Free Week 1 Prediction: Vikings vs. Bengals NFL Odds
Looking for Minnesota Vikings vs. Cincinnati Bengals free NFL Week 1 picks & NFL odds? NFL betting sees the Vikings taking on the Bengals on Sunday September 12th at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, OH. Cappers Picks provides complimentary handicapping picks all NFL season long including all NFL Week 1 games so stay tuned for more FREE NFL predictions like this Minnesota Cincinnati matchup.
NFL Handicapping Analysis: Week 1
(0-0) Minnesota Vikings vs. Cincinnati Bengals (0-0)
Date: Sunday, September 12th, 2021
Time: 1:00 PM ET
Venue: Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, OH
NFL Week 1 ATS Betting Lines: Vikings -3
NFL Week 1 Moneyline Odds: Vikings -165 | Bengals +145
NFL Week 1 NFL Betting Total: 48
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The Minnesota Vikings open their 2021 campaign as -3 point road favorites in a visit to Cincinnati. The Vikings missed the playoffs last year at 7-9, but at the very least seem to have found their WR of the future in Justin Jefferson. Minnesota also gets a lot of defensive components back for the season opener.
The big question for the Bengals this year is going to be Joe Burrow, the former #1 pick who is trying to work his way back from a torn ACL in his rookie season a year ago. Cincinnati has a ton of offensive talent, but utilizing it all relies on Burrow’s health.
Minnesota was 7-9 last year, dropping 3 of their last 4 games of the season to blow any chance at a postseason berth. There are high hopes for 2021 though not just because of a talented offense, but because the Vikings defense should be greatly improved.
The Vikings ranked 27th in the NFL in yards/game and were 29th in points given up with 29.7. That’s understandable though with Danielle Hunter, Anthony Barr, and Eric Kendricks being injured and Michael Pierce opting out due to COVID.
All the guys who missed last year are gone and the team also went out and signed Dalvin Tomlinson on the D-line and Patrick Peterson in the defensive backfield. Those two additions should pay huge dividends right away against Burrow, who could be shaky in his first game back from a devastating injury.
The Minnesota offense was their strong point in 2020, ranking 4th in total yards. Dalvin Cook stayed healthy and ran for over 1500 yards and 16 TD. Jefferson burst on the scene with 88 catches and 1400 yards in his rookie season while Kirk Cousins threw for 35 TD and 13 INT.
It almost seems strange that the Bengals are only 3 point underdogs in Sunday’s season opener. Cincinnati was just 4-11-1 last season ranking 29th on offense and 26th in defensive yards allowed.
Cincinnati has a lot of talent at the skill positions, and they also put in a lot of effort to protect Burrow this season. The team signed Riley Reiff from the Vikings in the offseason, and also spent three picks in the draft on offensive lineman.
The team’s first round pick was Ja’Marr Chase who had 1,780 yards and 20 TD playing with Burrow at LSU in 2019. Chase opted out of the 2020 campaign though and his rust showed with several drops in the preseason. Can the Vikings veteran secondary that includes Peterson and Harrison Smith frustrate the youngster?
Cincinnati has a ton of new faces on defense, and they’ll have to adjust on the fly against one of the better offenses in the league. The Bengals didn’t apply much pressure on the QB last year finishing last in sacks, and the last thing you want to do is give Cousins time in the pocket.
NFL Betting Trends:
- Vikings are 4-1 ATS last 5 in week 1
- Vikings are 0-7 ATS last 7 overall
- OVER is 8-3 in Vikings last 11 overall
- Bengals are 5-2-1 ATS last 8 in week 1
- Bengals are 5-2 ATS last 7 home games
- Home team is 4-0 ATS last 4 meetings
4* Free Week 1 NFL Betting Prediction: Bengals +3
This looks like a good game to fade because it seems like Minnesota should win this one by double digits and be favored by a TD here. The Vikings have a great running game, a veteran QB, a couple of solid receivers, and a defense that got healthy in the offseason.
The Bengals meanwhile have a young QB trying to come back from a mentally devastating injury, a young WR who hasn’t played in a year, a RB in Joe Mixon who missed the majority of 2020 and a defense with a lot of question marks. There’s an old saying about when it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
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