The Minnesota Vikings certainly accomplished some of their objectives last season as Mike Zimmer took over a team that was in a state of relative disarray. But the fact is that they won only five games. They may have to double that total this year if they are going to make a run at the post-season, especially with playoff squads like the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions in their division already. They begin the quest on Sunday night as they take on the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Hall of Fame Game, which is slated to kick off at 8 PM ET at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, O. Customers at BetAnySports can bet before the game, of course, but they can also place wagers against the football odds during the event itself through the magic of Live Betting Extra.
So what did Minnesota accomplish? Well, for one thing, they were able to take a rookie and give him enough playing time that he progressed rather rapidly. Teddy Bridgewater, the first-round draft choice out of Louisville, showed that he was ready to take the reins, and after completing 64% of his passes last season, they are looking for big things out of him. They developed some depth at the running back position, which will be of help as they welcome Adrian Peterson back to the lineup. And they got stiffer on defense, going from a team that surrendered more points than anyone in 2013 to 11th best in 2014.
Hall of Fame Game Betting Odds – Steelers vs Vikings
- Minnesota Vikings -3.5
- Pittsburgh Steelers +3.5
- Over 34.5 points -110
- Under 34.5 points -110
Peterson was involved in a very controversial child abuse charge last season and was forced to sit out. Minnesota, in turn, was forced to get by without one of the top running backs in league history, That ultimately may have made the backfield stronger because of the emergence of Jerick McKinnon, who averaged a nifty 4.8 yards per carry. So he’ll be around for the purposes of backing up Peterson, who was reinstated, although there were widespread reports that he didn’t want to play for the Vikings this season. But management wasn’t going to let him get away, and neither was Zimmer.
Bridgewater was excused from practice this past Friday, owing to “personal issues,” perhaps a death in the family. BetAnySports patrons should not expect him to see much in the way of action on Sunday. Instead, look something from backup Shaun Hill, and a battle for the #3 quarterback spot between Mike Kafka, who is already well-traveled in just five NFL seasons, and Taylor Heinicke, an undrafted rookie out of Old Dominion who was incredibly prolific in college (#3 in total yardage in FBS history). Heinicke needs game action, because he is still getting adjusted to taking snaps directly from center.
Can the Vikings be one of those “surprise” teams? Well, they are in tough among the company they keep in the NFC North, with the Packers and Lions. They have added the deep threat they feel they needed in Mike Wallace, who enjoyed his best seasons with the Steelers before moving to Miami and falling somewhat short of expectations. With Peterson suiting up again and a defensive unit that may continue to make strides, perhaps we are looking at a team that offers an intriguing price of +700 to win the division in the football odds at BetAnySports, where you can get reduced juice in all NFL games. That’s right! Just find “reduced” in the sportsbook interface and cast that “old school” 11-to-10 aside! And remember that customer service speaks in many tongues, including English, Spanish, Chinese, Mandarin, Cantonese and Vietnamese!
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Written By Charles Jay