Vikings, Rams and Redskins Can Cover Big Spreads This Weekend

Alfred KonuwaFeatured ColumnistOctober 27, 2013


Week 8 is rife with big favorites and, more importantly, big home underdogs.  All three nationally televised games in Week 8 feature home underdogs. 

Although the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' home blowout on Thursday Night Football was a bad omen for the Vikings and Rams, the big stage could these dogs a much-needed boost. 

Minnesota (+9) over Green Bay

The last time the public saw the Vikings, they were the inferior team in a game comparable to the toilet bowl. 

The public has overreacted to the incompetence.  The line opened with the Packers as a six-point favorite and has since moved to as high as -9. 

Green Bay will be playing their second road game in three weeks.  The Vikings will be a home underdog on national television making a quarterback switch to Christian Ponder—who is more familiar with their offense than Josh Freeman.

Large home underdogs are among the more bettor-friendly scenarios.  Home dogs of eight or more have covered 88 percent of the time  in the last 26 games. 

Ponder will have a chance against a beatable Green Bay secondary currently ranked in the bottom half of the league in pass defense.  Green Bay's accumulating injuries on offense and defense makes them a hollow favorite headed into Sunday's divisional game. 

Prediction: Green Bay, 26-21

Washington (+11.5) over Denver

Former Broncos coach Mike Shanahan will be returning to Denver for the first time since being fired in 2008, giving Washington an emotional edge as an underdog.  This will be a big game for Shanahan's Redskins, who have extra motivation to beat his former team.

Despite the Redskins being 2-4, Robert Griffin III appears to have broken out of preseason mode.  He amassed an impressive total quarterback rating (QBR) of 91.8 last week against the Bears, and finally appears comfortable running as he rushed a season-high 11 times.

Denver has given up the fifth-most yards per play on defense and is currently giving up the most yards per game through the air. 

Denver is only 38 percent against the spread at home since 2006.  A potent Washington offense, currently ranked inside the top-10 in yards per play, with a fully recovered RGIII should give them all they can handle and more. 

Prediction: Washington, 37-31


St. Louis (+12.5) over Seattle

The Rams have value as a home dog in prime time against a divisional opponent.  Rams coach Jeff Fisher thrives as an underdog, where his teams are 60 percent against the spread.

Meanwhile, Seattle has only covered 40 percent of the time on the road, where their palpable home-field advantage is nonexistent. 

Seattle will be playing its fourth road game in five weeks, with all four road games being played outside of the Western time zone.

Seattle is in the bottom 10 in the league in third-down conversions, which will allow the Rams more chances on offense to hang in and remain competitive. 

Look for a fired-up Rams team to overachieve against the travel-weary Seahawks

Prediction: St. Louis, 16-9

Week 7 ATS: 2-1

Season ATS: 11-9-2