Teams that were runners-up in their respective divisions will clash on Sunday when the Minnesota Vikings take on the Las Vegas Raiders in a 2022 NFL preseason Week 1 matchup. The Vikings, who finished second behind the Green Bay Packers in the NFC North last season at 8-9, will make their 2022 preseason debut. The Raiders (1-0) are coming off a 27-11 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Aug. 4 in the Hall of Fame Game at Canton, Ohio. Las Vegas finished second in the AFC West, two games behind the Kansas City Chiefs, at 10-7 in 2021.
Kickoff from Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas is set for 4:25 p.m. ET. Minnesota quarterback Kirk Cousins will miss the game after testing positive for COVID-19. Las Vegas is a four-point favorite in the latest Vikings vs. Raiders odds from Caesars Sportsbook, while the over-under for total points scored is 36. Before making any Raiders vs. Vikings picks or bets, be sure to check out the NFL predictions from SportsLine’s R.J. White.
In addition, White is 41-21-3 on his last 65 against-the-spread picks involving the Vikings. Anyone who has followed him is way up.
- Vikings vs. Raiders spread: Las Vegas -4
- Vikings vs. Raiders over-under: 36 points
- Vikings vs. Raiders money line: Minnesota +175, Las Vegas -210
- MIN: Vikings went 0-3 last preseason and were outscored 73-41
- LV: Raiders were 2-1 in the 2021 preseason, going 1-0 at home
Why the Raiders can cover
Las Vegas will get another look at backup quarterbacks Jarrett Stidham and Nick Mullens, who got the majority of the snaps against the Jaguars. Both players looked solid, with Stidham completing 8-of-15 passes for 96 yards, while Mullens was 8-of-11 for 72 yards. Stidham, a fourth round selection by the New England Patriots in the 2019 NFL Draft, is looking to resurrect his career after two seasons with the Patriots that saw him complete 24-of-48 passes for 270 yards and two touchdowns with four interceptions. Mullens is in his fourth season, seeing action in just one game last year with the Cleveland Browns. He completed 20-of-30 passes for 147 yards and one touchdown.
Last week’s standout at running back for the Raiders was Zamir White, who carried a team-high 11 times for 52 yards (4.7 average). The rookie fourth-rounder from Georgia is considered a power runner and is trying to overcome a pair of ACL injuries. Austin Walter, a third-year player out of Rice, is looking for a home after bouncing around and playing for three teams in three years. Last year for the New York Jets, Walter saw limited action, playing in four games, carrying 26 times for 101 yards (3.9 average) and a score. He carried eight times for 49 yards (6.1 average) and a TD against Jacksonville. Both could see significant playing time on Sunday.
Why the Vikings can cover
With Cousins down with COVID-19, look for backup quarterbacks Kellen Mond and Sean Mannion to see action. Both backups played in one game a year ago, with Mond completing 2-of-3 passes for five yards, while Mannion was 22-of-36 (61.1 percent) for 189 yards and a touchdown. Mannion is in his seventh season after being a third-round pick for the St. Louis Rams in 2015. He has one career touchdown and three picks. Mond was a third-round pick for Minnesota a year ago.
K.J. Osborn is expected to get work in as he tries to lock down the No. 3 wide receiver job and looks to impress new coach Kevin O’Connell. Osborn, a fifth-round selection by the Vikings in 2020, had a solid season a year ago. He finished with 50 receptions for 655 yards (13.1 average) and seven touchdowns.
How to make Vikings vs. Raiders picks
For Sunday’s NFL preseason game, White is leaning Over the total, but he also says a critical X-factor makes one side of the spread a must-back.
The Vikings wide receiver is on a mission this year to prove he is the best in his position in the NFL. What’s a whole lot clearer, however, is that he is the best offensive weapon of the Vikings. There are a bunch of reasons for Minnesota to feel overly optimistic about Jefferson in the upcoming 2022 NFL season, and that includes the arrival of Kevin O’Connell as the team’s newest head coach. O’Connell is expected to breathe more life into the already talented offense of Minnesota, especially after helping the Los Angeles Rams go all the way and win the Super Bowl in the 2021 NFL season.
That year, the Rams had one of the best offenses in the league, and it was in that offense that Cooper Kupp truly became a superstar. That’s what Jefferson is aiming for in 2022 under O’Connell, and what could be a more perfect offseason setting for him to show that he’s on his way to a much more explosive campaign than the preseason. The Vikings don’t have to feature Jefferson heavily and/or play Kirk Cousins in this glorified exhibition game, but a few snaps should be enough for the former LSU Tigers star to make that one huge play that can send shivers down the spine of cornerbacks and defensive coordinators across the league. In his first two seasons in the NFL, Jefferson has already accumulated 3,016 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns in 33 games.
3. Minnesota rushes for at least 150 yards
Sure, the Vikings are going to be a pass-happy team under O’Connell, but it should not also be forgotten that Minnesota has one of the deepest running back rooms in the NFL. With a backfield that still has the ever-dangerous Dalvin Cook and arguably the best running back handcuff in the league in the form of Alexander Mattison, the Vikings will always have the ground attack to hurt opposing defenses.
Minnesota is very unlikely to risk Cook’s frustratingly brittle body in the preseason and Mattison might see a few snaps here and there against the Raiders, but with a retooled offensive line that received a boost with some veteran additions (signing Chris Reed and Jesse Davis) in the offseason and a young stud at right guard in Ed Ingram, Vikings running backs can make loud noises on the ground this coming Sunday.
Last season, the Vikings burned rubber for just 113.5 yards per game, which was just 17th in the NFL, but the Raiders were not particularly great either against the run, allowing 112.6 rushing yards and 1.0 rushing scores per contest. Las Vegas also held the Jacksonville Jaguars down to only 59 rushing yards, but the Jags were forced to depart the run game early too because they got quickly buried in a big deficit.
2. Cameron Dantzler and Andrew Booth Jr. come away with an interception each
Dantzler is on top of the Vikings’ depth chart in the right cornerback position, but he still faces stiff competition from rookie Andrew Booth Jr, whose play in the training camp is constantly getting glowing reviews.
In one of the best plays in Minnesota’s camp, Booth made a spectacular pick off a Kirk Cousins throw.
With Dantzler looking to fend off the rookie, who definitely has the burning desire to be a starter right away in the NFL, expect both Dantzler and Booth to continue their dogfight in the preseason. It’s a great thing to see for the Vikings, who have a young cast of secondary players led by a future Hall of Famer in Patrick Peterson, as they look to better their faulty pass defense in 2021 that got burned for 252.9 yards per game.
1. Vikings comfortably cover the spread
The Vikings are currently 3.5-point underdogs for this upcoming date with the Raiders. Unlike Las Vegas, the Vikings have yet to play a game in the preseason and are also the road team in this matchup. However, the Vikings have cashed in for their bettors more often than not over the past several seasons, particularly as visitors. In fact, dating back to 2015, the Vikings have covered the spread in seven of their last 10 preseason games away from home.