Mike Zimmer is one coach who goes after wins in the pre-season. The Vikings are 14-3 straight up and 12-5 against the spread in exhibition play since he took the helm. Minnesota visits Denver on Saturday.
The Minnesota Vikings made it to the NFC Championship Game a year ago with Case Keenum as their starting quarterback. Keenum is now the main man in Denver after Minny turfed him for another QB in the off-season. He has a chance for revenge against his former team when Broncos host the Vikings on Saturday. Oddsmakers currently have this one as a pick ’em on the NFL odds board.
NFL Point Spread and Betting Analysis
Mike Zimmer has an earned reputation as a head coach who takes the NFL pre-season seriously. The Minnesota Vikings are 14-3 straight up and 12-5 against the spread in exhibition games since Zimmer took over the duties on the sideline. The Purple People Eaters ended last August by failing to cover in each of their last three pre-season games.
The Broncos went 3-1 ATS in the pre-season last August in the first year under head coach Vance Joseph’s leadership. Denver lost 10 of its last 12 games during the 2017 campaign after jumping out to a 3-1 start to the season.
Minnesota allowed a league-best 15.8 points per game and the Under went 4-1 in its last five games of the regular season. Only five teams averaged fewer points scored per game (18.1) than Denver did in 2017.
The Vikings are betting big on free agent signee Kirk Cousins to take their offense to elite levels this season and beyond. The former Washington Redskins quarterback put pen to paper on a three-year, $84 million deal after stringing together three consecutive years with at least 4000 passing yards in the nation’s capital.
Cousins and the rest of the offensive starters are expected to play a series or two on Saturday and they’ll do so with three projected starters on the offensive line sitting out because of injuries. Wide receiver Stefon Diggs and defensive back Xavier Rhodes missed practice on Wednesday because of a disciplinary issue. Diggs caught 64 passes and found the end zone eight times in 2017 for Minnesota while Rhodes was a first team All Pro a year ago.
Denver is hoping it can find rejuvenate its offense in Bill Musgrave’s first full season as the team’s offensive coordinator. The veteran NFL coach took over the OC duties in November of 2017 after head coach Vance Joseph dismissed Mike McCoy. The Broncos averaged just 17.6 points in their final six games with Musgrave calling the shots.
Trevor Siemian, Brock Osweiler and Paxton Lynch all started games under center for the Broncos a year ago. Denver backers are hoping there won’t be the same type of fluidity at the position with Case Keenum as the projected starter.
Vikings vs. Broncos Prediction