On Sunday, the Minnesota Vikings will attempt to win their fourth consecutive game, all of which have come since reigning Offensive Player of the Year Justin Jefferson went on injured reserve with a hamstring injury. However, now the Vikings have much bigger issues, and that’s being reflected in the opening odds of their matchup this week against the Atlanta Falcons at U.S. Bank Stadium.
The folks at the DraftKings Sportsbook have installed the Vikings as a 5-point underdog to the Falcons in this one. The line started at 3.5 points but quickly jumped to five after the news about Kirk Cousins being finished for the season became official.
The Vikings will likely turn to rookie Jaren Hall for Sunday’s game. Hall, the team’s fifth-round pick out of BYU in this past April’s NFL Draft, came in to relieve Cousins after he sustained his Achilles injury on Sunday afternoon. He was pressed into duty because veteran Nick Mullens, who would usually serve as Cousins’ backup, went on injured reserve the same week that Jefferson did and is not eligible to return until after this week’s game at the earliest.
The Falcons are dealing with some quarterback issues of their own, as they benched second-year starter Desmond Ridder on Sunday in favor of veteran Taylor Heinicke in their loss to Tennessee. There hasn’t been any indication yet as to who the Falcons intend to start at quarterback on Sunday.
This one is likely going to fall on the Vikings’ defense, which has really started to put things together over the past few weeks under new coordinator Brian Flores. They’ve allowed a total of 40 points over their last three games and now get an opportunity to face an Atlanta offense that isn’t exactly lighting up the scoreboard so far this season.
It will be interesting to see how this line moves and shifts throughout the week, but for now the Vikings again find themselves as a road underdog.