Vikings vs Broncos: Updated Odds, Picks, Predictions
Bryan Bennett/Getty Images. Pictured: Brett Rypien.
- The NFL preseason slate closes on Saturday night with Vikings vs. Broncos.
- Sam Farley has taken a side in this game and is backing the home team's moneyline.
- Check out the final pick of our best bets below.
Saturday is as good as it gets for a football bettor, at least in the last six months.
College football is back with Week 0, and the NFL preseason has an eight-game slate for its Week 3. Then, in two weeks, we’ll have a weekend full of football that matters.
For now, we have a few intriguing preseason matchups (yes, there is such a thing) that our betting analysts have found value in for bettors. We have a matchup every three hours. That means you don’t have to move for nine straight hours.
NFL Odds & Picks
Simon Hunter: No one wants to bet the Jags. They’re 0-2 this preseason and haven’t covered in either defeat.
But we have a gift! The Atlanta Falcons are now 3-17 straight-up (SU) and 2-18 against the spread (ATS) in their last 20 preseason games.
This game has been bet to Jaguars +4, but I have this game graded at Jags +2.5. We’re getting free points just because everyone hates the Jaguars.
Let’s take it and blindly fade this Falcons team.
Brandon Anderson: Super Bowl rematch baby!
OK fine, this isn’t exactly a rematch — at least not of the guys anyone really cares about. There’s no revenge factor here, not with all the backups playing. But that doesn’t mean we can’t bet it.
Zac Taylor’s Bengals historically have not been good in the preseason. Taylor is just 2-7 SU, including an ugly 0-4 as the favorite, like he is here. Not great.
Besides, the Rams are short road underdogs, and history overwhelmingly tells us to back short road ‘dogs in the preseason.
Since 2004, road underdogs of three points or fewer are 261-281 straight up. That 48% win percentage may not look that impressive, but it means it’s been very profitable playing those moneylines, with a 10.2% return on investment (ROI).
A $100 bettor blindly playing every short road underdog moneyline since 2004 would be up a whopping $5,529! Not bad for meaningless preseason games.
But it gets even better. The trend is actually getting stronger in recent years. Since the 2018 preseason, those same short road dogs are an incredible 53-31straight up, returning an absurd 41.4% ROI! That includes 8-4 straight up so far this preseason. And remember, that’s as an underdog!
Revenge may not be in the cards for the Bengals, not that it matters in this one. History compels us to bet on the road dogs and fade Taylor as a favorite. Let’s play the moneyline and hope the Rams go back-to-back against Cincinnati.
Sam Farley: Here we see rookie coaches Kevin O’Connell and Nathaniel Hackett go toe-to-toe. O’Connell’s Vikings have lost both of their preseason games so far, while the Broncos have a win over the Cowboys.
Neither team has given much time to their starters in preseason so far, a decision which they’re unlikely to change as we enter the third and final tuneup game.
So, without Kirk Cousins and Russell Wilson it means this game is going to be won by the best backup QB, or set of backups. In Denver, there’s a live QB battle, with Brett Rypien getting the start here over Josh Johnson, who started the past two matches.
The Vikings have been giving both Sean Mannion and Kellen Mond reps in their backup battle but both have been so bad that the team have traded a conditional seventh-round pick for the Raiders’ Nick Mullens. There’s no doubt Mullens is an upgrade, but it’s still unclear whether he’ll see the field on Saturday, although even if he does he will be unfamiliar with the playbook and not ready to perform at his best.
Given the upheaval in the Vikings’ QB room, I have to lean toward the Broncos here, who should have enough to complete the task at hand.