NFL Pick For Viking-Bengals: Betting The Under To Be Profitable On Preseason Week 1

Minnesota Vikings

Jordan Sharp

Thursday, August 11, 2016 11:27 PM UTC

Thursday, Aug. 11, 2016 11:27 PM UTC

Friday’s preseason action has five games on tap, with several of them holding some nice NFL Odds value. One of those games is the Vikings heading into Cincinnati for a Week 1 preseason battle with the Bengals. The sportsbooks have the NFL Odds in favor of the Bengals at -2 ½ with a total of 35 points. 

Minnesota Vikings vs Cincinnati Bengals  
Over the last few years and beyond, the preseason has seen some interesting trends that could lead you to make some better NFL Picks for the first week of the preseason. While I don’t have data for the long term, over the last two years the under has been a big trend not only on the first day of the preseason but over the entire Week 1 of the preseason.

The under is 21-13 since 2014 in Week 1 of the preseason, while favorites have also had a lot of success too. The favorites, which most of the time are also the home team have also had some success in Week 1 of the preseason. Favorites are 20-13-1 in Week 1 of the preseason since 2014.

With that in mind, the NFL Odds for this one have the total as the lowest total of any of the Week 1 preseason games. Both teams are obviously focused on defense, but after their first strings, the offenses might not have a whole lot of success.

Once Teddy Bridgewater and Andy Dalton are out of the game the offense for both teams might go with them. That’s assuming either get anything on the board in their short time on the field Friday. Both first-string defenses might shut the offenses for both teams down, leading to a very low scoring game.

Veteran Shaun Hill will take over the quarterback duties for Bridgewater when he comes out of the game, while A.J. McCarron should be the next man up once Dalton goes through his first few series. McCarron obviously has some upside after playing last season for an injured Dalton, but even against a bad Pittsburgh defense, he couldn’t get it done in the playoffs. Assuming he is going to come into this game and drop touchdown after touchdown might be a little farfetched and that is why I am leaning towards the under for this game.


The Sharp Pick
Since Mike Zimmer took over as the Vikings head coach they have been a very low-scoring team in the first game of the preseason. Last season they were in a 14-3 game and the year before that they played the Raiders to a 10-6 game.

The Bengals, on the other hand, have been in some high-scoring Week 1 preseason games over the past three seasons, but this year there is a notable difference with the absence of Hue Jackson. The former Bengals offensive coordinator is gone and in his place, the Bengals promoted Ken Zampese to the position of play-caller.

While he may jump right into being a great play caller, he may want to try some new things in the preseason. This could lead to the Bengals working on certain plays more than trying to score. Combined with the Vikings’ tendency to have lower scoring games in Week 1 of the preseason, take the under here.


Free NFL Pick: Under 35 -107
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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