Only a few teams are having a quarterback competition in training camp and the exhibition season, and one of those is the Denver Broncos with Drew Lock vs. Teddy Bridgewater. Both should play plenty in the team’s exhibition opener at Minnesota on Saturday but Lock will start. The Broncos are short favorites on the NFL odds.
How to Bet Broncos at Vikings NFL Odds & TV Info
- When: Saturday, 4 PM ET
- Where: US Bank Stadium
- TV: NFL Network
- Radio: http://www.siriusxm.com/nfl
- Stream Option: http://www.nfl.com/nflnetwork/main/network/watch
- Opening NFL Lines: Broncos -2 (total 34.5)
The clubs played in the 2019 regular season at Minnesota and the Vikings won 27-23. Minnesota erased a 20-0 halftime deficit with touchdowns on each of their four drives in the second half. Kirk Cousins went 29 for 35 for 319 yards and three scores for the Vikings. Brandon Allen was Denver’s starting QB that day but is long gone now. With first-and-goal from the 4, but only 10 seconds left and no timeouts remaining, Allen had three chances at the winner but couldn’t convert.
Why Bet on Denver?For the first time since the 2017 season, the Broncos will host a true open competition at quarterback wherein the first-team reps will be split 50/50.
Coach Vic Fangio said Tuesday that Drew Lock will start this game at QB over Teddy Bridgewater but it appears the competition is quite even and both should play around the same amount. Fangio also said Bridgewater would start the second game.
Acquired via trade from Carolina the day before the 2021 NFL draft, Bridgewater brings seven years of NFL experience and 49 career starts to the battle vs. Lock’s two years and 18 starts. The 2019 second-round pick Lock has tremendous arm talent, but, by his own admission, is still developing. The 28-year-old Bridgewater would be the safer choice.
How each quarterback performs during the three-game preseason slate — Denver would have preferred the league had stuck with four — will factor greatly into the final decision for the season. Fangio said there’s still been no discernable separation between the two.
Offensive coordinator said he has seen the “best version” of Lock in training camp: “I’ve seen both guys getting better. This is the best version of Drew I’ve seen. He’s done a really good job. … Teddy’s got experience, he’s got experience in multiple offenses.”
As training camp progresses, top wideout Courtland Sutton appears to be regaining his Pro Bowl form of two seasons ago. Sutton is returning from an ACL tear that limited him to one game in 2020. While the 2018 second-rounder’s reps have been managed by the team as he works his way back, offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur notes that Sutton has made “steady progress, and now you’re seeing him make plays.” It remains to be seen if/when Sutton, who logged 1,112 yards on 72 catches with six TDs in 2019, will see any preseason game action.
Why Bet on Minnesota?The Vikings have no QB competition as Kirk Cousins is their starter, but he has caused some controversy in camp by refusing to get the virus and being sidelined for a bit as a close contact to someone who had COVID. Cousins, 32, said the size of the Vikings’ quarterback meeting room was the reason he was considered a close contact.
The veteran QB said the position group has since moved rooms to a larger space inside TCO Performance Center at camp and that he vows to follow the protocols in order to keep himself from reappearing on the COVID-19/reserve list.
Rookie third-round QB Kellen Mond did test positive but was removed from the reserve/COVID-19 list on Tuesday. Not clear if the former Texas A&M star will make his debut in this one. He was a four-year starter at Texas A&M and holds program records in passing yards (9,661), touchdowns (71), completions (801) and attempts (1,358).
“There are quite a few guys that are just against it,” Coach Mike Zimmer said of the Vikings being the least vaccinated team in the NFL. “I’m not going to be able to change their mind. It’s like half the country, I guess. These guys, some of them just won’t do it. I shouldn’t say it, but some of the things they read is just, whew, out there. I don’t know if it’s misinformation. It’s their belief, so whatever they’ve heard or read or been told.”
The Vikes got a scare late last week in practice when receiver Justin Jefferson, who set numerous records last year as a rookie, went down hard following a diving catch in practice. Thankfully, it’s just a sprained AC joint. Still, the Vikings will likely bring him along slowly with an eye towards the team’s regular season opener against the Bengals.
The Vikings and Broncos had joint practices this week so they will know each other pretty well.
- Broncos are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games as a favorite.
- Broncos are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 Saturday games.
- Vikings are 18-7-1 ATS in their last 26 games as a home underdog.
- Vikings are 0-7 ATS in their last 7 games overall.
- Underdog is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 meetings.
Expert PredictionVikings 23, Broncos 20
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