The NFL kicks off Week 14 of the 2015 schedule with a potential NFC playoff preview as the Arizona Cardinals host the Minnesota Vikings as a sizable favorite on Thursday Night Football.Arizona opened as a touchdown favorite, but multiple Minnesota injuries have led to the line climbing to as high as 9 points at several sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The moneyline has the Cardinals between -380 and -450, and the Vikings between +310 and +340.
The Vikings and Cardinals played five straight seasons from 2008 to 2012, but have not played since then. The Cardinals were 4-2-1 against the spread in the last seven games between these teams, but 2-5 straight up in that stretch. The Vikings have a three-game SU winning streak in this matchup.
The Vikings enter the game 8-4 SU and 9-3 ATS this season. They have lost two of their last three games both SU and ATS. This followed a five-game SU winning streak and an eight-game ATS winning streak. The Vikings have gone 5-0 SU and 4-1 ATS in their last five road games. The Vikings are 11-2 ATS as road underdogs in December.
Minnesota will be without four defensive starters on Thursday. Both starting safeties, Harrison Smith and Andrew Sendejo, have been ruled out due to injury. Sendejo’s backup, Robert Blanton, is listed as questionable with a knee injury. The Vikings have also ruled defensive tackle Linval Joseph and linebacker Anthony Barr out due to injuries.
The Cardinals enter the game 10-2 SU but only 7-5 ATS. Arizona is riding a six-game winning streak, but has failed to cover the spread in half of those games. This is the sixth game in which Arizona is favored by at least a touchdown. The Cardinals were 2-3 ATS in the first five such games according to the OddsShark NFL Database.
The Cardinals will be without cornerback Jerraud Powers and defensive tackle Frostee Rucker, both ruled out. Tight end Jermaine Gresham is listed as doubtful, while safety Tony Jefferson and defensive tackle Corey Redding are both questionable.
The point total opened at 45, but has climbed as high as 46.5. The total has gone UNDER in five of the last seven games between these two in Arizona. The total has gone UNDER in nine of the Vikings' last 13 games, and OVER in nine of the Cardinals' last 13 games.
The OddsShark Computer predicts a dominating Cardinals win, by a final score of 33.1-13.0. That would provide for the Arizona cover, and come in UNDER the high end of the point total.