Cincinnati Bengals vs. Minnesota Vikings Week 1 Predictions: Against the Spread, Total, and Props
Neither the Minnesota Vikings nor the Cincinnati Bengals made the playoffs last year and both teams are in different phases. The Bengals are a young team, with Joe Burrow at the helm going into his sophomore season and rookie wideout Ja’Marr Chase, a familiar face to Burrow from his LSU days, was added to a deep receiving corps.
2021 isn’t a contender year for Cincinnati, they’re looking at it as a building block season. As for the Vikings, they’re running it back with their mix of veterans and young talent. Mike Zimmer has been the head coach for eight years, and Kirk Cousins, who is now 33, heads into his fourth attempt at getting the Vikings over the hump.
2020 saw the emergence of Justin Jefferson on offense -- are the Vikings ready to take that next step or will it be a repeat letdown performance this year?
Minnesota Vikings Preview
The narrative around the Vikings is that they will go as far as Kirk Cousins takes them. While Cousins hasn’t done what they were hoping for in Minnesota with just one playoff win in three seasons, last year the Vikings' demise had nothing to do with Cousins.
Cousins was top-10 in yards, touchdowns, yards per attempt, and passer rating. Instead, it was the Vikings' defense that was such a big letdown. They gave up the fourth-most points and sixth-most yards in the league last year.
In the offseason, Minnesota brought in veterans Bashaud Breeland and Patrick Peterson at cornerback in hopes to put a band-aid fix on the position. The Former All-Pro, Patrick Peterson struggled, giving up five touchdowns and 662 receiving yards in 2020. Breland on the other hand gave up four touchdowns and 377 yards in just 11 games.
Cincinnati Bengals Preview
While Chargers' rookie quarterback Justin Herbert stole the show, Joe Burrow had himself a productive rookie campaign in 2020 with the Bengals. In 10 games he threw for 2,688 yards with 13 touchdowns to just five interceptions on the season.
The Bengals' offense struggled without him in the lineup, but you saw promising seasons from wideouts Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd. Now, add the talented Ja’Marr Chase to the mix, and the Bengals' top-three are a legit threat each week.
In free agency, they lost Carl Lawson on defense but were able to replace him with Trey Hendrickson, who is coming off a 13.5-sack season. Outside of Hendrickson and Jessie Bates III, the Bengals will still have a lot to prove on defense after finishing 22nd last season.
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Minnesota Vikings Betting Predictions
Even though the Bengals finished with a 4-11-1 record last year, they were very good against the spread (ATS) going 9-7, covering 56.2% of the time. That number jumped up to 57.1% when they were home underdogs last year.
As for Minnesota, they were one of the league’s worst teams against the spread last year. They covered just 37.5% of the time. While Minnesota wasn’t good ATS, they did find some success when it came to overs -- they hit 68.8% of the time which was third-most in the NFL last season.
With each team having question marks at cornerback, and the potential to have strong passing offenses this season, a play on the over seems wise. Also, Minnesota hasn’t shown nearly enough to be favored by 3.0, even against a team that struggled last year like the Bengals.