Sunday, October 4, 2020, NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas, 1 p.m. ET
Vikings at Texans Betting Preview: Vikings (+4/-110), Texans (-4/-110)
It has been a strange week for the Vikings, who shut down their team facility Tuesday because of COVID-19 concerns after playing Tennessee last week and then finding out at least eight Titans players and staffers tested positive for the virus. But while the news has gotten worse for the Titans — causing their Week 4 game with the Pittsburgh Steelers to be postponed — the Vikings appear to have made it out of that contest without an outbreak.
On the field, Minnesota also has dealt with some trouble this season. The Vikings have lost three straight against the Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts and Titans while showing one of the NFL’s worst defenses.
The Vikings have a chance to get right against the equally shaky Texans, but they must protect the ball. So far this year, the Vikings have committed seven turnovers on offense while producing only two takeaways on defense.
As is the case with Minnesota, the Texans are staring at a goose egg in the win category for 2020 after three games. Houston has faced a monster schedule so far with losses against the Kansas City Chiefs, Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers in Weeks 1-3.
Houston has gotten worse in the rushing game each week, going from 118 yards on the ground in the season opener to 51 in Week 2 and 29 in Week 3. That is not a great recipe when it comes to controlling time of possession and keeping the opponent at bay.
Quarterback Deshaun Watson could be due for a breakout performance. He has posted a 93.8 passer rating thus far while completing 67.4 percent of his passes for 792 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions.
Vikings at Texans Betting Pick for Week 4
Even if the Vikings had a normal week of practice, they would have faced an uphill battle against Watson and the Texans in Houston. Throw in the fact that the Vikings had a COVID-19 scare and were forced to alter their weekly schedule, and the needle tilts even more in Houston’s favor.
Watson is a terrific quarterback off to a ho-hum start, and that latter part could change this week. Minnesota has one of the leakiest defensive units in the league, and look for Houston to exploit that for its first win of the 2020 campaign.
Vikings at Texans Betting Pick:
Texans 30, Vikings 20
Vikings at Texans Best Bet for Week 4
Houston will look to set the tone early against Minnesota, which could be less prepared than usual after a zany week. The game’s over-under line is set at 53.5 points, which is tough to call, but one line that jumps out is the Texans’ first-half line at over-under 13.5 points.
Can Houston score two touchdowns in the first two quarters? The guess here is yes. After facing top competition all season, Watson will find a way to pick apart the Vikings in the first half.
Vikings at Texans Best Bet: OVER 13.5 points for Texans in the first half (-134)
–Field Level Media