Two of 2020s underachievers meet in Ohio for a Week 1 showdown. Can Joe Burrow put his season-ending injury behind him and get off to a winning 2021, or will we get a “You like that?” performance from Kirk Cousins and the Vikings offense?
Minnesota are a sneaky good team in my opinion. Kirk Cousins is an underappreciated QB, Dalvin Cook is one of the best RB’s in all of football and there aren’t many WR tandems as good as Justin Jefferson & Adam Thielen. This is an offense that’s more than capable of putting up points, and I like Cousins to have himself a bit of a day here against an uninspiring Bengals defense. His passing yards line in this game is set at U/O 258.5 yards, that’s a number he bested in 10 games last year as well as in his only previous career game against the Bengals.
The Bengals made the divisive decision during the NFL Draft to select Joe Burrow’s former favourite target, Ja’Marr Chase. The decision to select a pass-catcher instead of a pass protector with the 5th overall pick has been questioned plenty, and those questions aren’t going anywhere given Chase’s inability to catch the football during the preseason. The Bengals are only -3 dogs against the spread here, I expected it to be closer to a touchdown than a FG and believe the Vikings are the better team here, because of that I expect the Bengals to be playing from behind, add that to the fact they’re a throw first offense and I really like the U/O 35.5 pass attempts line for Joe Burrow in this matchup. Burrow threw 36 or more passes in 8 of 9 games that he both started and finished in 2020, and was on 34 before being carted off the field vs Washington. The addition of Ja’Marr Chase to a WR core that already boasts Tee Higgins & Tyler Boyd points to the fact the Bengals still want to throw the ball, Burrow’s knee be damned. This line feels too small to me, and when that’s the case, we play it!
Spread: Vikings -3
Total Match Points line: U/0 47.O
Game Prediction: Vikings 37 – 21 Bengals
Best Bet: Joe Burrow over 35.5 pass attempts @ EVENS with SkyBet.