Free NFL Picks: Minnesota Vikings at Tennessee Titans Preseason Opener

Minnesota Vikings at Tennessee Titans
Saturday, 8/13/11, 8:00 PM EST
Opening Point Spread:  Tennessee -3
Current Betting Line:  Tennessee -3
Opening Total:  34
Current Total:  33
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

Titans Jaguars NFL Preview
Tennessee Titans RB Chris Johnson will be MIA Saturday night

Minnesota enters the first full year under the direction of head coach Leslie Frazier, as he was interim coach for the final six games of the 2010 campaign after the firing of Brad Childress.  The Vikings have been a very successful team during preseason action as a franchise, posting a 136-88-3 all-time mark in 227 games.  Part of that tremendous record has been helped by facing tonight’s opponent, as the team is 4-0 during exhibition action against Tennessee.  Frazier will be the lead man on the sidelines for the first time in such a contest and will have a roster of 38 new faces to monitor before opening the regular season on Sept. 11 in San Diego

The Vikings ranked 29th last season in scoring offense and have said goodbye to veteran Brett Favre as quarterback and brought in a new face, but an experienced one in Donovan McNabb.  The former Syracuse star will be playing for his third team in 13 years in the league.  He signed a one-year deal with a base salary of $5.05 million.  Playing time will be limited for the starting unit tonight, as the coaching staff has announced getting them a series or two of work.

Tennessee has plenty of work to do coming into a new year, as first-year head coach Mike Munchak comes in to replace Jeff Fisher, who was the longest tenured coach in the NFL at the time.  The Titans finished the 2010 season with an identical 6-10 record of their opponent tonight, but just three years removed from a spectacular 2008 campaign.  New faces behind center is also a theme in camp for this squad, as the signing of former Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and draft pick Jake Locker has the offense looking unfamiliar to fans.  Tennessee finished last year with an even 8-8 ATS mark.

The Titans have gone a similar route before in bringing in a veteran quarterback to tutor an up-and-coming player, as Kerry Collins and Vince Young endured the same type of situation.  All of the changes may prove to be meaningless if star running back Chris Johnson continues to hold out, as he has led the NFL in rushing yards since bursting on the scene during the 2008 season.  It’s expected that he’ll be in uniform when the team opens the regular season and he needs 1,402 yards to become the fourth player in NFL history to reach the 6,000-yard career rushing mark in his first four seasons.

Bettors will likely back the Vikings due to their preseason exploits, while word out of Titans camp is both quarterbacks are struggling.

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