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NFL Picks: Vikings vs Bengals Prediction, Odds (September 12)

  • Vikings are 0-7 ATS last 7 overall
  • Vikings are 0-5 ATS last 5 as a favorite
  • Bengals are 5-2 ATS last 7 home games
  • UNDER is 4-1 in Bengals last 5 in September

The Minnesota Vikings are a 40:1 longshot to win the Super Bowl in 2021, but that could be the steal of the offseason as this team doesn’t seem to have a whole lot of weaknesses. The fact that Minnesota should have a good year raises a red flag in the series opener considering they are just -3 points on the road at the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals big question is last year’s #1 pick Joe Burrow’s health, as this is not the defense you want to face coming off a torn ACL.

Minnesota Vikings vs Cincinnati Bengals Schedule

  • Where: Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinatti, Ohio
  • When: Sunday, September 12, 1:00PM ET
  • How to Watch: FOX

Vikings vs Bengals Vegas Odds

Game Preview

Vikings Defense Ready to Be Better

Minnesota head coach Mike Zimmer is a guru on the defensive side of the ball, and the fact that his unit was 27th in total yards, 29th in points allowed, 27th vs. the rush and 25th vs. the pass had to hurt. Then again, the team lost leading tackler Eric Kendricks with five games left, didn’t have Danielle Hunter (neck) all year, lost Anthony Barr (torn pec) after two games and had Michael Pierce opt out for COVID.

The Vikings were one of the most shorthanded defenses in the league last year and they still finished 7-9 just barely missing the playoffs. That’s a testament to the high-powered Minnesota offense that features 1,500+ yard runner Dalvin Cook, 35 TD / 13 INT QB Kirk Cousins, 1,400 yard receiving rookie Justin Jefferson, and 14 TD receiving Adam Thielen.

Nov 3, 2019; Kansas City, MO, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) hands off to running back Dalvin Cook (33) during the first half against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 3, 2019; Kansas City, MO, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) hands off to running back Dalvin Cook (33) during the first half against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

All the big names are back for the Minnesota opener (except at TE where Kyle Rudolph is gone and Irv Smith is injured) and the defense should also be back to full strength for week one. Minnesota gets four key cogs on their defense back, and also added to the unit with the signings of Dalvin Thompson (DT Giants) and Patrick Peterson (CB Arizona).

Burrow’s Health in Question

The likes of Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers have suffered season-ending injuries in the past, but that came well after they were established NFL QBs. Cincinnati’s Joe Burrow has a much tougher task, having to try and return from a torn ACL with the team’s hopes on his shoulders even while having just 10 career games under his belt.

Burrow was in the midst of a solid rookie campaign when he got hurt, throwing 13 TD to just 5 INT while also completing 65.3% of his passes. Burrow says his knee is healthy, but he also only attempted one pass this preseason. It’s going to cause Bengals fans anxiety to see the type of pass rush Zimmer has dialed up for Burrow in this contest.

Nov 29, 2020; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins (85) celebrates his touchdown with wide receiver Tyler Boyd (83) during the fourth quarter against the New York Giants at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 29, 2020; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins (85) celebrates his touchdown with wide receiver Tyler Boyd (83) during the fourth quarter against the New York Giants at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Burrow has some offensive weapons in Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd who combined for over 1700 receiving yards and 10 TD last year. The team lost offensive leadership in A.J. Green (Cardinals) though and Joe Mixon is trying to return to lead the running game after playing just 6 games last season.

Prediction & Pick

Who will win today’s NFL game:

Why are the Vikings not bigger favorites here? Zimmer is an experienced coach, can rely on one of the best running games in the league, has a veteran QB, has a defense that is healthy, and is up against a young QB coming off a devastating injury. Good enough for me.

Vikings 31 – Bengals 13

Expert Picks:

  • Vikings -3
Carl has been betting on sports for the past 24 years. He is a well-rounded sports aficionado having won (and lost) on the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, NCAA, PGA, UFC, and NASCAR. Carl has been the house for a brief period, and nearly lost a house in his younger gambling days but has learned a lot along the way with tips and info that he passes on to the reader.

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