Game Time: 1:00 pm ET, Sunday, September 12, 2021
Venue: Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, OH
Where to Watch: FOX
Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks
DraftKings: Point Spread: Vikings -3, Bengals +3; Over/Under: 48 points
Bet365: Point Spread: Vikings -3, Bengals +3; Over/Under: 48 points
BetMGM: Point Spread: Vikings -3, Bengals +3; Over/Under: 48 points
Minnesota Vikings: 0-0 (NFC North)
Cincinnati Bengals: 0-0 (AFC North)
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Minnesota Vikings vs Cincinnati Bengals Preview and Analysis
Minnesota Vikings: First Game of the Season
Cincinnati Bengals: First Game of the Season
Vikings vs Bengals Prediction
The Minnesota Vikings are taking on the Cincinnati Bengals in week 1 of the NFL regular season schedule. The Vikings finished last season in 3rd place of the NFC North with a 7-9 record overall. This is a team that will be looking to make the playoffs with that goal in mind not just improving to above .500. The Bengals finished last season in last place of the AFC North with a 4-11-1 record. They will be looking for a winning season now that their quarterback Joe Burrow has some NFL experience under his belt.
The Min Vikings did not have a good preseason this year finishing with a winless 0-3 record. Kirk Cousins did see some playing time but only threw 7 passes in each of 2 of the 3 games he played in. Kellen Mond and Jake Browning took a majority of the snaps the rest of the time. Cousins will be the starter for the regular season though. He had a pretty good season in the passing game last year completing 349/516 passes for 4,265 yards, 35 touchdowns and 13 passes. He has some solid targets to throw to as well in Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen who are both very reliable and can make the big plays when needed. Their running game is also solid as they have key player Dalvin Cook leading the way. Alexander Mattison led their rush team last season but with Cook back and healthy he will be the main guy for them. His last few seasons have been plagued by injury so he will be eager to play his best in every single game. Mike Zimmer, their head coach, has always focused more on the Vikings’ defense and he should be able to get them back as a top defense in the league.
The Cin Bengals finished this preseason with a 1-2 record overall, winning their first game but losing the next two. They will be the host for the Vikings in this week 1 game. Brandon Allen and Kyle Shurmur were the ones who got most of the action in the preseason for the Bengals at the quarterback position. Joe Burrow played a tiny bit but he will be the one who is starting come week 1. They have a decent running game to back them up with Joe Mixon. After 2 seasons of rushing for 1,000+ yards he only rushed for 428 on 114 carries in just 6 games last season. He will be looking to get back to his old form from 2 seasons ago. Their wide receivers, Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd, and Ja’Marr Chase, are not stars but they are not bad either and Joe Burrow is a very skilled QB who will make due with the weapons he is given on this Bengals offense. This will be Zac Taylor's 3rd season coaching the team now and after making some improvements through the years, this is the season that there should be a drastic change leading to a much better end result for this team. They have the pieces in place and can easily achieve a winning season this year at least.
Draftkings sportsbook have the current betting odds listed as 3-point underdogs while the Vikings come in as the slight favorite. The Bengals players are young and still have a lot of work to do while the Vikings players have a lot more veteran experience. They should be able to get the win and cover here in this road game or their season will be in big trouble already very early on.
Vikings Bengals Prediction: Our NFL Pick for Sunday, September 12, 2021 (1:00 pm ET start time) is Vikings 24 Bengals 17.
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NFL Betting Trends
Minnesota Vikings: 4-2 ATS as a road favorite.
Cincinnati Bengals: 9-6 ATS as an underdog of 3.5 to 9.5 points.
Minnesota Vikings: D. Samia (G) Out indefinitely - Hamstring injury. K. Nwangwu (RB) Out indefinitely - Undisclosed injury. D. Chisena (WR) Out indefinitely - Undisclosed injury.
Cincinnati Bengals: K. Kareem (DE) Out indefinitely - Undisclosed injury. J. Ossai (DE) I-R - Knee injury.
Players to Watch
Minnesota Vikings: Eric Kendricks is one player to watch on this defense. He had a pretty good season last year, although he did not record any sacks he did have 69 tackles, 38 assists, 4 TFL, and 3 interceptions. He will want to keep up his good play to help lead this defense to have a good season.
Cincinnati Bengals: Rookie wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase is one player to watch in Cincinnati’s games this season. With AJ Green gone there is a void to fill and not too many strong receivers to fill said void. This is his chance to really break out and make a name for himself by making some big plays so keep an eye out for him to do so.
"We moved the ball well the first drive. We got stopped when we got to the red zone. Then we didn't do much the next two drives. And defensively we had a few of our horses that didn't play tonight and you could see that some of these backups need to improve quickly." - Mike Zimmer on his team’s performance in the final preseason game.
"Felt good to be back. Not only for me but to be back in front of the fans." - Joe Burrow on getting to play a bit in that last preseason game.
WR Jefferson, Justin
WR THIELEN, ADAM
TE Herndon, Christopher
QB COUSINS, KIRK
RB Cook, Dalvin
FB Ham, CJ
WR Chase, Ja'Marr
WR Boyd, Tyler
WR Higgins, Tee
TE Uzomah, CJ
QB Burrow, Joe
RB Mixon, Joe
Minnesota Vikings: Mike Zimmer (8th season)
Cincinnati Bengals: Zac Taylor (3rd season)
80 degrees F mostly sunny, 60% humidity, 0% chance of rain, up to 8 mph wind speeds SW.