NFL Picks of the Day, August 27th

Jay Pryce

Friday, August 25, 2017 2:08 PM UTC

Friday, Aug. 25, 2017 2:08 PM UTC

Sluggish offense is the theme Sunday as we highlight the Bengals vs. Redskins and 49ers vs. Vikings matchups in our Picks of the Day. Click here to see the best bet in each game. 

Bengals vs. Redskins Odds and Prediction

Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis is historically bad in dress rehearsal week, going 4-10 SU since 2003. Generating a game-winning offense is typically the issue, particularly away from Cincinnati. In preseason road games with a total of 40 points or more, the Bengals are 2-6 ATS under Lewis, averaging 18.1 points per game.

Cincy’s poor offense was on display in last week’s 30-12 home defeat to the Chiefs. The unit converted just four of 14 third-down attempts, and rushed for 72 yards total. The O-line is struggling to find much cohesion and make holes. The rushing game may get a boost with the possible return of speedster Giovani Bernard to the backfield. The fifth-year pro has yet to see game action, recovering from ACL surgery.

Redskins head coach Jay Gruden, a former offensive coordinator for the Bengals from 2011-13, is not impressed with his team’s scoring potential in camp either. Washington has put up 20 points total through two weeks. The run game is sluggish, accruing 103 yards overall, with the O-line failing to provide adequate rushing lanes. Quarterbacks Kirk Cousins and Terrelle Pryor have been far from sharp, even working overtime in Wednesday’s practice to improve precision, timing, and accuracy.

Gruden tends to call a more conservative game in the preseason, focusing on controlling possession and establishing rhythm. This has benefitted the defense more than anything has. Since Gruden took over in 2014, Washington has never yielded more than 24 points in a preseason contest.  The ‘under’ is 4-9 in these games. Look for another low-scoring contest here with each offense searching for answers. Seek out “under” 43.5 at one of these top-rated online sportsbooks for the best number.

Free NFL Picks: Under 43.5Best Line Offered: at SportsInteraction

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49ers vs. Vikings Odds and Prediction

Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer suffered just his second career preseason defeat in a 20-13 loss at Seattle last week, making the team 13-2 SU in the exhibition period in his tenure. For Zimmer, the wins are a bonus. Prior to the Seahawks defeat, he told reporters. “At the end of the day, does it (winning) matter? No. But I think the competitive nature of your team, and especially if you’ve got a young team getting used to winning, I think that’s good.”

Zimmer’s deliberate and possession-controlling playstyle allows the Vikings to be competitive in virtually every preseason contest. Defense shines brightest, particularly when favored to win. Minny is 6-0 SU and 5-1 ATS as chalk under Zimmer. Five contests have come with the hook tacked on at -3.5 or less, where it has covered all but one. The average score is 20.0-12.1 with just one team (Arizona, 28) scoring greater than 16 points.

San Fran players had Monday and Tuesday off, and although they may be energized for the Vikings dress rehearsal, preparation will be lacking. New head coach Kyle Shanahan holds one the league’s most complex offensive playbooks, particularly in the run game. The unit is nowhere near mastering it, averaging 2.6 yards on 11 carries behind the starting O-line. Odds are the time off didn’t help, nor does a matchup with one of the toughest defenses in the league. Lay the 4 points with the Vikings for your picks of the day.

Free NFL Picks: Vikings -4Best Line Offered: at JustBet

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