While the Minnesota Vikings may have more raw talent on their team than the Miami Dolphins do, the Dolphins may have the emotional edge when these teams meet in Minnesota on Sunday.

The bookmakers set the NFL betting spread on this contest at Minnesota -5½ at home, with the betting ‘total’ set at 39.

Minnesota Vikings NFL Cheerleader

The Minnesota Vikings were sky high for their opening game in New Orleans, as they were seeking revenge for the NFC Championship Game last season where Minnesota won on the stat sheet but the Saints won on the scoreboard.

However, the offense was very disappointing in the rematch. Brett Favre completed just 15 of 27 for 171 yards, with one touchdown and one interception. The interior of his offensive line struggled to protect him and Favre was just out of sync with his receivers.

The Vikings probably underutilized Adrian Peterson too, as he totaled 87 yards, but on just 19 carries. AP may not have that nice per carry average this week, as the Dolphins held C.J. Spiller, Fred Jackson and Marshawn Lynch to 38 yards on 14 carries in their opener. Thus, the impetus may fall on Favre and his receivers to start clicking.

As for the Vikings’ defense, they simply could not stop the Saints in the closing minutes, as Pierre Thomas picked up chunks of yards at will, allowing New Orleans not to relinquish the pigskin. Well, the Miami Dolphins have a stout running game with Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams, but unlike the Saints, Miami has no passing game to speak of, so Minnesota can cheat against the run this week.

This is especially true since Dolphins QB Chad Henne was not very good last week, and Minnesota does have a better defense than Buffalo, the Vikings’ performance in the closing minutes last week notwithstanding.

As for the aforementioned emotional edge the Dolphins should have, remember that the Vikings circled the Saints opener as soon as the schedule was released. The effort certainly was there last week, as you would expect, but in the end, the Vikes fell short. Now, off of a potentially season-killing loss, they must prepare for an unfamiliar AFC foe.

It seems virtually impossible for the Vikings to get up for the Dolphins after exerting so much energy last week.

Even the trends in this game seem to favor the Dolphins, as Miami is 12-5 against the spread on the road since Tony Sparano took over as coach, and the Fish have always been a good September team, going 31-22 straight up in their last 53 games during this calendar month. It is also worth noting that the Dolphins are 5-1 ATS under Sparano when playing the second of back-to-back road games.

Now keep in mind that just because the Vikings may probably be running on an empty tank and the Dolphins have those technical trend edges, the Vikings are favored in this game for a reason. Good teams find ways to overcome adversity, so if Minnesota is truly the better team here, they should find a way to get it done, especially at home.

The Vikings’ performance in this game will go a long way in determining what kind of season they will have.

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