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NFL Preseason Betting: Vikings Want To Throw What They Have At The Texans

Posted by Stan Simmons on 8/6/2013 8:02:51 PM

For the Houston Texans, the regular season is going to be the focus. A veteran team has little to prove in the preseason. Minnesota, though, needs to work out the kinks in its passing attack now.

Keep An Eye On: Minnesota’s Passing Game

This is the main reason to follow this particular preseason contest. Everyone is working toward the regular season, of course, but some preseason games will matter more to some teams than others – no, not necessarily winning on the scoreboard, but achieving some tangible goals and attaining a measure of genuine improvement. The one thing Minnesota absolutely needs to do in 2013 is to pass the ball better. Percy Harvin is gone (that might not be a bad thing, given his abrasive presence in the Vikings’ locker room), but that means other new receivers must step up and fill the void. Minnesota knows that Adrian Peterson can and will do great things – he was immensely successful last season even without the support of a top-flight passing attack – but the Vikings are quite cognizant of the need to give him some help. The best online betting sites will tell you that a better passing game means that Peterson will absorb fewer hits and thereby have a better chance of carving out a long NFL career. The Vikings want Peterson to be in their backfield for many more years, not just a few high-volume seasons followed by a debilitating injury or early burnout. Establishing a better passing game is the gateway to that glittering goal.

Watch The Progress Of: Trevardo Williams (Texans), Christian Ponder (Vikings)

The centrality of Minnesota’s passing offense in this game means that Houston’s new draftees on defense should be monitored. For people interested in football betting, it’s worth noting that one of the Texans’ new linebackers, Sam Montgomery, rolled his ankle in practice last week. He’ll probably be held out of this game, and if he plays, he’s not likely to see much action. Montgomery, who openly admitted this past year that he didn’t go all-out at times during his collegiate playing days at LSU, is the most fascinating and (arguably) important newcomer to Houston’s defense, but if he can’t play, outside linebacker Trevardo Williams from the University of Connecticut is the next man to watch. How Williams does (or doesn’t) get to the quarterback is something to follow in this contest. Accordingly, the player to keep an eye on for Minnesota is quarterback Christian Ponder, who held up well in his rookie season last year but will now face a rigorous challenge in 2013. Defenses will have had a year to scout him, and it’s not as though Ponder improved as the 2013 season went along – he did surpass expectations to a considerable extent, but he has a lot to learn and is anything but a sure thing at quarterback (unlike, say, Andrew Luck).

Outlook:

The bottom line in the online sports betting legal community is this: In an NFL preseason game, the team that has a more urgent need to accomplish tangible goals is generally the team that should be expected to win. Houston really doesn’t have to accomplish very much in the preseason. Minnesota actually has to answer some questions. Take the Vikings if you feel compelled to bet on preseason football, which is always a risky endeavor.

Odds: Vikings -1
Pick: Vikings -1


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