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By Tom Wilkinson

NFL Preseason Betting – Vikings vs. Broncos

The best team to bet in the preseason in recent seasons has been the Minnesota Vikings, as they are 14-3 under head coach Mike Zimmer. The Vikings visit the Denver Broncos on Saturday night in a game that can be seen on NFL Network.

Each team has a new starting quarterback, as the Vikings have Kirk Cousins, while the Broncos have Case Keenum. Neither quarterback will play long, so it will be a battle of the backups. Let’s look at Saturday’s game and NFL picks.

Minnesota Vikings vs. Denver Broncos
Date and Time: Saturday, August 11, 2018, 9 p.m. ET
Location: Broncos Stadium at Mile High, Denver, CO
NFL Odds at BetDSI: Pick, O/U 35.5
Vikings vs. Broncos TV Coverage: NFL Network

The Vikings are expected to give Cousins a series or two before turning things over to the backups, while the Broncos will give Keenum at least one series. The Vikings are dealing with a lot of injuries, especially on the offensive line. Pat Elflein, Nick Easton and Mike Remmers are all out. The Vikings have said that no matter who plays they have to get the job done. "We're a unit; no matter what happens, we got each other's backs and it's next man up mentality, so that's the way we've always been and that's how we always going to be," said Aviante Collins to the media,

The line will be expected to protect new quarterback Cousins on Saturday night. “It’s important to get out there and have a good taste in our mouths, leaving the game.” Cousins said to the media, “And when you only get a handful of snaps, if you don’t start fast, you don’t finish strong. You have to come out the gates ready to go or otherwise your opportunities are gone and you don’t really have time to ease in.”

On the other side, Keenum will be playing against his former team. He led the Vikings to a 13-3 regular season a year ago and took them to the NFC title game. Keenum will be going against the top defense in the league in his series or two of action. “The starters probably play [a] max [of] two series,” coach Vance Joseph said to the media, “After that, we’ve got to figure out what’s best for our football team.”

Players to Watch

Preseason games are usually decided by backup quarterbacks. The Vikings have two former Denver quarterbacks in Trevor Siemian and Kyle Sloter. They should get the bulk of the playing time on Saturday night. Both players will want to show that Denver made a mistake by letting them go.

The Broncos backups are Paxton Lynch and Chad Kelly and neither player has looked very good in camp. Lynch was expected to be a franchise quarterback for Denver, but he has yet to show he is capable and he hasn’t even nailed down the backup job behind Keenum.

Key Stats

When it comes to the preseason I really only look at one statistic and that is the coaches’ record. I definitely have to pay attention to the Vikings under Zimmer, as they have been great. Last year was the first non-winning season for the Vikings in the preseason under Zimmer and they still went 2-2.

The Broncos did go 4-0 in the preseason a year ago under Joseph. It will be interesting to see if that unbeaten record was due more to Joseph being in his first season or if it is something more than that.

Vikings vs. Broncos Picks

I think the Vikings are the better team on both sides of the ball. I also think that there are some things in their favor for this game on Saturday night. They have a coach in Zimmer who has shown he wants to win preseason games and I think their backup quarterbacks have some extra motivation facing their former team. I also don’t like what I have seen so far from the Denver backup quarterbacks. I will take the Vikings to win this game on Saturday night.

Vikings vs. Broncos Pick: Vikings at BetDSI
Vikings vs. Broncos Score Prediction: Vikings 17, Broncos 10

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