One could make an argument that the biggest preseason game of 2016 is this Sunday afternoon in Minneapolis when the Vikings host the San Diego Chargers. It’s not because of the teams involved but because it’s the Vikings’ first game in their new U.S. Bank Stadium. And they are favored on NFL lines.
Here’s a Closer Look at the San Diego at Minnesota Preseason Week 3 Lines, Expert Pick TV Info
— San Diego Chargers (@Chargers) August 26, 2016
San Diego vs Minnesota Historic Betting Trends
San Diego visited Minnesota in Week 3 of the 2015 regular season and the Vikings rolled 31-14. Adrian Peterson rushed for 126 yards and two touchdowns on 20 rushes in three quarters. Peterson could’ve had a third score, but fullback Zach Line took the first-and- goal carry late in the third quarter for a 24-7 lead. Sacked four times for a loss of 28 yards, Chargers QB Philip Rivers went 21 for 34 for 246 yards with two turnovers. Keenan Allen had 12 catches for 133 yards and two touchdowns for the Chargers. The Chargers and Vikings have met 14 times in the preseason, most recently in 2012 when San Diego won 12-10.
Why Bet on San Diego?
The Chargers played well last week in a 19-3 home win over Arizona, even with Rivers not playing. On their way to a 16-0 halftime lead, the Chargers took advantage of two turnovers for 10 first-quarter points. Brandon Flowers intercepted Carson Palmer’s pass and returned it 25 yards for a touchdown.
One week after allowing a league-high 288 rushing yards, the Chargers limited the Cardinals to 63. It’s assumed that Rivers will play this week. With the third preseason game often referred to as a dress rehearsal, Rivers and the starting offense should see their most extensive work of the preseason. The lone drive of the year so far with the No. 1 offense ended with a 44-yard touchdown catch-and- run by Melvin Gordon against Tennessee
But the Chargers remain without defensive end Joey Bosa, the No. 3 overall pick in this year’s draft. The team on Wednesday announced it was pulling its best contract offer because there’s no way Bosa will be ready for Week 1 now that he’s missed all of camp and will the entire preseason as well by holding out.
The Chargers offered to pay Bosa 85 percent of his $17 million signing bonus at the time of signing and the rest in the new league calendar year in March. Bosa’s agents remained steadfast in receiving the entire signing bonus by the end of this year. This standoff is silly, but Bosa will cave eventually as he has no leverage.
San Diego’s standoff with Bosa looks familiar. The team also took a while to come to terms with its first- round pick in 2001 (LaDainian Tomlinson), 2002 (Quentin Jammer) and 2004 (Rivers, via trade). Antonio Gates also held out for a new deal in 2005.
Why Bet on Minnesota?
This will be a big deal for the Vikings as the game is sold out. And we will see Minnesota starting QB Teddy Bridgewater after he was scratched last week with a minor injury. The Vikings beat the Seahawks regardless 18-11. Shaun Hill, who is preparing for his 15th NFL season, started in place of Bridgewater.
Hill finished 10-of- 17 passing for 129 yards and led the Vikings on an eight-play, 77-yard touchdown drive capped with a 2-yard run by Jerick McKinnon, who started in place of Peterson. Bridgewater was eased back in Tuesday and started heaving long passes again Wednesday so he will start this game. Bridgewater will look to build on what was a solid debut outing in Cincinnati a couple weeks ago. He was 6 of 7 for 92 yards and a touchdown – the 49-yarder to WR Charles Johnson. Left tackle Matt Kalil and cornerback Xavier Rhodes didn’t practice Wednesday, two key players unlikely to play against the Chargers. Peterson has not gotten a carry in the preseason, but he might get a carry or two in the new stadium.
The Minnesota defense has looked strong so far with eight sacks, including six against the Seahawks last week; four of those came against the elusive Russell Wilson. Last year in their regular season game against the Chargers, the Vikings sacked Rivers four times and hit him 13.
My Expert Pick
This game matters to the Vikings. Give the points and go under the total on NFL lines.