Minnesota Vikings at Indianapolis Colts
Sunday, 9/16/12, 1:00 PM EST, TV: FOX
Opening Point Spread: Indianapolis PK
Current Betting Line: Minnesota -1.5
Opening Total: 44.5
Current Total: 44.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker
Minnesota is coming off a thrilling 26-23 overtime victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars as 3.5-point home favorites, but the franchise will need to quickly regain its focus in this spot. The Vikings have dropped all nine prior road meetings in this series, as their secondary gets ready to face this year’s top selection in the NFL draft. Running back Adrian Peterson will do his best to keep that unit off the field, gaining 84 yards and scoring twice in his return to the field after suffering a season-ending knee injury last year. Minnesota is 6-9 ATS on the road the last two-plus seasons, with the “under” going 12-4 in that situation.
The Vikings are hoping that quarterback Christian Ponder can build off last week’s 270-yard performance, which could happen if he targets wide receiver Percy Harvin, who finished with 192 all-purpose yards against the Jaguars. Minnesota is a bit concerned about defensive end Jared Allen not registering a sack last week, especially since he registered one in 13 of 16 games in 2011. The team doesn’t win this game if he’s shut out in that category in facing a talented signal-caller.
Indianapolis was handed a 41-21 loss by the Chicago Bears as 10-point road underdogs, while going “over” the posted total of 41.5. Rookie quarterback Andrew Luck finished with 309 yards, which is the most in franchise history for a first-year player in his debut. It’s still important to note that the former Stanford Cardinal star turned the ball over four times. New head coach Chuck Pagano now turns his attention to the home opener, something that he’s been focused on since taking the job. “You’ve got to win your home games,” he stated this week. “We’ve got to get the fans in the game and keep them in the game.” Indianapolis is 3-4 ATS as a home underdog the last two-plus seasons.
The Colts are a much better defensive team inside Lucas Oil Stadium, but may be without defensive end Dwight Freeney, who is listed as day-to-day with an ankle injury. With a big crowd expected for Luck’s first regular season experience in front of the home fans, the defense should be able to get a jump on Minnesota’s offensive line. Veteran wide receiver Reggie Wayne will need to come up big on the offensive end, as he will likely draw Vikings cornerback Antoine Winfield.
Sports bettors will likely back the Colts due to their 18-6-2 ATS mark versus winning teams, while the Vikings are 2-5-1 ATS in September.
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