1. #1
    Chance Harper
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    Monday Night Football: Vikes, Pack kick it off

    Monday Night Football: Vikes, Pack kick it off

    Are you ready for some football? The more important question for football bettors is, are Aaron Rodgers and JaMarcus Russell ready to play some football? Monday night we will get our first glimpse of both Rodgers and Russell as full-time starters for their respective teams when the Green Bay Packers host the Minnesota Vikings followed by the Oakland Raiders against the Denver Broncos.


    Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers (-1, 38)
    Monday, Sep 8, 7:00 p.m. (ET) ESPN

    For all the hype surrounding Rodgersí debut as the starting QB in Green Bay, expect to see a heavy dose of the running game when the Packers host the Vikings on Monday night.

    For the Pack, pounding the run will be largely to shield Rodgers from the pressure of opening the season at Lambeau Field. Expect to see running back Ryan Grant get a ton of carries in the first half, which isnít a bad strategy until you consider that Minnesota had the best run defense in the league last season.

    On top of that, Grant played a grand total of one down in the preseason following a contract holdout and a hamstring injury. Something tells me weíll see Rodgers doing his best Brett Favre impersonation by the end of the first quarter, if not sooner.

    The Vikings have no choice but to go to Adrian Peterson, because heís their best option on offense. Thatís especially the case with Tavaris Jackson nursing a knee injury heading into the game, so handicap Minnesota to hand the ball off as much as possible. This type of thinking is probably why sharp bettors are siding with the under for this one.

    Green Bay is priced as 1-point faves on the betting odds in most places, but that doesnít mean itís the only number out there. The Packers are still listed as 3-point favorites at some sportsbooks, which was the opening line. Itís no secret bettors are pounding the Vikes, to the tune of almost two-thirds of the action Ė and my sense is the money will continue going that way until kickoff.

    Something to consider is the suspension to Vikings left tackle Bryant McKinnie, who made the wonderful decision of throwing down outside a bar in the offseason. With McKinnie in the press box, running the ball against the Packers becomes that much harder for Peterson, who struggled mightily against Green Bay last season.


    Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders (+3, 41)
    Monday, Sep 8, 10:15 p.m. (ET) ESPN

    The Raiders are 8-22 ATS in their last 30 home games, but owner Al Davis (and the $250 million dollars he spent in the offseason) intends for things to be different for Black and Silver backers this season.

    Offseason additions aside, Oaklandís success at the window gets back to Russell, who takes the reins for good in only his second professional season. Russell has some solid targets in Javon Walker (probable with a tight hamstring) and Ashley Lelie, although his bread-and-butter lies in the backfield.

    The Raiders sport three first-string RBs in Darren McFadden, Justin Fargas, and Michael Bush. Fargas ran for over 1,000 yards under the radar last season, while McFadden has the talent to be the most dynamic running back in the league.

    Denver heads into the game at a crossroads, having had its first losing season SU since 1999. The biggest issue for the Broncos, and the biggest reason to lay down some cash on the Raiders, is Denverís inability to stop the running game. The Broncos were 30th against the run last season, allowing 145.9 yards per game on the ground. Not exactly a Mike Shanahan kind of team.

    QB Jay Cutler will have his work cut out for him Monday night, with go-to wideout Brandon Marshall suspended and Darrell Jackson banged-up with an ankle ailment.

    Denverís running attack isnít what it could have been, with Ryan Torain and Anthony Alridge on the sidelines. Selvin Young and Andre Hall will get the carries for the Broncos, which isnít promising even in Shanahanís system. Also pushing Denver into fade bait is the hard reality that no starters are returning from last seasonís offensive line Ė not exactly where you want to start the season if youíre the Broncos.

  2. #2
    JRS21386
    The Oracle
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    I'm on the Vikings and Raiders... This may actually be a good parlay!!

  3. #3
    jjgold
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    I like the Pack now

    No way Minny moves ball that much, Pack just going to play the run because jackson cannot pass.

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  4. #4
    Iwinyourmoney
    IWIN.........IN!
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    JJ........Vikes by 3 or 7

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  5. #5
    SlickFazzer
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjgold View Post
    I like the Pack now

    No way Minny moves ball that much, Pack just going to play the run because jackson cannot pass.
    Stated perfectly. Stack the line, stop the run. Left tackle
    McKinnie is out due to suspension. Viking offense will struggle.
    TO's will be the key in this game.

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