NFL Week 1 Picks: Minnesota Vikings vs. St. Louis Rams

Minnesota Vikings vs. St. Louis Rams
Sunday, 9/7/14, 1:00 PM EST
Opening Point Spread:  St. Louis -6
Current Betting Line:  St. Louis -6
Opening Total:  45
Current Total:  45
Odds Courtesy of 5Dimes

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Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson will once again be the focal point of the offense in 2014

Minnesota begins life under new head coach Mike Zimmer, who enjoyed great success as a longtime defensive coordinator with the Cincinnati Bengals, which is important to consider when looking over the pro football odds.  The Vikings will try to control the ball offensively this year, with running back Adrian Peterson leading the way, but he’ll be called upon to be more active in the passing game in coordinator Norv Turner’s system.    Offensively, the team has the only quarterback competition in the NFC North division, with rookie Teddy Bridgewater fighting it out with veterans Matt Cassel and Christian Ponder.  Minnesota has gone OVER the total in four consecutive September contests.

The Vikings spent a lot of money on the defensive end to secure the services of some quality players, including end Everson Griffen, tackle Linval Joseph and cornerback Captain Munnerlyn.  Minnesota is eager to see what rookie linebacker Anthony Barr is able to do, but he missed the team’s OTA’s due to finishing up classes at UCLA.  Peterson may be bottled up by St. Louis’ talented defensive line in this affair, which could lead to some opportunities for second-year receiver Cordarrelle Patterson, whose a legitimate downfield threat.

St. Louis is ready to emerge as a major player in the NFC West, but it’ll need the passing game to open up things for running back Zac Stacy, who was brilliant in averaging more than 20 carries during his rookie campaign.  The Rams added depth in the backfield by selecting Auburn Tigers star Tre Mason in the 2014 NFL draft, which can’t be ignored when making your pro football picks in Week 1.  St. Louis is 1-6 ATS in its last seven season openers.

The Rams are hoping that former Tennessee Titans wide receiver Kenny Britt can become quarterback Sam Bradford’s No. 1 target, but he’s a major risk to depend upon due to undergoing multiple knee surgeries over the last two seasons.  St. Louis will lean heavily on its defense in the early going this season, especially since that group ranked 9th and 19th respectively in opponent rushing and passing yards in 2013.

Sports bettors will likely back the Rams due to the favorite covering the number in six of the last seven meetings.

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