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Vikings Texans Betting Predictions - Vikings, Texans Look For Answers In Thursday Exhibition

Posted by Tony Bryant on 8/28/2012 6:40:21 PM

The Minnesota Vikings and Houston Texans have some issues to sort out as they clash in the fourth and final week of the NFL preseason. Minnesota needs to gain clarity in particular.

Minnesota Vikings @ Houston Texans – Thursday, August 30   
Online betting line: No line

Why Minnesota Will Win

In much the same way that an online poker game can turn up the right card, the Vikings might get the right set of circumstances in terms of their ability to win this game in Houston. The Texans made the playoffs last season for the first time in the history of the expansion franchise. The Texans are a sexy pick for the AFC championship this season, and they know they have a lot of expectations perched on their shoulders.

Precisely because Houston has so much hype to live up to, and because the Texans are new to the experience of trying to back up one playoff season with another, they could blow off this preseason contest against an off-the-radar opponent, one with few credentials or bona fides. The Vikings are not going to get anything close to Houston's best shot in this game, and that's the very reason why Minnesota and head coach Leslie Frazier could grab a victory in the Lone Star State. Minnesota should get thumped a lot during the regular season, but the Vikings might actually come out on the positive side of the ledger sheet as the exhibition part of the NFL campaign comes to a close.

Why Houston Will Win

When NFL betting commentators size up this tilt, they're going to point to Houston for one overarching reason: One way or another, the Texans will have reason to get their quarterback(s) some work on Thursday night. Last year, Matt Schaub propelled the Texans toward the top tier of the AFC, becoming a promising quarterback that the Houston franchise has high hopes for in the coming years. Schaub will probably get a rest on Thursday, but there's someone else who has reason to perform well in this game: T.J. Yates.

If you recall, Yates was the backup quarterback who was thrust into duty when Schaub got injured late in the regular season. Yates held up under scrutiny – and pressure – by guiding the Texans to a win in their wild card playoff game against the Cincinnati Bengals. If Schaub doesn't do anything against the Vikings, Yates can still excel and power the Texans into the winner's circle. There is a clear temptation for Houston to relax in this contest, but the need for at least one credentialed quarterback to play at a high level will carry the rest of the Texans' roster, forcing this team's second-string players to give all that they can on the field. Even without their starters, the Texans can thrive in this setting.

Who Will Win

It’s quite possible that Houston will sleepwalk, but T.J. Yates will probably prevent the Texans from doing exactly that. Pick Houston in this contest.

NFL Football Betting Pick: Houston


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