Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer clearly takes the preseason seriously – and the coach’s attitude toward non-counting games is usually the best trend to go by in August in the NFL.
The Vikings are listed as 4.5-point favorites against the San Francisco 49ers with a 42-point total for their Sunday Night Football matchup at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
The game will wrap up Week 3 of the preseason, which is usually the stage where teams will use their first-string offenses and defenses for an entire half. Minnesota is 13-2 straight-up and 12-3 against the spread in the preseason since Zimmer took their coaching reins in 2013.
Vikings QB Sam Bradford will also play before giving way to seasoned backup Case Keenum. The 49ers, who are 5-12-1 ATS over their last 18 games overall (counting preseason) according to the OddsShark NFL Database, will likely be taking a long look at rookie QB C.J. Beathard.
The week’s docket includes two cross-town matchups on Saturday. The Los Angeles Rams are 2.5-point betting favorites against the Los Angeles Chargers, with a 42-point total. The Chargers are 3-7 SU in their last 10 preseason games as an underdog. The Rams are likely due to improve on their 2-7-1 ATS mark over their last 10 preseason home games.
The New York Giants are favored by five points against the New York Jets with a 39-point total. The Giants will have had a short week (four days between games), but won their Week 3 preseason game under coach Ben McAdoo in 2016. The Jets have won the last five preseason matchups against the Giants in odd-numbered years.
With backup QB Nick Foles expected to get extended action, the Philadelphia Eagles are 3.5-point favorites at home against the Miami Dolphins, with a 42.5-point total. The Dolphins are 1-5 ATS in their last six games against the Eagles. Philly is 6-2 ATS in its last eight home games.
The Denver Broncos are three-point favorites against the Green Bay Packers, with a 42.5-point total. The home team is 6-1 ATS in the last seven matchups between Denver and Green Bay. The total has gone under in eight of the Packers’ last 10 preseason road games.
The Dallas Cowboys are three-point favorites against the Oakland Raiders, with a 44.5-point total. The total has gone over in both six of the Raiders’ last eight preseason games and in six of the Cowboys’ last seven preseason games.
The New England Patriots are a two-point road favorite against the Detroit Lions, with a 44-point total. Tom Brady is expected to play for the Patriots, who are 3-0 SU in their last three games in Week 3 of the preseason. Since 2014, Detroit is 10-4 both SU and ATS in the preseason.
And the Seattle Seahawks are 3.5-point favorites against the Kansas City Chiefs, with a 43-point total. The Chiefs are just 1-8-1 ATS in their last 10 games as a preseason underdog. Seattle is 7-3 ATS in its last 10 preseason games as a favorite of 3.0 or more points.