The Minnesota Vikings (10-3) return home after a three-game road trip to host the Cincinnati Bengals (5-8). Despite a 31-24 loss at Carolina that ended the team’s eight-game winning streak, oddsmakers have opened the Vikings as 11.5-point favorites over the Bengals.
The Norsemen have a lot to play for, a win in Week 15 clinches the NFC North and the Carson Wentz injury has opened the door for Minnesota to take the top spot in the NFC. Cincinnati, on the other hand, essentially had its season end with an ugly 33-7 loss to the Bears last Sunday. As you might expect, squares are eating the chalk (68% of spread tickets on Minnesota) and laying the double-digit spread.
Should bettors follow the money or fade the public?
Contrarian bettors buy low and sell high. A big underdog after a bad loss is a great buy-low opportunity. In fact, teams getting 10 or more points after a double-digit loss have gone 111-86-4 (56.3%) ATS since 2003. Add some additional filters and you get the Pro System below that has covered the spread nearly 70% of the time.
Trend – Double-digit dog after a double-digit loss
This Pro System has gone 48-21-2 (69.6%) ATS since 2003.
The Vikings have a statistical advantage over the Bengals in nearly every offensive and defensive category. Minnesota is top 10 in offensive and defensive efficiency while Cincy ranks 21st in offensive and 19th in defensive DVOA. On paper this is a complete mismatch but that is why Vegas invented the spread. Recreational bettors want no part of Andy Dalton and the Bengals but the Red Rifle has been hyper-efficient the last five games, throwing 10 touchdowns against one interception. Doubt Dalton at your own risk as he is the most profitable quarterback in our database as an underdog (28-15-2 ATS). Cincinnati likely won’t win but Dalton can keep the game closer than the spread indicates.
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