The Vikings (9-4) are making their final road trip of the 2019 regular season, visiting Los Angeles to take on the Chargers during Week 15.
The Chargers (5-8) are routed the Jaguars 45-10 in Jacksonville last week but have been eliminated from the AFC Playoffs.
Let’s see who the experts are picking to win the game:
Chargers 29, Vikings 28 — Gregg Rosenthal, NFL.com
This feels like a dangerous spot for all the Vikings fans who will surely make the trip to Carson on Sunday. Minnesota hasn’t put together a complete game since the Week 10 win in Dallas. It’s not Kirk Cousins’ fault, but the Vikings are 0-4 against teams currently owning winning records and the offense desperately needs those positive reports about Adam Thielen’s hamstring to be true. The Chargers are as healthy as they’ve been all year and are coming off a 40-burger. That probably means they’ll play well before losing in the most painful way possible, but I’m picking them to win anyway because my picks this week are too boring.
Chargers 23, Vikings 20 — Pete Prisco, CBS Sports
The Chargers showed some life last week against the Jaguars, but this is a big step up in competition. Even so, I think the Chargers will play well in this one. They are better than the team’s record. Look for Philip Rivers to have success against the Vikings secondary and the Los Angeles pass rush will get after Kirk Cousins. Upset special.
Vikings 23, Chargers 21 — Tadd Haislop, Sporting News
The Chargers ended their streak of heartbreaking losses in style with a blowout win in Jacksonville last week. That development won’t save their season, but it might impact how they approach this home game against the Vikings. L.A. comes in feeling good about itself and motivated to play spoiler against a Minnesota team clinging to its Wild Card spot in the NFC. Powered by Dalvin Cook and the running game, though, the Vikings should produce just enough points to survive.
Chargers 27, Vikings 20 — Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News
This is a tough, long road trip for the Vikings so late in the season, and they didn’t fare well defensively two weeks ago in Seattle. They should have plenty of fan support in Los Angeles to help them, but the Chargers defense will give them some problems with their pass rush and coverage, especially if they don’t want to overwork a hurting Dalvin Cook. The Chargers are built to play spoiler this late in the season, and they showed last week what they can be when their talent is hitting on all cylinders. This won’t be as dominant, but L.A. will make it 3-0 against the top three teams in the NFC North.
Vikings 24, Chargers 21 — Michael David Smith, Pro Football Talk
The Chargers are a better team than their 5-8 record indicates, but the Vikings have too much on the line to go to Los Angeles and take an L.
Vikings 30, Chargers 24 — Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk
This is a dangerous game for the Vikings, one with just enough playoff implications that Kirk Cousins could blow it.
Chargers 26, Vikings 24 — Staff, Bleacher Report
The vast majority of the public is backing the Minnesota Vikings minus-2.5 points on the road Sunday against the enigmatic Los Angeles Chargers. Our experts are fading that, but with admittedly low confidence.
“I’m not gonna lie,” Brad Gagnon said, “I stared at this one for a while. At first glance, the Vikings seem like the logical pick. They’re the much better team in the standings, they’re laying only 2.5 points, and they should essentially feel at home against a team that has no home-field advantage. They also should have starting receiver Adam Thielen back from injury, which is why I wouldn’t bet on the Chargers here.
“But I also wouldn’t bet on the Vikes, who face a bad matchup in this spot. Minnesota’s secondary is a mess, and Philip Rivers has the weapons to take advantage of that. The Chargers run defense has also been lights-out now that they’re healthier on that side of the ball. That could enable them to limit Dalvin Cook and use Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram III to dial up pressure against Kirk Cousins. Minnesota could be walking into a trap against a Bolts team that is suddenly healthy and clearly not giving up.”
The Chargers are fresh off a 45-10 road victory over the Jaguars. They’re much better than their record might suggest, especially now that they have guys like Derwin James, Adrian Phillips, Brandon Mebane Ingram, Russell Okung and Hunter Henry healthy.
Still, it’s fitting that there isn’t a unanimous consensus here.
Win Percentage: 73.7%, Average Score: Vikings 29.1, Chargers 22.3 — FOX Sports
FiveThirtyEight’s 2019 NFL forecast uses an Elo-based model to calculate each team’s chances of advancing to the playoffs and winning Super Bowl LIV. Playoff probabilities are based on 20,000 simulations of the season and will update after each game.
Pre-game win probabilities: Vikings 57% — FiveThirtyEight.com
6 of 8 experts pick the Vikings, CBS Sports
8 of 10 experts pick the Vikings, SB Nation
6 of 7 experts pick the Vikings, USA TODAY Sports
6 of 6 experts pick the Vikings, MMQB Staff