This article is part of our NFL Picks series.
Minnesota Vikings at Denver Broncos Betting Odds, Picks and Predictions for NFL Week 11
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This intriguing interconference matchup between two surging teams could ultimately be as close as oddsmakers are predicting.
The Vikings are an unlikely 6-4 and have won five straight games despite having to operate without their two best offensive players in Kirk Cousins (Achilles) and Justin Jefferson (hamstring) for multiple contests during that stretch.
The Broncos have recovered from the infamous 70-20 loss to the Dolphins in Week 3 to go 4-3 since that point, including three straight wins coming into this Sunday night clash. The last two victories have been especially noteworthy, as they’ve come against the defending-champion Chiefs and the Bills.
Minnesota Vikings at Denver Broncos Betting Odds for NFL Week 11
*Best lines at time of writing listed
Moneyline: Broncos -130 (PointsBet Sportsbook) / Vikings +120 (DraftKings Sportsbook)
Point spread: Broncos -2 (DraftKings Sportsbook) / Vikings +2.5 (FanDuel Sportsbook)
Totals: Over 42 points (PointsBet Sportsbook) / Under 42.5 points (DraftKings Sportsbook)
A few weeks ago, the spread for this game would naturally have been much different. The Broncos looked like they were fielding the worst defense in the league early on, while the Vikings didn’t lack for firepower with a healthy Cousins and Jefferson. However, both teams’ outlook has changed in varying ways over the past several weeks, and even with Joshua Dobbs proving to be quite a solid fill-in option for Minnesota over his first two games, the fact Jefferson appears unlikely to be activated for this game as of Saturday morning keeps the number in Denver’s favor.
The total also remains very modest, with Jefferson’s expected absence certainly playing a part in that. However, both defenses also deserve some credit, considering each has played progressively better as the season has unfolded and Denver is allowing a meager 16 points per contest in the last three while Minnesota is right behind with just 19 per game surrendered in that same span.
Minnesota Vikings at Denver Broncos Betting Picks This Week
As just noted, the Broncos defense has made a major rebound after hitting what may have been an all-time nadir during the team’s 50-point September loss to the Dolphins. In a testament to how far Vance Joseph’s unit has come, Denver has held the Chiefs to 19 and nine points in two meetings since that point while also keeping Josh Allen to 177 passing yards and picking him off twice.
Meanwhile, rather quietly, Russell Wilson has been more than doing his part on the other side of the ball. The recently embattled veteran has put together what might be the most underreported 18:4 TD:INT ratio ever, numbers that outshine several other star quarterbacks and evoke memories of his Seahawks heyday.
Wilson has also raised his completion percentage over seven points in comparison to his nightmarish 2022, and he’s even just 46 rushing yards behind the 277 he compiled last season in six additional games. The Vikings have vastly improved against the pass by the numbers as the season has unfolded and are allowing just 177.8 yards through the air on the road, which does make them a formidable test and helps explain the low total.
However, Wilson will have an advantage that his opposite number Dobbs won’t – a ground attack capable of keeping the defense honest and Denver’s attack balanced. Javonte Williams and the offensive line have begun to hit their respective strides over the last three games, with Williams grinding out 246 rushing yards, 58 receiving yards and two receiving TDs in that span. Meanwhile Jaleel McLaughlin and Samaje Perine serve as excellent complementary options capable of moving the chains through both the ground and air.
In contrast, Alexander Mattison has been drastically inefficient for the Vikings, gaining just 3.5 yards per carry. To make matters worse, he’s questionable for Sunday night’s game with a concussion, and backup Ty Chandler, while certainly physically gifted, has just 29 career carries and averaged just 3.0 per tote himself in his first extended action in Week 10. Denver’s weakness has been defending the run, but a Vikings O-line that’s only facilitated 83.4 rushing yards per road game doesn’t seem capable of capitalizing much.
The home-field edge should also loom large for Denver in this prime-time affair, and with the team gaining confidence, I see a narrow win in the offing for Sean Payton’s club, even as Dobbs could well cause them some trouble with his outstanding scrambling ability.
Vikings at Broncos Best Bets: Broncos moneyline (-135 at Caesars Sportsbook)
Minnesota Vikings at Denver Broncos Prediction
Broncos 24, Vikings 21
This should turn out to be quite the back-and-forth affair between two closely matched teams. However, the Broncos’ experience edge at quarterback, superior ground attack and home-field advantage should all combine to net a hard-fought victory for the hosts, who seem to be gaining confidence the more they acclimate to Payton’s system and culture.