Denver Broncos (0-0) vs. Minnesota Vikings (0-0)
August 14, 2021 4:00 pm EDT
The Line: Minnesota Vikings -122 / Denver Broncos +108; Over/Under: +34
(Click here for latest betting odds)
The Minnesota Vikings battle the Denver Broncos Saturday in week 1 NFL preseason action from US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. This will be the first on-field activity of 2021 for both teams. The Broncos are coming off a disappointing 5-11 result last year and didn’t qualify for the playoffs. As for the Vikings, they posted a 7-9 mark in 2020 and also missed out on postseason play. Check back all season long for free NFL picks at Sports Chat Place.
Denver wasn’t able to improve on their 7-9 record from 2019, skidding to a 5-11 result last season and finishing in last place in the AFC West. The Broncos were hard-hit by injuries and couldn’t get much going on offense for most of the year.
The poor luck and poor play led to a fourth consecutive losing season for Denver, which is the team’s second-longest streak. The Broncos have also missed out on the playoffs for five straight seasons, so needless to say there’s plenty of room for improvement this year.
As for the Vikings, they had a solid 10-6 record in 2019 but couldn’t get near that last season with a 7-9 result. Minnesota finished out of the playoffs in third place in the NFC North, posting their worst record since 2014. The Vikings also gave up 475 points during the course of the season.
Minnesota enters 2021 in their eighth season under head coach Mike Zimmer. The Vikings still have plenty of weapons at their disposal on offense, including Dalvin Cook, Adam Thielen and a handful of promising rookies. They’ll be attempting to knock the Packers out of the top spot in the NFC North this year.
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The Broncos are 6-1 ATS in their last seven on turf and 2-6 ATS in their last eight as a favorite. Denver is 0-5 ATS in their last five Saturday games and the under is 8-2 in their last 10 as a favorite.
Meanwhile, the Vikings are 0-7 ATS in their last seven games overall and 0-6 ATS in their last six on turf. Minnesota is 0-4 ATS in their last four home games and the over is 8-1 in their last nine home games.
PICK: I’m going to take a stab on the Vikings in this one. Early preseason games are always a dice-roll though, as we likely won’t see too many first-stringers out there. Still, Minnesota posted 430 points on offense last year, which was the third-most in team history. The Vikings have an established system in place, and have a deep enough roster to execute the playbook—even if it’s the standard garden-variety preseason looks. I like Denver to hang around in this one as well, so it should be a close game.