The Minnesota Vikings spent a lot of money to lure Kirk Cousins to the Twin Cities and they should get a good look at their star quarterback when he takes the field against the Seattle Seahawks in the preseason Week 3 dress rehearsal. The Vikes would like to get more of what they saw in the preseason opener and less of what they witnessed last week from their newest gazillionaire. Cousins was perfect in one series against Denver, but he struggled last week against the Jags’ defense, and the Vikes are expecting more.
This matchup in Week 3 of the preseason will go down Friday, August 24, 2018, at 8 p.m. ET at US Bank Stadium.
NFL Opening Odds at BookMaker.eu
Seattle Seahawks +3
Minnesota Vikings -3
Another vanilla preseason line hit the board with the Vikings favored by the standard field goal for home field advantage. The Seahawks have struggled to create offense in their first two games and it won’t be easy against Minnesota’s tough defense. And with the teams scheduled to play during the regular season, don’t expect the playbook to open up on either side, giving value to the under.
It looks like much of the same for the Seahawks offense. Russell Wilson is the catalyst and his ability to avoid sacks and extend plays makes him one of the best. But the fact that he constantly has to do that is a point of concern for Pete Carroll. Wilson played the first half last week against the Chargers and had decent numbers. But the offense was limited to two field goals, snapped a couple of time in the red zone, and Wilson was repeatedly harassed.
The job for Wilson’s backup gained some steam after rookie Alex McGough had a strong night against the Bolts’ reserves. Austin Davis started the second half and was unimpressive in two drives, completing 1 of 3 passes for six yards while the team amassed 11 yards and two punts. Mr. McGough was 9 of 12 for 97 yards and led an impressive touchdown drive by completing all six attempts. He also connected on the 2-point conversions to pull the Seahawks within a touchdown late in the fourth. It was definitely a win for McGough in the heated battle.
The Vikings were silenced by a good Eagles defense in last season’s NFC Championship and the addition of Cousins is going to help them in those situations. Well, it didn’t work last week. Going up against last year’s top defensive team, Cousins and the Vikes struggled to move the football. The Vikings went three-and-out on two of four possessions with the first-teamers and managed only three points and three completions before Cousins gave way to Trevor Siemian.
It’s been a mixed bag for Cousins, who was 4 of 4 in his only series in the preseason opener. Failing to dent Jacksonville’s defense and hitting on 3 of 8 attempts isn’t what the team is looking for. In order to find some consistency, Cousins will get more work against the Seahawks.
Two of the most successful coaches during the preseason go head-to-head for the third season in a row. Carroll has produced a record of 22-12 during tune-up games and is 22-11-1 ATS. He has never had a winless preseason during his tenure with Seattle, but he is 0-2 SU and ATS this preseason.
The Vikings don’t often lose during the preseason since Zimmer took over with his record falling to 15-4 SU and 13-6 ATS after last week’s loss to Jacksonville. Appropriately enough the teams split the past two preseason meetings with both contests cashing the under.
Free ATS Pick
Both teams have major concerns with their offensive lines and that leads me to believe we will have another game that plays below the closing total. The Vikings are leaning toward playing Cousins a little longer and we could see Dalvin Cook make his season debut, nearly a year after a devastating knee injury. And the Vikings have shown that their defense is ready to go.
The Seahawks have used the same five players in their first-team offensive line to try and get some continuity among them, but the group is still allowing too much pressure on Wilson. And they still haven’t figure out how to effectively run the football. Wilson can only do so much and he’s likely to be tormented by the Vikings disruptive front. And Cousins isn’t facing the Legion of Boom, so he should have success throwing the football, which leads the Vikings to a home cover.
NFL Odds: Vikings 22, Seahawks 13
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