Buccaneers Vikings Betting – Buccaneers, Vikings Look To Avoid 0-2 Start
When it comes to the NFL, whatever happened the year before is history. Anyone who doesn’t believe that can ask the Minnesota Vikings, who followed up an NFC Championship game appearance with a disastrous 6-10 season which resulted in their head coach being fired. The sports betting expectations aren’t as high for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this year as they were for the Vikings then, but after opening the season with a loss at home they will be playing with urgency as they look to avoid an 0-2 start.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Minnesota Vikings
Sunday September 18, 2011 – 1:00 PM ET
Mall of America Field, Minneapolis, Minnesota
NFL Betting Lines: Minnesota Vikings – 3
While the Buccaneers are expected to continue their progression, the Vikings are stuck in the middle as a team that should be rebuilding yet still has the talent to contend. Minnesota actually led the San Diego Chargers on the road week one before falling apart in the second half, serving notice that they won’t go down easy.
NFL Betting Preview: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers did a lot of things right in an emotional opener, but there was some trouble in pass defense sets as Lions’ quarterback Matthew Stafford torched them for 305 yards and three touchdowns through the air. The Tampa Bay run defense was only marginally better, and with Adrian Peterson lining up on the opposite side of the ball this week they will need to bar down. Josh Freeman did a lot of things right in the opener, but the Buccaneers didn’t use the run enough to open things up and that allowed the Lions’ defense to bring a lot of pressure. If LeGarrette Blount and company can make some plays in the running game against a suddenly vulnerable Vikings’ rush defense, then that could really open things up for Freeman.
NFL Betting Preview: Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota got the fast start that they wanted with Percy Harvin returning the opening kickoff 103 yards against the Chargers, but after scoring all 17 of their points in the first half the offense sputtered the rest of the way. Donovan McNabb attempted only 15 passes so it is clear that the Vikings want to focus on the run, but even still they will need more form their quarterback, who completed just seven of those passes for 39 yards. Peterson rushed for 98 yards on 6.1 per carry, but it’s hard to win a game in the NFL these days with so little production through the air. The Minnesota defense held up well against the run in the opener, but struggled to slow down the pass, particularly swing plays out of the backfield.
NFL Betting Preview: Outlook & Pick
Neither team will want to open the season with consecutive losses, but only one will be able to take the sports betting bonus win. The Buccaneers have the talent but must find a way to contain Peterson in the running game, which is never an easy task. Minnesota will win this game if McNabb can show even a marginal improvement, but Tampa Bay should be able to keep it close until the end.
NFL Betting Pick: Tampa Bay Buccaneers +3