Seattle Seahawks vs. Minnesota Vikings
Date and Time: Friday, August 24, 2018, 8 p.m. ET
Location: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN
Opening NFL Odds: Vikings -3.5, 41.5
Seahawks vs. Vikings TV Coverage: Local TV
After dropping an ugly 19-17 decision to the Indianapolis Colts at home the opening week of the exhibition season, the Seahawks didn’t do much to change the minds of the many that believe their window of opportunity to compete for Super Bowl titles has been slammed shut. Though the offense was better racking up over 300 combined yards, most of the production was accrued with the game already out of hand.
Most bothersome however was the team’s inability to rush the pigskin. That detriment has plagued the Seahawks ever since winning the Super Bowl a handful of years ago. The hope was that Rashaad Penny would help cure their ails, but the rookie has been sidelined with a broken finger that will keep him out until at least Week 1 of the regular season. The ground game doesn’t figure to go off in this spot against a Vikings starting defense that chewed up and spit Leonard Fournette out last week holding him to 12 yards on eight carries.
Sloppy. That’s the only way to describe the body of work Minnesota put forth in last week’s home opener, and that’s being kind. After going into the Mile High City and rocking the Broncos in its opener, Minnesota returned home and laid a huge egg on a number of different levels.
Offensively, the unit was a joke. Jacksonville’s defense does that to many a team, but the Vikings were supposed to thrive with Kirk Cousins now at the helm. That was far from the case after he managed a 3 of 8 showing and threw for a whopping 12 yards. Trevor Siemian and Kyle Sloter were nothing to write home about either. Making matters even worse were a pair of turnovers that allowed Jacksonville to salt the game away. When the dust cleared, the Jags held onto the pigskin for 13 more minutes which allowed them to shorten the game to their liking. You can bet your bottom dollar the offense is getting extra reps leading up to this one.
126.0 – This is the average yardage the Seahawks have conceded on the ground over the last two weeks. While the starting defense held up its end of the bargain, the backups most definitely haven’t. The Chargers just gouged Seattle for 176 yards on 37 carries for a 4.8 yard per carry average. If the Vikings are to get the offense firing on all cylinders like it did at Denver, it would be wise to take advantage of Seattle’s weak underbelly; especially once the backups enter the game in the second half.
After gouging Denver for 147 yards in Week 1 and following it up with 128 more yards against Jacksonville, it’s safe to say the Vikings will look to its ground attack to soften the Seahawks defense up early and often. Once that happens, Minnesota should pull away and do so quickly.
Seahawks vs. Vikings Free Picks
I’ve faded the Seahawks the first two weeks of the exhibition season and will continue to do so entering the regular season. There’s just so much not to like about how the roster shakes out that you have no choice but to take advantage. Early betting on the preseason betting lines indicates as such with 75 percent of the action taking my same stance.
What we’ve got here is a perfect storm. Though Pete Carroll has been a special coach to back in the preseason, the situation is much different this time around. I’m on the fade train and suggest you hop aboard as well. Zimmer will have his guys locked in right from the opening kick, and there will be blood.
NFL ATS Pick: Vikings -3.5 at BookMaker.eu
NFL Score Prediction: Vikings 33 – Seahawks 9