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TNF: Vikings Fight the Spread (-6.5) against Buccaneers

Bruce Kluckhohn-US PRESSWIRE

Thursday Night Football will offer up a clash of NFC opponents between the Minnesota Vikings versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that is sure to bring some intrigue.  The upstart Vikings (5-2)  are hoping to improve upon their quick start while the lowly Buccaneers (2-4) are currently fighting to stay relevant in the NFC-South.

Minnesota has the privilege of hosting Tampa Bay, which ups the spread to +6.5 points, according to via Covers.com.

While it may seem like an easy bet, you might want to continue reading.  Of the Vikings’ five wins, only one has been for more than six points.  If you add the Buccaneers continued offensive success they’ve had in the last two weeks, then this matchup (with the spread in mind) could possibly be a coin flip.

If you’re betting on the over/under (42), it may be a bit easier to pinpoint a winner.  The Buccaneers have scorched opposing defenses in the last two weeks, posting both 38 points and 28 points in consecutive games.  Likewise, Adrian Peterson and the new-look Vikings have scored at least 24 points in all seven games won.  If they win this one, (which is likely the case), look for the score to to blow up past the 42-point spread.

Injuries:  Minnesota and Tampa Bay are both no stranger to the injury bug.  The Vikings will be without the services of tight end John Carlson, while wide receiver Jerome Simpson and cornerback Antoine Winfield are listed as questionable.  Minnesota’s biggest banger, defensive end Jared Allen, remains probable for Thursday night’s game.

The Buccaneers are a little bit more fortunate.  Linebacker Adam Hayward, wide receiver Vincent Jackson and cornerback Brandon McDonald are all listed as probable.  We will keep you updated on the injury report as it unfolds before Thursday’s game.

My prediction: The Vikings definitely have the upper hand, especially with great performances from quarterback Christian Ponder, who seems poised to become a long-tenured quarterback for an elite team.  If he continues to flourish under first-year head coach Leslie Frazier, chances are the Vikings will bulldoze the Buccaneers at home.  Vikings 31 -  Buccaneers 21

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