Taking a look at the Week 1 schedule, the Tennessee Titans will host the Minnesota Vikings. Kickoff is set for 1:00 EST on Sunday at Nissan Stadium. The game will be televised locally on FOX. Oddsmakers have the Vikings listed as a 2.5-point road favorite with the total set at 41 points.
Vikings vs Titans Game Preview & Betting Odds
Minnesota took a big step in the right direction in 2015. The Vikings surprised everyone by going 11-5 and winning the NFC North. With what appeared to be an even stronger roster in 2016, Minnesota had their eyes on getting to the Super Bowl. Those hopes took a big hit when starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was lost. In an attempt to save their season, the Vikings just recently traded for Sam Bradford.
Tennessee finished up just 3-13 last season. Not a big surprise, as the Titans were rebuilding for the future. After a flurry of offseason moves, Tennessee believes they are ready to take a big step forward. Just how good this team can be, comes down to the maturation of 2nd year quarterback Marcus Mariota.
Free Pick & Point Spread Prediction: Vikings -2.5
The loss of Bridgewater has a lot of people looking to back Tennessee at home in Week 1. I actually think the injury has presented some value here on Minnesota, who is laying less than a field goal.
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It’s unclear if Bradford will know enough of the offense to start this game. If he doesn’t play, it’s not the end of the world. Veteran backup Shaun Hill is more than capable of stepping in and doing enough to beat the Titans.
Sure Bridgewater completed a high percentage of his passes, but it’s not like he was the focal point. That’s veteran running back Adrian Peterson. Minnesota ranked just 31st in passing last year at 183.0 ypg. Bradford or Hill can definitely put up those kind of numbers.
The Vikings also still have one of the leagues best defenses to rely on. Minnesota ranked 5th in scoring defense last year, allowing just 18.9 ppg. They are going up against a Tennessee offense that really struggled in 2015. The Titans ranked 25th in both rushing and passing. They allowed a league-worst 54 sacks and were 29th in 3rd-down conversions.
Not to mention the Vikings are going to come out with a chip on their shoulder. Head coach Mike Zimmer brings a relentless attitude and won’t let his team come out flat here.
The other key thing to keep in mind, is they are playing the Titans. Tennessee is not a serious playoff contender in 2016. Mariota still has a ways to go before he’s a legit NFL quarterback you can trust. As much as they would like to win this year, their focus is two to three years down the road.
The Titans aren’t exactly a covering machine at home either. Tennessee is just 16-33-3 ATS in their last 52 home games. Only 3-11 ATS in their last 14 at home. They also haven’t done well when getting points. Titans are a mere 7-20 ATS in their last 27 when listed as an underdog.
I just feel like we are seeing a big overreaction to the Bridegwater injury. Minnesota is still the better coached and more talented team in this matchup.