The Kansas City Chiefs head to U.S. Bank Stadium to face the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. The Vikes began their season with three consecutive defeats but snapped out of that slump by beating the Panthers last week.
The Chiefs have reeled off three straight victories since suffering an upset loss on opening night, and the reigning Super Bowl champs are expected to win this Week 5 showdown as well. NFL odds opened with the Chiefs as 6-point road favorites before slimming to -3.5. Here are my best free Chiefs vs. Vikings free NFL picks and predictions for October 8.
Chiefs vs Vikings odds
Chiefs vs Vikings predictions
When this line opened with the Chiefs at -5.5 I was initially torn on the side. After all, the Vikings tend to play in a lot of one-possession games and Kansas City hasn't done a great job of covering the spread as a favorite over the last few years. That said, the Chiefs are 10-8 ATS since the start of the 2020 season when they're favored by less than a touchdown on the road, so they do a far better job of covering when they aren't given the customary home-field inflation on the spread.
Minnesota has been shooting itself in the foot with sloppy turnovers (especially in the red zone) at the start of the season, and there's a narrative that when positive regression sets in, they'll put up a ton of points. However, I have a hard time trusting this Minnesota offense, and it's fair to say that giveaways aren't merely bad luck but are a symptom of poor decision-making and execution.
Sure, quarterback Kirk Cousins threw for more than 1,000 yards through the first three weeks of the year, but he was often forced to air it out because the running game couldn't get going, and last week he ended up with just 139 passing yards and the Vikes scraped by with a 21-13 victory against a winless Panthers squad. Now, Cousins and Minnesota take on a much-improved Kansas City defense that's fifth in the league in EPA/play and third in success rate this year.
Kansas City's offense has surprisingly been its biggest issue at the start of the season, with poor play from wide receivers leading to a league-high 10 drops and plenty of stalled drives. That said, the Chiefs offense had a get-right game against the Bears two weeks ago (dropping 34 points in the first half), and while they scored a modest 23 points last week, that was against a stingy Jets defense.
They still moved the ball well against the Jets, rushing for 204 yards on 35 carries and the only reason they didn't cover the 8.5-point spread was due to Patrick Mahomes sliding down at the 1-yard line to close out the contest. Mahomes should have an easier time moving the ball against a Minnesota defense that surrendered more than 420 yards to the Eagles and Chargers in consecutive weeks.
The Vikings blitz at easily the highest rate in the NFL (57%) but they have the fourth-lowest pressure rate at just 17.1%. That has led to Minnesota allowing opposing QBs to complete a whopping 76.6% of their passes with a pass efficiency rating of 111.1.
Mahomes isn't just the best QB in the game, he excels against the blitz. The two-time NFL MVP entered this season with an incredible career pass efficiency rating of 111.7 against the blitz while averaging 8.6 yards per pass attempt. With Mahomes set to carve up this blitz-happy Minnesota defense, I'm going against the line movement and backing the Chiefs at -3.5.
My best bet: Chiefs -3.5 (-110 at bet365)
Picks made at time of writing may not reflect live odds.
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Chiefs vs Vikings same-game parlay
Chiefs -3.5 (-110)
Isiah Pacheco Over 56.5 rush yards (-110)
Chris Jones to record a sack - Yes (-140)
Isiah Pacheco has rushed for more than 60 yards in three straight games and last week he had a season-high 20 carries for 115 yards against the Jets. With Chiefs receivers looking less than reliable this year, coach Andy Reid has been leaning more on his ground game and Pacheo has been the primary beneficiary.
Expect him to pick up yards against a Vikes defense that surrendered more than 250 yards on the ground to Philadelphia and was lucky that Rachaad White, Joshua Kelley, and Miles Sanders all went well below their yards over expected numbers against them.
Chris Jones is one of the top pass rushers in the game and has picked up at least a sack in every contest since ending his hold-out just before Week 2. The Vikings have a terrific pair of bookend tackles but they're less solid on the interior of the line with Ed Ingram struggling at guard and starting center Garrett Bradbury questionable for Sunday.
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Chiefs vs Vikings spread and Over/Under analysis
This line has slimmed considerably from the opening number of Vikings +6 to +4. The total has also seen movement, ticking up from the opening number of 51.5 to as high as 53 before buyback on the Under moved the total back down to 52.5.
The Chiefs opened their season with a 21-20 loss to the Lions where they were hindered by repeated drops from wide receivers and the absence of All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce. Since then they've reeled off three-straight wins, covering against the Jaguars and Bears before edging the Jets 23-20 as 8.5-point faves last week.
The Vikings began their season with three consecutive losses although all of those defeats came by fewer than a touchdown. They were killed by nine turnovers (including seven fumbles) in those three games although Cousins and wideout Justin Jefferson powered an explosive offense. They beat the Panthers last week for their first SU and ATS victory of the year although they again struggled with turnovers as Cousins threw a pair of picks.
Chiefs vs Vikings betting trend to know
The Chiefs have cashed the Over on the first-half total in nine of their last 11 away games (+6.55 Units / 53% ROI). Find more NFL betting trends for Chiefs vs. Vikings.
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Chiefs vs Vikings game info
|Location:||U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN|
|Date:||Sunday, October 8, 2023|
|Kickoff:||4:25 p.m. ET|
|Opening odds:||Vikings +5.5, 52.5 O/U|
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