Minnesota Vikinga (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0 SU, -1 ATS)
NFL Week 2
Date/Time: Sunday, September 17th, 1:00pm EST
Where: Heinz Field - Pittsburgh, PA
by Bob, NFL Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread:MIN +6 / PIT -6
Over/Under Total: 45.5
Week one is over and for the most part, the teams we thought would win did and everything fell into place with the exception of a few games. In this week two showdown, we have two teams, one from the NFC and the other from the AFC tha both come in after winning their season openers. The Minnesota Vikings handled business at home taking down the New Orleans Saints 29-19 and the Steelers went on the road and defeated the Cleveland Browns, who put up a fight early on, by a score of 21-18. After seeing both week one games, I have a feeling this could be a great match-up in week two.
The spread on this game as the Pittsburgh Steelers as six point home favorites over the Vikings. The total points in this contest are set at 45.5 combined. As of late Tuesday night, 61% of the documented action was actually on the Vikings to get the road cover and 55% of the bettors think this game will stay under the posted total. On the injury front in this game, there is nothing to report and it appears that both of these teams will be at full strength.
The story to me in this game will be the Vikings offense. Led by Sam Bradford, Minnesota looked good…really good. Not only did Bradford pass for 346 yards and three touchdowns while on missing on five passes for a completion of 84.4% and a passer rating of 143 but the Vikings run game put up some good numbers too. Rookie, Dalvin Cook, not only shined but he broke Adrian Peterson’s franchise record for rushing yards by a rookie in his debut….as Peterson watched. To go along with Bradford’s masterful performance, Cook rushed for 127 yards on 22 carries. The Minnesota offense looks VERY DANGEROUS so far.
Of course winning the NFL takes more than just a good offense, the defense has to show up in order to compete long term and make a push for a post season berth. As far as the defensive side of the ball for the Vikings, they looked pretty solid as well on Monday night. They held Drew Brees and the Saints to just 19 points and the one touchdown for the Saints was scored late when the game was pretty much already decided. The rest of the game they held New Orleans to just four field goals. The Saints have been a top three to five offense over the last decade or so and the Vikings pretty much shut them down on Monday. If Minnesota can bring this same intensity into Pittsburgh, they could make a HUGE statement this Sunday afternoon.
The Steelers are a good team but this is not the Steelers of old. Yes, they were in the AFC Title game a year ago, but they are not as feared as they once were in years past. This past Sunday, the Cleveland Browns gave them all they could handle while Pittsburgh was able to escape with a 21-18 win. The Steelers passing game looked good with Ben Roethlisberger passing for 263 yards and two scores but over 180 of those yards were to one guy, Antonio Brown. The Steelers run game was horrible…there is no other way to put it. The leader rusher for Pittsburgh was Le’Veon Bell, like always, but his numbers were bad, real bad. Bell carried the ball ten times for just 32 total yards. If Pittsburgh plans to cover or even this weekend, those numbers must improve.
Maybe I watched two different games or maybe I am buying into the Vikings far too early….like many did last year, but not only do I like Minnesota to go into Heinz Field and play good, I think the Vikings at the end of the day are 2-0 while Pittsburgh is 1-1. The Vikings will battle and it will be a close game, but I like Minnesota to pull of a 23-20 type upset this Sunday in Pittsburgh.
Bob’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Do not go too crazy and bet the Vikings on the moneyline, but I REALLY like Minnesota to cover the +6. Take the Vikings plus the points ALL DAY - Bet your Vikings/Steelers picks at an online sportsbook where you can bet on games at -105 odds instead of the more expensive -110 price tag that your bookie is sticking you with! Making the switch to betting at discounted odds will save you TONS of cash! Find this great offer as well as 20 point teasers and parlays up to 25 teams at the web’s best bookmaker: 5Dimes.