Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard
Sports Betting coverage provided by Action Network

NFL Preview: Vikings vs. Raiders Odds, Picks, Prediction

The Action Network’s Michael Arinze gives his early best bet for Week 1 in the NFL preseason

CANTON, OHIO - AUGUST 04: Josh Jacobs #28 of the Las Vegas Raiders walks off the field after severe weather delays the start of the 2022 Pro Hall of Fame Game against the at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium on August 04, 2022 in Canton, Ohio. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images)
CANTON, OHIO - AUGUST 04: Josh Jacobs #28 of the Las Vegas Raiders walks off the field after severe weather delays the start of the 2022 Pro Hall of Fame Game against the at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium on August 04, 2022 in Canton, Ohio. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images)Read moreNick Cammett / Getty Images

The NFL preseason will be in full swing this week as all 32 teams are in action beginning on Thursday.

After looking at this week’s schedule, one matchup that fascinates me is the Las Vegas Raiders hosting the Minnesota Vikings at Allegiant Stadium.

Las Vegas looked dominant in its 27-11 victory over Jacksonville in the Hall of Fame game.

And with one game already under their belt to start the preseason, I think the Raiders have a significant edge heading into Sunday’s contest.

Vikings vs. Raiders NFL odds

Odds provided by BetMGM

Moneyline: MIN (+110) vs. LV (-135)

Spread: MIN +2.5 (-110) vs. LV -2.5 (-110)

Total: Over 34 (-110) | Under 34 (-110)

We cashed our first preseason play with the Raiders, and given what I saw on Thursday night, I see no reason to buck the trend.

What impressed me most about the Raiders was the level of physicality they showed to start the game. Although coaches always demand their teams play like their practice, it doesn’t always work out that way on gameday.

Raiders’ new head Josh McDaniels seemed to almost mirror some of the things we’d associate with his former team, the New England Patriots.

Las Vegas utilized seven different ball carriers, and it wasn’t shy about playing their starting running back, Josh Jacobs, for 11 snaps. Jacobs finished with 30 rushing yards on five carries and caught two passes for 14 yards.

But it was the performance of another running back, Georgia rookie Zamir White, who turned some heads after rushing for 52 yards on 11 carries and catching three passes for 23 yards.

One of the things I tend to focus on during preseason is the offensive line play. According to Pro Football Focus, the Raiders’ offensive line finished last season ranked 28th.

While they still need to do a better job of protecting the quarterback (allowed seven sacks vs. Jacksonville), there’s already been some changes to their style of play, with McDaniels opting for more of a gap-heavy scheme as opposed to zone-blocking.

Gap schemes tend to create leverage in numbers as they often utilize a pulling guard while the other offensive linemen block down the line of scrimmage.

This strategy suits McDaniels because he likes to use his tight ends, fullbacks, and wide receivers to block on the line of scrimmage, which frees up linemen to take on the next level of an opponent’s defense.

We saw this play out repeatedly in the Hall of Fame game as the Jaguars had no answer for the Raiders when they ran a screen pass. These plays often have minimal risk, which is what you want when it’s still early in the preseason and players don’t have a ton of reps.

As for the Vikings, it’s unlikely that starting quarterback Kirk Cousins will see any action after not playing in any of the preseason games last year. That means the Vikings will likely turn to the career backup Sean Mannion.

The thought of Mannion being ahead of Kellen Mond on the depth chart doesn’t bode well for the second-year player.

Last season, Mannion was essentially third on Minnesota’s depth chart. However, when the Vikings needed a starter in Week 17 after Cousins tested positive for COVID-19, they opted to go with Mannion and not Mond.

And when reporters asked former Vikings head coach asked about giving Mond a look during a meaningless Week 18 game against the Bears, his response was, “Not particularly...I see him every day.”

It’s worth noting that the Vikings went 0-3 in preseason last year, which includes a 33-6 loss in their first game.

The Raiders also got a look at Mannion in last year’s 20-7 victory over the Seahawks during the first week of the preseason action.

Las Vegas should have the edge in the quarterback department as Jarrett Stidham looks at home in the Raiders’ offense after spending three years with McDaniels in New England.

This is a game you’ll want to bet on this game sooner than later, as Circa Sportsbook has already moved their line on the home favorites from -2.5 to -3, so it won’t be long before other sportsbooks follow suit.

Vikings vs. Raiders pick

Raiders -2.5

The Inquirer is not an online gambling operator, or a gambling site. We provide this information about sports betting for entertainment purposes only.