Pick Chiefs to Cover -3.5 vs. Vikings in NFL Preseason Betting

Jordan Sharp

Thursday, August 21, 2014 5:00 PM UTC

Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014 5:00 PM UTC

While it may not be the sexiest NFL preseason Week 3 game, the Vikings and Chiefs could present some nice NFL Odds value. Right now the sportsbooks have Kansas City as a -3 ½ home favorite, with a total of 45.

Chiefs to play starters into 3rd quarter
According to a report by Joel Thorman of SB Nation, Andy Reid stated that the Chiefs’ starters on both offense and defense will play into the third quarter in this week’s game against the Vikings. This is huge, especially for a team that will want to get things going for the regular season.

However, not all starters will be in the game for the Chiefs. Jamaal Charles is still looking questionable, and when you’re dealing with a workload like Charles got last season, it’s probably best for the Chiefs long term if they hold him out again in Week 3. Even though the Chiefs fans in attendance will likely not get to see him play, the rest of the starters getting extended run against Minnesota will bode well for a Chiefs win here.

The Vikings have stated they’ll start Matt Cassel at quarterback against the Chiefs, even after Teddy Bridgewater led the team to a 4th quarter score in the two-minute drill of last week’s preseason win. While Cassel has still overall looked pretty good, his leash seems to be getting shorter. That may change however if he suddenly shows well against the starters from his former team. Bridgewater will still probably start the season as the backup, but like in other places, the rookies are making strong showings.

While evaluating quarterbacks may be good for some teams’ NFL Odds value, I don’t see it working on favor of the Vikings here. If Cassel only plays the first half, Bridgewater could still see some time against the Chiefs starters. No matter who is under center, that is a tough challenge, and with no Peterson to put pressure on the ground, the Chiefs are presenting even more value at -3 ½.

The Sharp Pick
If the Chiefs are truly treating this game like a regular season contest, they should be more heavily favored. Kansas City could be game planning specifically for the Vikings, and by playing their starters into the third quarter, it will give them a good feel for a halftime this preseason.

The Vikings are not strong enough to fend off the Chiefs if they are specifically game planning to stop them. Minnesota is still well into the player evaluation mode. They brought in more than three-dozen new players from both the draft and free agency, and with a new coaching staff to go along with it, the Vikings probably aren’t thinking too much about game planning for the Chiefs. Minnesota should rightfully be more interested in evaluating their players.

Another interesting tidbit from Thorman’s article is that after Alex Smith is done with his work this week, Tyler Bray will take his place in the second half. Bray is an awesome story, coming undrafted out of Tennessee last season as a rookie. He didn’t play last week, but if he can put together some nice performances in the last two preseason games, he could be in line for a roster spot. Last year in the final preseason game, Bray threw for 169 yards, three touchdowns and one interception, and another strong showing might move him up the depth chart. Lay the points.

NFL Pick: Chiefs -3 ½ 

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