Minnesota Vikings (0-0) at Buffalo Bills (0-0)
|Date & Time||Thursday August 10, 2017, 7:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Buffalo Bills -1 -- Over/Under: 37
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The Minnesota Vikings and Buffalo Bills meet Thursday in week 1 of the NFL preseason at New Era Field.
The Minnesota Vikings went from being a Super Bowl contender to finishing 8-8 and having a spotty future. There’s tons of talent on this Vikings roster but the fact Teddy Bridgewater may or may not play anytime soon remains the biggest question mark. As of right now, Minnesota will once again be led by Sam Bradford and will be backed up by Case Keenum. A new running back duo of Latavius Murray and Dalvin Cook should be exciting while a new offensive line of Riley Reiff, Mike Remmers and Pat Elflein will take time to adjust. Defensively, the Minnesota Vikings are pretty much the same from a year ago, but rookies Elijah Lee, Ifeadi Odenigbo and Jack Tocho have a chance to earn playing time during these exhibitions. Even with that said, the health of Bridgewater will be the deciding factor on how most feel about the Minnesota Vikings.
The Buffalo Bills begin the Sean McDermott era after finishing 7-9 last season and not making the playoffs since 1999. The Bills return the bulk of their offense with Tyrod Taylor leading the way at quarterback, but he’ll have a lot more different targets at wide receiver with Zay Jones, Corey Brown, Andre Holmes and Rod Streater being added around Sammy Watkins. The Bills also have to work in rookie right tackle Dion Dawkins, who has struggled in camp early on. The Buffalo Bills front seven remains intact, but a new secondary of Tre'Davious White, Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer may take some time to get into the swing of things. Although it will be fun to see how far Shaq Lawson and Reggie Ragland have come along from their rookie years.
The Vikings are 10-1-1 ATS in their last 12 games on turf, 1-5 ATS in their last 6 road games and 38-17 ATS in their last 55 games overall. The Bills are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games, 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games on turf and 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games overall. The over is 10-2 in Bills last 12 games overall and the under is 14-6-1 in Vikings last 21 road games.
There's some decent backups on both teams on both sides of the ball here, so this has the potential to be a decent game throughout. However, I tend to side with quarterback depth in preseason games, and I actually like the potential of Buffalo's Nathan Peterman. as he has a gamer feel to him and can get in a groove quickly. This is also a chance for Peterman to put pressure on Taylor, who honestly hasn't shown he's worth his contract. The Vikings have a questionble offensive line and blah options at QB. I'm leaning with the Bills at home here.