Minnesota Vikings vs. Pittsburgh Steelers Preview
Where: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA
When: Sunday, September 17, 2017, 1:00 PM ET
TV Broadcast: FOX
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Betting on the Minnesota Vikings (1-0)
The Minnesota Vikings get their 2017 season off to a tremendous start after handily beating the visiting New Orleans Saints on Monday night, 29-19.
The 470 offensive yards mustered up by Minnesota was the most by the team in nearly three years, thanks to the outstanding performances of Sam Bradford and Dalvin Cook. Bradford, who set a new NFL record last season with his 71.6-percent completion percentage, took more ballsy shots downfield on Monday and paid off in spades. He finished with 346 yards and three touchdowns on 27-of-32 passing, with wide receivers Stefon Diggs (93 yards, two TDs) and Adam Thielen (nine catches, 157 yards) having great nights.
Meanwhile, rookie Cook proved to be a superb replacement for Minnesota’s all-time great running back Adrian Peterson, who barely saw action facing his former team on Monday as a member of the Saints. The Florida State product racked up 127 rushing yards on 22 carries in his NFL debut.
Minny’s defense, which was one of the more intimidating units in 2016, also did its part by containing a supposedly potent New Orleans offense to just four field goals and a single touchdown. The Saints were also held to just 1-of-5 on red zone conversions.
The Vikes appear to have gotten better indeed, but now comes an early test in Week 2 with a trip to Pittsburgh. They best come away with another remarkable outing, especially since they lost five of their last six road games the previous season (SU/ATS).
Betting on the Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0)
Although the Pittsburgh Steelers took care of business by beating the Cleveland Browns on the road in Week 1, a 21-18 final score doesn’t say a whole lot about the AFC North champs just yet.
Stud running back Le’Veon Bell had a quiet Sunday afternoon, getting only 10 carries for 32 rushing yards and three catches for 15 receiving yards. Ben Roethlisberger also had a meager effort by his standards (especially against the Browns), finishing with just 263 passing yards and two scores.
Then again, at least top wideout Antonio Brown didn’t downplay his season debut at all. Brown had a game-high 182 receiving yards on 11 receptions.
A better takeaway from the Steelers’ win is that they appear to have a much-improved defense this season. Rookie linebacker T.J. Watt, the younger brother of three-time DPOY award winner J.J. Watt, had a fantastic debut with two sacks and an interception. Pittsburgh finished with a total of seven sacks to rattle the Browns’ offense.
Perhaps a return to Heinz Field this coming Sunday will see the Steelers put on a more explosive showing on offense. They went 7-2 at home last season (5-3-1 ATS), which includes a 30-12 playoff win over the Miami Dolphins as their most-recent contest in Steel City.
The Steelers (-6) prevail victorious over the Vikings in a hard-fought bout, 34-27.
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