Let’s Take a Look at the Minnesota at Tennessee Week 1 Free Pick, Lines & TV InfoWhen: Sunday, Sept. 11, 1 PM ET
Where: Nissan Stadium, Nashville
Opening NFL Lines: Vikings -2 (41)
Minnesota vs Tennessee Historic Betting TrendsMinnesota beat Tennessee 30-7 in Week 5 of the 2012 season. Percy Harvin caught a TD and rushed for one — he’s not even in the NFL these days. Christian Ponder finished 25 for 35 for 258 yards and two scores against the Titans. Adrian Peterson rushed for 88 yards. Matt Hasselbeck went 26 for 43 for 200 yards, one touchdown and one interception or Tennessee. He’s now retired.
Why Bet on Minnesota?Bridgewater, the player looked upon as the key to the Vikings taking the next step, dislocated his knee and tore his ACL on a non-contact play on Aug. 30, and he’s done for the season. The offense was being retooled to play to Bridgewater’s strengths, but now it’s likely to go back to the days of heavy doses of Peterson. Coach Mike Zimmer hasn’t revealed his starting QB yet, saying Monday that Bradford and Hill will split first-team snaps this week. The Vikings will see how both quarterbacks perform before deciding on a starter.
Asked what he would need to see from Bradford before deciding he was ready to play, Zimmer said, “It”s hard to explain exactly what it would be. Command of the offense. Understanding what we’re doing. Know where to go with the ball. Know the checks.” The Vikings sent their 2017 first-round pick and a conditional 2018 fourth-rounder to the Philadelphia Eagles on Saturday for Bradford.
“When the organization’s willing to go out and give up a first-round pick to bring a guy in, it really shows that they have a lot of faith in all the guys in this locker room,” tight end Kyle Rudolph said. “That we have something special here, and it’s time to win right now.”
Bradford was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft by the Rams. In 63 career games, all starts, he’s thrown for 14,790 yards, 78 touchdowns, 52 interceptions and has a passer rating of 81.0. After playing four seasons in St. Louis, Bradford spent the 2015 season in Philadelphia. There, he set Eagles franchise records in completions (346) and completion percentage (65.0 percent) and finished fourth in team history in passing yardage (3,725). Hill, meanwhile, is a veteran journeyman who is 16-18 in his career as a starter.
Why Bet on Tennessee?The Titans went 3-13 in Marcus Mariota’s first pro season and have undergone a significant overhaul under new General Manager Jon Robinson. Mariota started all 12 games he played last season, completing 230 of 370 passes (62.2 percent) for 2,818 yards with 19 touchdowns and 10 interceptions for a rating of 91.5. In three games during the preseason this year, Mariota was 23-of- 31 for 319 yards, with one touchdown and one interception. His completion percentage is 74.2, and his passer rating is 104.1.
Tennessee recently released running backs Dexter McCluster, Bishop Sankey and David Cobb. The Titans traded for DeMarco Murray this spring and drafted Derrick Henry, who won the Heisman Trophy a year after Mariota. In the preseason, Murray looked like the running back who led the NFL in rushing yards with Dallas in 2014. Through three games he churned out 153 yards on 19 carries. In 2015 with the Eagles, just 10 percent of his 193 runs went for 10 or more yards. In the preseason with the Titans, 26 percent of his 19 runs were for 10 or more. Henry also looked really good in the preseason. Don’t be surprised if the Titans run the ball more than any other team this season.