Vikings vs Cardinals Week 2 Picks and Predictions: Don't Jump Ship On Minny This Sunday

After an ugly Week 1 loss to Cincinnati, coupled with a dominant win by Arizona over Tennessee, Minnesota is rightfully an NFL betting underdog in the desert for Week 2. But we've got some reasons why you shouldn't jump ship on the Vikings this Sunday.

Zachary Cohen - Contributor at
Sep 15, 2021 • 12:31 ET • 5 min read
Justin Jefferson Minnesota Vikings NFL
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Cardinals absolutely whooped the Tennessee Titans in Week 1, and they’ll now look to make it two in a row when they host the Minnesota Vikings at State Farm Stadium in Week 2.

While the Cardinals are flying high, Minnesota suffering a disappointing loss last Sunday and will be hoping to avoid an 0-2 start — albeit the Vikings will have to do it as an NFL betting underdog.

Will the Cards trounce another opponent? Find out in our Vikings vs. Cardinals picks and predictions for Sunday, September 19 with kickoff set for 4:05 p.m. ET.

Vikings vs Cardinals odds

Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.

This line is mostly sitting at the same number, with the Cardinals laying 4.5 points, although some books are still showing some 4- and 3.5-point spreads. As for the total, things appear to be staying put at 51 at the time of writing. Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until kickoff and be sure to check out the full NFL odds before placing your bets.

Vikings vs Cardinals picks

Picks made on 9/14/2021 at 10:42 a.m. ET.
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.

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Vikings vs Cardinals game info

Location: State Farm Stadium, Glendale, AZ
Date: Sunday, September 19, 2021
Time: 4:05 p.m. ET

Vikings at Cardinals betting preview


Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our NFL weather info.

Key injuries

Vikings: Anthony Barr LB (Out), Christian Darrisaw OL (Out), Irv Smith Jr. TE (Out), Everson Griffen DE (Out), Harrison Hand CB (Out).
Cardinals: Luc Barcoo CB (Out), Devon Kennard LB (Out).
Find our latest NFL injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Cardinals are 7-19 ATS in their last 26 games as home favorites.  Find more NFL betting trends for Vikings vs. Cardinals.

Vikings vs Cardinals predictions

The Vikings lost their season opener to the Cincinnati Bengals in overtime, which also means that Minnesota failed to cover as a 3-point road favorite. It was a rough loss for Mike Zimmer’s team, as star RB Dalvin Cook fumbled in Bengals territory and that ultimately gave Joe Burrow & Co. the opportunity to win the game.

The good news for Minnesota is that the team is 6-0 against the spread when coming off a road loss by three or fewer points in Zimmer’s time as head coach. Meanwhile, Minny is also 19-9 SU when coming off a road loss over that same span.

In Week 1, Tennessee QB Ryan Tannehill had three costly turnovers against the Cardinals defense. That's also a concern for Cousins, who was tied for third in the NFL in interceptions last season, although he is coming off a game in which he threw for 351 yards with two touchdowns no turnovers.

Last week, the Titans quickly abandoned the play-action passing game (and workhorse RB Derrick Henry) that worked so well under former offensive coordinator Arthur Smith, instead turning into a one-dimensional, pass-happy offense. That won’t be the case with the Vikings, who utilize Cook in both the running and passing games, keeping him involved in the game and allowing Cousins to get cleaner looks at his dynamic duo of receivers.

Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson form one of the NFL's best one-two WR punches. Look for them to test a shaky Cardinals secondary a bit more in Week 2 than the Titans did last Sunday. With J.J. Watt joining Chandler Jones in Arizona, the strength of the Arizona defense is along the defensive line — the Vikings will still obviously run as much as possible with Cook... but don't expect them to abandon the ground game if things don't go exactly as planned. 

As for the Minnesota defense, it’s going to be tough for the team to contain Arizona's dynamic QB Kyler Murray, but Zimmer is one of the best coaches in the league at preparing for his opponents. The Vikings have the talent along the defensive line to keep the Cardinals running game in check and this will be an interesting matchup for Minnesota’s secondary.

Week 1 overreactions would make most people hammer the Cardinals to deliver as home favorites in this contest, but the Vikings have what it takes to keep it close — and being better than they showed last week we could see them even winning this game outright.

Murray was sensational against the Titans last week and he’s the type of guy that is simply too talented not to find some success this Sunday. He’ll make Minnesota pay with his legs on broken plays, or he’ll roll out and find a speedy receiver for a deep connection. It’s inevitable.

Joe Burrow, who was playing his first regular-season game since tearing his ACL in 2020, threw for 261 yards with two touchdowns and no picks against this same defense last week.

On the other hand, the Vikings are likely to put up some offense as well. Arizona destroyed Tennessee last week, but that also featured a whopping five sacks from Chandler Jones and this Cardinals defense definitely has some question marks.

Also, the Over has hit in nine of the last 11 dome games that the Vikings have played. Plus the Over is 9-0 in the last nine games the Vikings have played after a SU loss.

If Minnesota has any chance at winning — which we think it does — it’ll be in a shootout

As previously mentioned, the Cardinals should have a pretty average secondary this season — and it has the potential to be worse than that.

Against a depleted Cincy secondary last week, Thielen had nine catches for 92 yards and two touchdowns, while Jefferson had a ho-hum five catches (on nine targets) for 71 yards.

Jefferson caught just over 70 percent of his targets in 2020, and after hauling in just 55 percent of his looks last week, we're looking at the standout sophomore to shine this Sunday. He was also targeted twice in the Red Zone last week, catching both and having one go for what looked like a TD but was marked down at the one-yard line.

With a similar target share this week — and again getting Red-Zone looks — we like Jefferson to find the end zone in Week 2.

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