Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Case Keenum
Betting Odds: Minnesota Vikings at Denver Broncos (PK)
- Minnesota Vikings Moneyline: -110
- Denver Broncos Moneyline: -110
- Over/Under: 36
- Kickoff: Aug. 11, 2018 – 9:00 p.m. ET
The new-look offense will feature a healthy Dalvin Cook in the backfield as well as $90-million quarterback Kirk Cousins. Preseason usage might give us an idea of which talented receiver Cousins prefers, although the most important story to track might be the health of the offensive line. The Vikings’ 19th-ranked unit in adjusted line yards per rush is expected to return four of its five starters, but right guard Mike Remmers (ankle), left guard Nick Easton (neck, IR) and center Pat Elflein (shoulder, ankle) are already banged up. Despite the team’s depleted front, the line has moved from Vikings +1 to a pick’em.
The unofficial depth chart lists Devontae Booker as the starting running back with fourth-round pick Royce Freeman as the backup. Freeman joins Leonard Fournette and Le’Veon Bell as the only top-100 picks to weigh at least 230 pounds and have a college season of 250 yards receiving. Considering offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave’s lead running back has averaged 240.3 fantasy points per season (No. 8 in 2017), the starter could be a valuable fantasy asset. Freeman is presently the RB27 in The Action Network RB Rankings. The total has moved from 34.5 points to 36, with 31% of the tickets but 69% of the money betting on the over.
Vikings-Broncos OVER 35.5
It’d be surprising to see the Vikings play their defensive starters for long, and the sharps seem to be backing the over, which has gotten 66% of the money compared to 50% of the bets.
Also, this game presents an opportunity to capitalize on what might be a new trend. It’s possible the theoretically score-inflating impact of the new helmet rules hasn’t been accounted for in the totals: On Thursday, over bettors went a sterling 9-3.