The Minnesota Vikings are working on building a nice home-field advantage at their new stadium, going 6-1 both straight up and against the spread over their last seven games at U.S. Bank Stadium. Minnesota will play as a double-digit home favorite on Sunday afternoon against the sagging Cincinnati Bengals.
NFL betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 36.8-8.6 Vikings (NFL picks on every game here)
Why the Bengals can cover the spread
The Bengals won two games in a row to finish November but are now trying to stop a two-game losing skid following last week's embarrassing 33-7 loss to Chicago. Cincinnati led the Bears 7-6 after one quarter but came up totally empty from there in probably its worst performance of this season.
Cincinnati was missing four starters on defense last week, including its top two tacklers and a key offensive cog in running back Joe Mixon.
Two weeks ago the Bengals led Pittsburgh, the best team in the AFC at the moment, by 10 points with 10 minutes to go, but let the Steelers off the hook and lost 23-20. Prior to that, Cincy had won two straight, beating Cleveland 30-16 and Denver 20-17.
Why the Vikings can cover the spread
The Vikings just had an eight-game winning streak snapped by a 31-24 loss at Carolina last week. Minnesota spotted the Panthers the game's first touchdown, later trailed 24-13, tied the game at 24-24 with three minutes to go but gave up a long Cam Newton run that set up a Carolina touchdown and could not respond.
On the day the Vikings actually outgained the Panthers 356-345, and 122 of Carolina's yards came on just two plays. But Minnesota got called for a bad face-mask penalty that extended a Panthers touchdown drive and lost the turnover battle 3-1, all of which combined to basically create a minus-17 point differential. The Vikings also had to settle for two short field goals off possessions that reached the Carolina 4-yard and 6-yard lines.
Minnesota has now outgained each of its last 11 opponents and outrushed seven of its last nine foes. It's also now 8-3 both SU and ATS with Case Keenum at quarterback.
At 10-3 overall, the Vikings sit in the No. 2 spot in the NFC playoff standings, one game behind 11-2 Philadelphia and among the contenders on the Super Bowl 52 odds.
Minnesota owns five double-digit victories this season and led two more games by double digits until allowing late meaningless scores. Meanwhile, Cincinnati owns four double-digit defeats this year. Smart money here bets the Vikings on the bounce-back.
NFL betting trends
The total has gone under in three of the Bengals' last four games against the Vikings.
The favored team is 4-0 SU and ATS in its last four games in this matchup.
The Vikings are 17-6 ATS in their last 23 games in December.
All NFL odds and betting trends courtesy of Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, OddsShark. All quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line-movement updates and the OddsShark YouTube page for picks and analysis, or download the free odds tracker app.