Week 3 NFL Picks: San Diego Chargers at Minnesota Vikings

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San Diego QB Philip Rivers finds his 1-1 Chargers 2.5 point underdogs in Week 3.

San Diego Chargers at Minnesota Vikings
Time: 1 PM ET (CBS)
Spread: MIN -2
Total: 44.5

Betting odds c/o Bovada

The San Diego Chargers have split the first two weeks, with a victory over the Detroit Lions in Week 1 and a loss to the Cincy Bengals in Week 2. This week the Chargers will travel to face the Minnesota Vikings in a game that Minnesota is 2-point favorites in. The game will air at 1 PM EST on CBS.


Last week’s loss to the Bengals was something of a defensive disaster, allowing 214 passing yards to Andy Dalton and another 175 rushing yards, with most of them coming from Giovani Bernard.

The Chargers had its own offensive successes, but nevertheless fell short despite 241 passing yards from Philip Rivers, who completed an outstanding 21 of 27 passes, while throwing two TDs and one INT. The Chargers also got good production from its backs with Melvin Gordon and Danny Woodhead combining for 124 yards on 23 carries.

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Rivers was able to coax 40-yards or more from four receivers, with Woodhead leading the way and adding an additional 68 yards on six catches, while catching all six passes targeted to him. Ladarius Green and Stevie Johnson also both caught five of the six targeted to them. The Chargers fell behind due to an inability to find the end zone in the first half, settling for a pair of field goals while the Bengals raced ahead 14-6 at the half. The second half saw San Diego outscore Cincy 13-10, but that was not enough.

The Minnesota Vikings are also 1-1 on the year with a Week 1 loss to the S.F. 49ers and a Week 2 win over the Detroit Lions. The 49ers contest was not close, a 20-3 drubbing on the road, but the Lions victory came at home by a decisive 26-16 score.

Adrian Peterson returned to being his usual beastly self with 134 rushing yards on 29 carries and he also led the team in receiving yards with 58 on just two catches (one was a 49 yard play). Peterson basically was the offense, though second-year Louisville product Teddy Bridgewater did shine in his own right completing 14 of 18 passes for 153 yards and a TD (no INTs). The Vikings will continue to pound the ball on the ground, but the receivers did fairly well when called upon with Mike Wallace and Kyle Rudolph combing to catch eight of 10 targeted passes.

Defensively the Vikings were able to keep the pressure high on the active Matthew Stafford, who threw 53 passes and completed 67 percent of them, but was able to throw just two TDs despite 285 total passing yards.

The Lions were very poor rushing the ball in the game, which was due to a great LB corp from the Vikings which limited Detroit to a mere 38 yards rushing on 16 attempts (with 20 of the yards coming from Stafford himself). The Vikings were better on the ground, and the ball control played a huge role in helping the team establish itself over the Lions.

This week Minnesota will need more greatness from Peterson, but that is something we have come to expect. Rivers could keep this game close and likely will, but we expect the Vikings to prevail in this game by narrow margin much as Bovada oddsmakers do.

The ‘over’ meanwhile does make an attractive bet with the total set at 44.5.

Peterson should be able to find the end zone well, and Rivers is known for being able to keep an offense running smoothly on all gears.

This should be an exciting game in one of the most evenly matched contests of Week 3.  51 percent of bettors at Covers are picking the Vikings to cover the 2.5 point spread, so it is clear to see this game is fairly divided amongst bettors.

Get in on the winnings with our season pick plans here at Maddux Sports!

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