NFL odds: Vikings vs. Bengals Week 1 prediction, odds, pick, and more
Week 1 brings us an interconference battle between two teams in the North. It’s time to continue our NFL odds series and make a Vikings-Bengals prediction and pick.
While the Vikings are expected to contend for the division title this season and the Bengals should be near the bottom of a stacked AFC North, this should be a very close game. Joe Burrow returns from a gruesome knee injury that ended his 2020 season early. Meanwhile, in Minneapolis, Kirk Cousins looks to lead the Vikings to their third winning season since he became the team’s starting quarterback in 2018.
Here’s how the bookmakers have set the lines for Sunday’s matchup.
NFL Odds: Vikings-Bengals Odds
Minnesota Vikings -3 (-125)
Cincinnati Bengals +3 (+105)
Over 47 points (-110)
Under 47 points (-110)
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Why The Vikings Could Cover
Kirk Cousins leads the Vikings into southwest Ohio favored by just three points. But this line could easily be much larger. Minnesota boasts one of the league’s most dynamic offenses, led by running back Dalvin Cook. Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen also make up one of the NFC’s best wideout duos. Cincinnati’s defense always seems to play tough, but the speed and playmaking of Jefferson and Thielen can turn this game into a track meet. If Cousins can connect with both Jefferson and Thielen for touchdowns, look for Minnesota to possibly put up 30+ points in this game. Even if one or both of those guys does not find the endzone, Dalvin Cook can do enough damage on his own out of the backfield. Cook is coming off a season in which he had a career-high in rushing yards and touchdowns and should be one of football’s top running backs yet again. An overall strong day from Minnesota offense can offset a huge day from Joe Burrow, who might struggle anyway in his first game back in the NFL since Week 11 of 2020.
Why The Bengals Could Cover
Despite returning from a tough knee injury, Joe Burrow is once again the Bengals starting quarterback and still has tons of potential to be the future of this Cincinnati offense. I think this offense is super underrated and might be one of the most exciting groups in the entire league. Aside from Burrow, the receiving corps includes former college stars Tee Higgins (Clemson) and Ja’Marr Chase (LSU). Let’s not forget that Burrow and Chase emerged as one of the best QB-WR combos in college football history in leading LSU to an undefeated season and National Championship in January 2020. In the backfield, Joe Mixon should once again be a three-down running back after suffering a season-ending foot injury early last season. These four players are all game changers and I believe the group will find its firepower from Day 1. Burrow connects with Chase for an early touchdown, making LSU fans very happy. Playing back in front of a full capacity crowd on the banks of the Ohio River, Cincinnati wins this game with late heroics from Burrow.
Final Vikings-Bengals Prediction & Pick
Cincinnati’s offense gets going early, giving them a touchdown lead by halftime. Although Kirk Cousins gives Minnesota some hope by tying the game up late in the third quarter, Joe Burrow tosses a fourth-quarter score to Higgins, with Joe Mixon adding in a late touchdown to secure the outright victory for the Bengals.
FINAL PICK: Bengals +3 (+105)