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Vikings vs. Bengals 2021 Predictions: Minnesota to win on the road

Kirk Cousins and the Vikings can go on the road and win in Week 1
Kirk Cousins and the Vikings can go on the road and win in Week 1
By Neil Monnery

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Joe Burrow returns from injury but Neil Monnery isn't 100% sure he'll hit the ground running in Week 1 as the Bengals host the Vikings...

Minnesota go on the road to start their 2021 campaign and they will face the Cincinnati Bengals. Lots of the talk this off-season has been about vaccination rates and how the Vikings have the worst in the league. QB Kirk Cousins has been very vocal about the fact he doesn’t want it and that storyline continues to rumble on.

When it comes to play on the field however, the Vikings have the personnel to be an extremely good offense this year. Cousins is a solid QB but Justin Jefferson was the breakout star at receiver across the league in 2020 and Adam Thielen is still a top player. With two excellent receivers to go along with a top ten Running Back in Dalvin Cook, they can beat teams in all manner of ways.

They will surely miss Irv Smith Jr. at Tight End as he looked set to be a breakout star this season following what Jefferson did a year ago. He unfortunately suffered a season-ending injury in the preseason and neither Tyler Conklin nor Chris Herndon should not be expected to step in and play to the same level.

Joe Burrow will start his second season as the Bengals’ QB and the former number one overall pick will look to continue to play good football. He has a starting trio at receiver in Tyler Boyd, Tee Higgins and Ja’Marr Chase who should cause opposing defenses a bit of a headache and Joe Mixon is an upper-tier RB.

I have both Kirk Cousins and Joe Burrow in my fantasy team in a two QB league (Brady is my QB1) so I have spent a lot of time assessing this matchup to see which one I’m going to play. Even at this point (as of the time of writing this on Thursday morning) I’m torn but I’m leaning the Vikings QB due in large part to Burrow’s knee injury. Until we see him back to 100% then it is fair to have a small element of doubt in the back of your mind.

Looking at The Athletic - their seven experts all like Minnesota to win straight up. This makes me wonder where the money is flowing.

Spread:

I like Minnesota to win this game. My trust level in their offense is pretty high. I like Cook to dominate the running game which will allow big plays to Thielen and Jefferson. They have a three-point handicap and I’m willing to take that. I see this as a 26-20 type of game.

Straight-up/Moneyline:

Vikings.

Over/Under Points Totals:

So, I’ve said 26-20 above and the points total line is 45.5. I wouldn’t play this market but I would play the over if forced.

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