Coming off a close loss to the Dallas Cowboys that dropped them to 1-7, the Minnesota Vikings will be playing for little more than pride on Thursday night. Just a few weeks ago it looked like their opponent, the Washington Redskins, was heading down a similar path after a 1-4 start. But after winning two of their last three, including a 30-24 victory over the San Diego Chargers last week, the 3-5 Redskins find themselves right back in the thick of the lowly NFC East.
The Redskins, who enter Thursday night's primetime matchup as 3-point favorites, are now only one game back in the loss column from the division-leading Cowboys.
Despite their brief win spurt, the Redskins have still been frustrating for bettors this season. They're 3-5 against the spread (ATS) in 2013 and 3-6 through their last nine games, though their six-point win over the Chargers did cover the two-point spread. The Vikings have been just as bad, sharing the same 3-5 ATS record this season.
The over/under (OU) for the game is currently listed at 50. Minnesota is 6-2 OU this season, while Washington is 5-3. The total has gone over in six of the Viking's last eight games.
Any hope for a Vikings' victory rests upon the broad shoulders of Adrian Peterson, who snapped a three-game cold streak with a 140-yard game against the Cowboys last Sunday. He'll face the league's 22nd-ranked run defense, which is allowing an average of 116.6 rushing yards per game.
The Redskins will look to pound the ball on the ground as well, but Robert Griffin III's solid performance last week (23-of-32 for 291 yards) will give them confidence to move the ball through the air against a banged-up secondary that ranks 29th in the league against the pass. With safety Harrison Smith already on injured reserve, safety Jamarca Sanford and cornerback Chris Cook have also been ruled out for Week 10.
The Redskins won this matchup 38-26 as two-point underdogs last season.