NFL Pick: Intention, Conviction & Execution Makes Vikings The Underdog Play Of The Day

Joe Gavazzi

Friday, August 12, 2016 9:28 PM UTC

Friday, Aug. 12, 2016 9:28 PM UTC

The Minnesota Vikings travel to Cincinnati where each team will play their 1st game of the 2016 NFL Exhibition Season.  This is a contest between Playoff teams from last season who were the 2 biggest money makers for their NFL backers. 

Minnesota Vikings vs Cincinnati Bengals
Our point spread winner in this contest will be the Minnesota Vikings.  It follows a highly profitable theme in Preseason handicapping in which the history of the Head Coaches plays an integral part.


Last season, Cincinnati Bengals had a record of 12-5 and 13-3 ATS.  The Bengals outscored the opposition by an average of 26-17 but only had a yardage edge of 352-342.  In other words, they may not have been as dominant as the record indicates.  But the 12-5 mark was good enough to send them to the Playoffs for the 5thconsecutive year.  There they fell in the 1st round for the 5th consecutive season with an 18-16 loss to the rival Steelers in a Wildcard Game.  A closer look at the schedule sees that the Bengals began the year at 8-0 SU, ATS before a late season injury to starting QB Dalton, who was having a career season, meant the Bengals would limp to the finish line.  This year, the Bengals have a task of functioning without a long time, highly successful coordinator Hue Jackson.  Their OC has matriculated to the Cleveland Browns where he will attempt to lead their revival.  For a team who has been to the Playoffs 5 consecutive years and has little to prove, it is doubtful that either QB Dalton or his veteran OL will see much playing time in this early August game.


The Minnesota Vikings under HC Zimmer are a completely different story as they enter the 3rd year under his tutelage.  In the 1st two years under Zimmer, the Vikings went from 5 wins to 7 wins to 11 wins and made a Playoff berth in 2015.  A hard fought 10-9 loss to Seattle was none the less a positive way to end the season.  Along the way of the 2-year journey, has been a great improvement in the Vikings defense.  Their stop unit has gone from allowing 30 to 21 to 18 PPG.  Much like the Bengals, it would be unlikely that offensive starts QB Bridgewater or RB Peterson would see many snaps in the inaugural August game.  But that doesn’t change the fact that the Vikings have rewarded their backers with more profit than any other team during the tenure of Mike Zimmer.  In the regular season, Zimmer is 24-9 ATS including 15-5 ATS as the underdog.  Last year in the regular season, his Vikings were 7-1 ATS as the underdog including 6-0 ATS as the road dog.  Often times Regular Season success has virtually no link to Exhibition play.  But in this case, nothing could be further from the truth.  Along with his success in Regular Season action, Zimmer’s Vikings are 8-1 SU(89%), 7-2 ATS in August games.


Final Analysis
With as much parity as exists in the NFL, and no Preseason line which is greater than 3 points, it becomes evident that the handicapper's goal is to search out the team whose intentions to win are simply much greater.  When you combine that with conviction and execution, you have the makings of an underdog ICE (intention, conviction, execution) play.  I invite you to put the NFL Odds in your favor and join me in my NFL Exhibition  Pick Week #1 play on the Minnesota Vikings as an underdog against Cincinnati.


Free NFL Picks: Vikings +115
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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