Thursday Night Football heads to Mall of America Field this week for a clash between the Minnesota Vikings and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Minnesota is clearly the better of these two teams at 5-2 through its first seven games of the year, and it is favored by 6 ½-points on the opening NFL odds for the week 8. However, if recent ATS trends tell us anything, it is that your money should be on the visitors from the Sunshine State.
The Bucs might be just 2-4 SU this year, but they are a 4-2 ATS team that is unlucky not to be a perfect 6-0 ATS. Their offense has been doing enough to make up for a defense that has been sometimes shoddy, and they are actually outscoring their foes by two points per game for the season.
Minnesota has yet to lose a game this year at home, but it is just 2-1-1 ATS to show for its work in those games. The push came this past Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals in a game that was played against a backup quarterback in QB John Skelton.
The SBR Forum NFL trends show that Tampa Bay has also won five straight games in this series both from an SU and an ATS perspective dating back to 2001. That includes last year's 24-20 win right here at the Metrodome in which the Buccaneers stormed back from down 20-10 with under seven minutes to go to win the game. RB LeGarrette Blount plunged into the end zone from four yards out to provide the game-winning score with just 0:31 remaining.
The story is a bit different this year, as that was only Week 2 and both teams were 0-1. This year, both are hoping to fight for a playoff spot. The Bucs know that winning might be the only option to get anywhere near the second season. The Vikings simply don't want to fall back to the rest of the pack.
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