Minnesota Vikings at Tennessee Titans - 9/11/16 NFL Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Minnesota Vikings (11-6) at Tennessee Titans (3-13)
NFL Football: Sunday, September 11, 2016 at 1:00 pm (Nissan Stadium)
The Line: Tennessee Titans +2.5 -- Over/Under: 40.5 See the Latest Odds
The Minnesota Vikings head to Music City to kick off their 2016 NFL regular season against the Tennessee Titans.
The Minnesota Vikings had a great 2015 season, finishing 11-5 before dropping a heart-wrenching 10-9 decision to the Seattle Seahawks in the wild card round. Minnesota looked primed for a push to the top of the NFC before being dealt a massive blow as the Vikings lost starting QB Teddy Bridgewater for the entire season with a torn ACL and dislocated knee. Minnesota acted quickly however, acquiring Sam Bradford from the Eagles for a 1st and 4th round pick. Bradford threw for over 3,700 yards and 19 touchdowns last season, which were countered by 14 interceptions. Adrian Peterson remains as the team’s leading running back and hopes to improve on a very good 2015 season that saw AP rush for nearly 1,500 yards and 11 scores. The receiving core hopes to be shored up by first round pick, Ole Miss product, LaQuon Treadwell. Treadwell had 82 receptions for over 1,100 yards and 11 touchdowns for the Rebels in 2015. The majority of the Vikings defense remains, the same defense that allowed only 18.9 points per game last season, good for 5th fewest in the NFL. If they can keep the opposing team’s yardage under control, this may be a defense to watch come January.
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The Tennessee Titans got out to a quick 1-0 start last season before dropping 13 of their remaining 15 games to finish 3-13 tied for the worst record in the league, and receiving the 1st overall pick for being the worst statistically in the entire NFL. The Titans traded that pick to the L.A. Rams, which turned out to be Cal QB Jared Goff. In exchange the Titans received 4 picks in the first 3 round of this year’s draft and a couple of L.A.’s selections in next year’s draft. Marcus Mariota returns to take snaps for the Titans, Mariota definitely went through the growing pains of an NFL season, but proved that he is a competent and capable NFL quarterback, throwing for over 2,800 yards, 19 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, while completing 64% of his passes in 12 games. Tennessee without question improved their backfield, acquiring DeMarco Murray from the Philadelphia Eagles while also drafting Alabama’s Derrick Henry in the second round of this year’s draft. The questions for Titans fans loom over the receivers as many wonder if former pro-bowler Andre Johnson still has enough in the tank to get it done on a game-to-game basis. The Titans still have the likes of Kendall Wright and Delanie Walker to provide some support for Mariota in the passing game. The Titans will be relying on guys such as Brian Orakpo and Jason McCourty to shore up the Tennessee defense in an effort to improve the defense with the sixth-most points allowed last season.
Minnesota is 7-0 ATS in their last 7 road games and 37-17 ATS in their last 54 games overall while the under is 12-3-1 in their last 16 road games. Tennessee is 7-2 ATS in their last 9 season openers and 15-35-4 ATS in their last 54 games overall while the over is 4-1-1 in their last 6 games overall. The home team is 4-0 ATS in the last 4 meetings between these two.
I think the Vikings will be a team to watch once Sam Bradford gets comfortable. However if he starts, he probably won’t be comfortable with the offense yet, and if he doesn’t start I like Mariota more than I do Shaun Hill. Mariota has a year with the same offense under his belt, and is sure to be more comfortable this season now that he actually has options on offense.
The Titans could win this game outright, but I’ll take the points to be safe.