-3 ATS; 2-1 to the Over
- The Vikings are 4-0 all-time both straight up and ATS against the Texans.
- The over has cashed in three of the four head-to-head meetings between the teams.
Vikings vs Texans Stats
- Minnesota has averaged 25.0 points per game (PPG) this season (Tied for No. 18 in the NFL)
- Minnesota has surrendered 34.0 PPG this season (No. 31 in the NFL)
- Houston has averaged 19.0 PPG this season (No. 29 in the NFL)
- Houston has surrendered 31.7 PPG this season (No. 28 in the NFL)
Monkey Knife Fight NFL Props
Monkey Knife Fight is a DFS site unlike DraftKings or FanDuel. Instead, the contests feature props to play, with varying multipliers for each contest. Unlike the aforementioned sites, you are only competing with yourself on MKF, and you do not need to worry about annoying salary caps.
Monkey Knife Fight has several great NFL props for the entire Sunday slate. Here is one of my favorites for the Vikings vs. Texans game.
Dalvin Cook is in line for another monster game Sunday against a weak Texans defense. While Kirk Cousins should find success through the air as well, he is yet to surpass the yardage over/under line of 263.5 in any game this season. Given how bad the Vikings defensive secondary has been this season, I’m expecting a big game from Deshaun Watson and the Texans offense. Will Fuller did pop up on Houston’s injury report Thursday, so it will be important to monitor his status up until kickoff should you choose to play this prop Monkey Knife Fight.
Predicting all four yardage totals correctly results in winning 8x your entry.
Vikings vs Texans NFL Picks and NFL Odds
Sunday’s contest is a must-win spot for both the Vikings and Texans if either team wants any hope of being a factor in their respective conference’s playoff pictures this season. The total of 53.5 is slightly lower than the line’s peak but still suggests plenty of points will be scored. With two talented quarterbacks and impressive groups of offensive talent on both sides, this game could very realistically be a back-and-forth shootout throughout.
This is a game where I like plays on both the spread and over/under. In anticipation of an offensive onslaught, the over 53.5 is a great play here. Neither defense, particularly the secondaries, have what it takes to hold up to the opposing attacks for a full 60 minutes. I also like the Texans laying 3.5 here. A must-win game undoubtedly favors the home team, especially after the crazy week the Vikings endured practice-wise. Deshaun Watson will work his magic and deliver Houston its first win of the season by at least a full touchdown margin.