Another tough break derailed our efforts in pre-season action last night. We were again on the right side with the Raiders, but they only managed to win by one point, opposed to the three points we needed. Moving onto Saturday though there’s a much wider assortment of games to pick from. A lot of good teams are playing, with a lot of very intriguing battles going on as well. We’ll focus on one of those teams in the Minnesota Vikings as tihey host the Arizona Cardinals.
While the Vikings wouldn’t be categorized as a good team, there battle at quarterback right now is particularly intriguing. The highly touted Teddy Bridgewater sits behind Matt Cassel on the depth chart, while former starter Christian Ponder mires away in the third spot. Talk about some serious quarterback depth and competition. Those are the situations we like isolating in the pre-season and read on further for further details of tonight’s contest and our official Saturday night selection.
Cardinals vs. Vikings Betting Odds:
Arizona Cardinals +3 (+110)
@ Minnesota Vikings -3 (-130)
Over 40 (-110)
Under 40 (-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Cardinals vs. Vikings Pick:
With the ongoing QB competition in Minnesota, you know the Vikes’ quarterbacks are going to be giving it everything they’ve got for these remaining pre-season games. Competition only brings out the best in one another and I truly feel we’re seeing a prime example of that with the Vikings right now. They possess a deep and talented group under centre and should be able to build off a stellar Week 1 outing against the Raiders.
Now led by head coach Mike Zimmer, the Vikings looked efficient on offense and suffocating on defense. For once, this was a complete football squad. The challenge will be applying this to all elements of their gameplay. It’s believed that with a new coach, come potential growing pains, and plenty of the Vikings starters should be given time to work their way through them tonight. Bridgewater and Cassel will split time by all accounts, with both potentially getting reps with the first-team. Very encouraging news for potential Vikings backers tonight
One big tidbit on the injury front is key running back Adrian Peterson will not be in uniform for the Vikings. While nothing is too major, A-Pete is easing his way into his upcoming campaign, and who can blame the perennial Pro-Bowler? Peterson’s void will be filled by increased time from the other starters and a likely emphasis on the passing game.
Like the Vikings, Arizona too looked quite good in their pre-season opener. Logan Thomas looked like the promising rookie many people expect him to be, but he’ll be asked to again carry much of the play against starters this time. Carson Palmer won’t play all that much, and look for the depth from the Cardinals to be severely tested.
Right now, this game looks like a mismatch in the amount of time each teams’ starters are expected to play. Cassel should see an entire half, while Bridgewater has been promised reps with the starters as well. That screams a motivated team to me, and while the Cards were impressive in Week 1, they’re entirely set with their systems and personnel, and the competition remains minimal. Expect Arizona’s Logan Thomas to struggle against the Vikings starting defense, and look for Minnesota to thrive in front of their home crowd tonight. Take them minus the three points.
PICK = Vikings -3 (-130)