NFL Betting Preview: Minnesota at Tennessee 9/11
The Minnesota Vikings found themselves in quite the quarterback dilemma just a short time ago, and they are still in the process of working their way through that. So they are going to be giving a veteran the start on Sunday as they begin the season against the Tennessee Titans, in a game that gets underway at 1 PM ET at Nissan Stadium in Nashville. Remember that BetAnySports customers can continue their action even after the opening kickoff, as they take advantage of all that Live Betting Ultra has to offer.
The Vikings lost Teddy Bridgewater for the season to a knee injury that took place in a non-contact drill. And that caused a lot of panic, but they have a 16-year veteran in reserve, as Shaun Hill knew the offense employed by coordinator Norv Turner. So they were prepared to go with him, but to add a little drama, they went out and gave the Philadelphia Eagles a first and fourth-round draft choice in exchange for Sam Bradford, the former #1 overall pick who was a starter for the Eagles last year but had been sidelined for much of the previous two seasons.
Head coach Mike Zimmer was looking at both quarterbacks in drills this past week and made the decision to give Hill the start – at least this week.
And this begs the question as to whether the Vikes can win without Bridgewater – a guy who was not necessarily prolific, with fourteen touchdown passes. Clearly if they were going to go somewhere this season, it was going to be on the strength of their defense and the running game that is highlighted by Adrian Peterson. And if that is the case, is it not just as well that they have a quarterback who can “manage the game”?
In the NFL betting odds that have been posted on this game by the people at BetAnySports, the Vikes are road favorites:
Mike Malarkey had the “interim” label taken off his title during the off-season, and that surprised some people. But he forges ahead, and is adopting a philosophy that has been termed “exotic smashmouth.” Marcus Mariota, of course, was the big-time quarterback who was drafted second last year, and he is going to be better protected, they hope, as Jack Conklin of Michigan State was the first pick this year for the purposes of playing the left tackle spot. But aside from guarding Mariota’s blind side, what the Titans really want to do is emphasize the run.
Toward this end, the Titans signed DeMarco Murray, a former NFL rushing champion who failed to find a home in Philadelphia, and drafted Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry of Alabama. But Tennessee needs to be more threatening from the outside, or else Mariota is once again going to be looking too much toward tight end Delanie Walker, who caught 94 passes last season, which was 62 more than any other receiver on the Titans’ roster.
BetAnySports patrons know that it’s difficult to move the ball on the ground when the defense has the ability to stack the box, and that will be the challenge for Tennessee all year long. The same could be said of the Vikings, although in recognizing this, they made a move in the off-season to draft Laquon Treadwell, a wide receiver from Ole Miss, in the first round. Can either Hill or Bradford help Treadwell shake loose and make plays? Bridgewater had some real success with a sleeper last season, as Stefon Diggs, a fifth-round draft choice out of Maryland, caught 52 passes.
Of course, there are also the splendid contributions of Peterson to consider. He gained 1485 yards last year in coming of what was, in effect, a whole year out of action. And he may have more of the burden on him now, or at least that is what is perceived.
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