Vikings Chargers Betting – San Diego Romps To Opening Win Over New-Look Vikings
Minnesota’s online betting odds don’t have great legs this year as they made a lot of changes, especially on offense, and it’s going to take some time for everything to come together (if it ever comes together). They open their 2011 campaign in San Diego, where they will face a Chargers team that wants to prove that last year’s injury-plagued campaign was an anomaly, and they should cruise to a big win in Week 1.
What: NFL Betting
When: Sunday, September 11th, 4:15 PM ET
Where: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA
Pick: San Diego Chargers -9
Why Bet On Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings will at least go into this season with a fresh start as Leslie Frazier begins his first head-coaching job, and they’ve traded one veteran and potentially washed-up quarterback in Brett Favre for Donovan McNabb (although Christian Ponder could get the job at some point this season). The Vikings also have, arguably, the best running back in the game in Adrian Peterson, who has managed to fix his fumbling problems, and a defense that is capable of keeping them in games. But the fresh-start angle can’t be understated in Minnesota as the Favre/Brett Favre era ended in a mess, and took the focus off the team goals, which is obviously to win the Super Bowl. It’s going to be rough on the field, but things should go more smoothly off the field.
But there are a lot of issues that the Vikings have to sort out, as Percy Harvin is now the No.1 receiver with Sidney Rice in Seattle, and he may be too diminutive to handle that workload. McNabb has to prove that he is still an above-average quarterback, but he doesn’t have many weapons in the passing game and tight end Visanthe Shiancoe has been battling a hamstring injury for the entire preseason. Defensively, the Vikings will be without the Williams Wall, the tackle duo of Pat (not re-signed) and Kevin (suspended because of a banned-substance violation). Also, end Ray Edwards was allowed to walk to Atlanta, which puts more pressure on Jared Allen to generate a pass rush.
Why Bet On San Diego Chargers
The Chargers failed to win the AFC West for the first time in five years, but that was due to a combination of injuries and holdouts on the offensive side of the ball. Pivot Philip Rivers should have a full arsenal of weapons as Vincent Jackson is in camp, which should open up the field for Malcolm Floyd on the other side, and tight Antonio Gates looks as healthy as he has in years. The Chargers were also looking to add to a defense that was No.1 in the regular season (San Diego was first in total offense and defense in 2010, yet still managed to miss the postseason), and the pickup of linebacker Takeo Spikes should prove to be solid, but all eyes will be on safety Bob Sanders. He has played more than six games in just two of his six NFL seasons, but one of those came in 2007, when Sanders was the Defensive Player of the Year and led Indianapolis to a Super Bowl win. He can improve San Diego’s NFL betting odds by leaps and bounds….if he can stay on the field.
And therein lies the key to San Diego’s season in 2011: no team was decimated more by injuries, particularly on offense, and it’s a testament to Rivers that he managed to put up great numbers with all of his targets missing substantial time, and the running game wasn’t that great. That will have to be rectified as well as Mike Tolbert and Ryan Mathews continue to fight for the No.1 spot. Mathews has a lot to prove as he heads into his second year, and last year was ruined by an ankle injury, while Tolbert is very steady.
How It Will Play Out
These two have met five times since1985, with the Chargers going 2-3 SU and 3-2 ATS, and four games went over the posted total. Only one of those games were played in San Diego, and the Chargers came away with a 42-28 victory in 2003. In 2010, the Chargers were 6-2 ATS at home and 7-8 ATS as a favorite, while Minnesota was 3-5 ATS away from home and 2-7 as an ATS underdog.
The Chargers are a 9-point NFL betting favorite, and they should be able to come away with a comfortable victory as McNabb and the first-string offense didn’t look like they were on the same page in the preseason, which is to be expected. Unless Peterson has an 180-yard day (which isn’t out of the question for him), the Vikings are going to have a tough time through the air because they simply don’t have the weapons in the passing game to compete with San Diego. The defense will keep Minnesota in it, but eventually the Chargers will pull away to cover the sports betting spread.
Vikings Chargers Betting Pick: San Diego Chargers -9