The Minnesota Vikings (5-3) will attempt to stop a three-game slide when they visit the Washington Redskins (4-3-1) on Sunday as small road underdogs. The Vikings have not looked like the same team since getting off to a 5-0 start, failing to cover the number in three straight games after going 19-2 against the spread in their previous 21 dating back to last year.

Point spread: The Redskins opened as 1.5-point favorites; the total was 42 early in the week, according to sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark. (Line updates and matchup report)

NFL pick, via Odds Shark computer: 26.9-18.8 Redskins (NFL picks on every game)

Why the Vikings can cover the spread

Despite the team’s struggles lately, Minnesota is still a well-coached squad and will not be facing an unbeatable opponent here by any stretch of the imagination. The Redskins are coming off a bye week following their tie with the Cincinnati Bengals in London and have not won a game since October 16.

This is the start of a tough stretch for them, and it will not be easy after the break. The Vikings are 4-1 straight up and ATS in the past five meetings with Washington, according to the Odds Shark NFL Database, and the favored team is just 3-9 ATS in the previous 12 games in the series as well.

Why the Redskins can cover the spread

The Redskins hope to regain their spark from a month ago back at home, where they have gone 2-0 SU and ATS since losing their first two games there. They put together a four-game winning streak overall before falling on the road to the Detroit Lions by a field goal and then earning a tie with the Bengals overseas.

While there are not many other betting trends favoring them to cover the spread, they are lucky to face a team that lacks confidence right now and has averaged just 12 points during its skid.

Smart pick

There’s no doubt that Minnesota has played much worse recently, but Washington is the perfect foe at this point. The Vikings can hit the road without any real pressure and be underestimated by a Redskins team that had to deal with similar issues to start the season. Washington is 1-8 ATS in its last nine as a favorite on the NFL lines, so back Minnesota.

Betting trends

The favored team is 3-9 ATS in its last 12 games in this matchup.

The Vikings are 4-1 SU and ATS in their last five games against the Redskins.

The Redskins are 1-8 ATS in their last nine games as a favorite.

All NFL betting lines and point spreads data courtesy of Bleacher Report’s official odds partner Odds Shark. All quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line movement updates and Odds Shark YouTube for picks and analysis, or download the free odds tracker app.