Underdog Vikings visit Atlanta poised to reclaim NFC North lead
Daniel Coyle, American Sports Correspondent | November 27, 2015
Minnesota Vikings @ Atlanta Falcons
Minnesota Vikings can retake sole possession of first place in the NFC North on Sunday, when they visit the faltering Atlanta Falcons as 1.5-point underdogs with Coral in this weekend’s NFL betting.
The 7-3 Vikings inched ahead of Green Bay in the divisional standings thanks to the Packers’ rain-soaked 17-13 loss to Chicago Bears on Thursday, and can solidify their hold on top spot with a win over Atlanta, who have lost four of five.
Minnesota return to action after falling 30-13 to the Packers last weekend, ending a five-game straight up winning streak. But the Vikings remain a strong bet, going 8-1 against the spread in their last nine, while receiving limited respect on the American football betting lines, where they are pegged as an NFL underdog for the third time in their last six contests.
After averaging over 32 points per game in five wins to open the season, the 6-4 Falcons have endured a power outage, averaging just 17.6 points per game over their last five, and have posted six straight ATS losses.
Sloppy play has been a huge problem for the Falcons, who have committed 13 turnovers over the past five games, resulting in a whopping 41 points against and directly contributing to three of their four recent losses.
The Falcons have also produced mixed results in recent meetings with Minnesota, going 3-2 SU and 2-2-1 ATS in their last five, but posted big wins in the Vikings’ past two visits to the Georgia Dome.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Indianapolis Colts
Meanwhile, Tampa Bay Buccaneers will try to close the gap on the Falcons in the tightening NFC Wild Card race, when they visit Indianapolis Colts as 2.5-point favourites.
The Bucs moved into playoff contention last weekend with their biggest win of the season, taking down struggling Philadelphia Eagles by a 45-17 score, notching the outright win as 6.5-point road underdogs.
That SU victory, Tampa’s fourth in the last six, improves their record to 5-5 on the season, while their current 5-1 ATS run, which includes four victories as underdogs, has made them an attractive bet.
The Colts continued the streaky play that has marked their campaign, picking up a 24-21 victory in Atlanta last weekend, their second straight win following a three-game losing skid, but are a middling 2-3 SU and ATS in their last five at home.
New Orleans Saints @ Houston Texans
Indianapolis must also be concerned with Houston Texans, who join them atop the AFC South standings, and ride a three-game win streak into their clash with New Orleans Saints.
Pegged as 3-point favourites over the Saints, the Texans have been ferocious on defense during their current hot streak, holding opponents to just 244 yards and 9.7 points per game.
Houston have been less than prolific offensively, tallying over 250 total yards just once in their last four.
The Texans have also dropped six straight to the division rival Colts, 0-5-1 ATS, losing by over nine points per game during that stretch.
San Diego Chargers @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville Jaguars (4-6) will be looking to stay in the thick of the AFC South race with a third straight victory, as they host San Diego Chargers as 4.5-point favourites.
Led by an increasingly confident Blake Bortles under center, the Jags are undefeated in their last four ATS and, with a relatively easy schedule down the stretch, make for an intriguing 11/2 wager to win their NFL division.
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