With just two preseason games left before the start of the 2018-19 NFL season, the Seattle Seahawks, in search of their first win, travel to US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis to take on the Minnesota Vikings (8 PM ET Friday).
Having lost Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor and Byron Maxwell within the last few years, the Seattle Seahawks have gone from being one of the top teams in the NFC, to one that is not even favored to win their division this season.
In fact, according to the sportsbooks for American players, the Seahawks are just third favorites (+450) in the NFC West, behind the Los Angeles Rams (-160) and San Francisco 49ers (+300). The team was not that far removed from winning the Super Bowl in 2014. If they hope to accomplish the same feat in 2018, they will need more than just a little luck on their side.
While this is only preseason and not much should be made of records and stats, it is worth noting that the Seahawks are an offense in transition. As much of a question mark the defense is, the offense has its issues to address as well. Russell Wilson is as solid as it gets at the QB position but he’ll be working with a new offensive coordinator this year and five other assistant coaches who are also new to Seattle. For any quarterback, even one of Wilson’s caliber, that is a daunting task. Especially as this preseason has seen the offensive line falter, which is a concern whether it is preseason or not. In order for the Seahawks offense to click, Wilson needs to be able to be a playmaker. His mobility will be tested by a collapsing pocket and while that shouldn’t affect Wilson too much, it is certainly something Seattle wants to have a better handle on entering the regular season.
Against the Vikings in game three of the preseason, which is traditionally the one where the starters play the most minutes, Seattle will be tasked with taking on a defense that was one of the best in the NFL last year. Seattle needs to do everything in its power to keep Wilson off the ground but they won’t have an easy go of it on Friday night. If Minnesota’s defense continues to play well and showcase its strength on that side of the ball, it could be a short night for Seattle’s QB.
Minnesota: Finding the Passing Game with a New QB
The Minnesota Vikings were by no means a bad team last year. They won the NFC North and reached the postseason where they lost to the eventual Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship game. Minnesota, entering the season as favorites (+125) to win the NFC North, also is tied with the top odds (+600) to win the NFC Conference Championship and advance to Super Bowl LIII.
In order to get there, they need to figure out what is happening under center. In the offseason, the Vikings saw incredible turnover at the most important position on the field, that of quarterback. The team parted ways with both Case Keenum, who led them to the NFC Championship last year and Sam Bradford, who was expected to have a large role in the offense before injury kept him out much of the 2017-18 season. To replace those two, Minnesota brought in Kurt Cousins to shore things up at the QB position but so far, this has not been the case.
Again, it’s just preseason and Cousins is still adjusting to his role in this new offense so it’s not that much of a concern yet. That being said, the passing game has been woefully absent over Minnesota’s first two preseason games. Against the Jacksonville Jaguars last week, the team totaled just 100 yards through the air compared to 128 rushing. For the runners, that’s a good sign as the rushing attack was moving at all cylinders. The passing game does create some worries however, especially given the offense couldn’t move the ball against the lower string guys of the Jaguars. In week one however, the Vikings did nothing but move the ball, racking up 42 points to defeat the Denver Broncos.
Offensive inconsistency is something Minnesota doesn’t want to have to deal with. In game three, with the starters on the field for a large part of the game, they’ll have a chance to show that it was game two not game one that was the fluke. Unfortunately for the Vikings, Cousins isn’t being granted any favors as his offensive line has been suffering from injuries throughout the preseason. He will take the field on Friday but it is unknown how many of the regular season starters on the offensive line will be out there with him.
Our Preview’s Seattle Seahawks vs Minnesota Vikings Predictions & Betting Picks Verdict
Like any preseason game, one of the most important things to follow comes by way of the positional battles. For Minnesota, the biggest of these is occurring at the running back position. It would seem Mike Boone has the leg up, especially after his strong game last week. Expect to see a healthy dose of him on Friday as well as Roc Thomas and Dalvin Cook, who was one of the team’s top draft picks this year. The running back job is on the line for Seattle too as Chris Carson, Mike Davis and C.J. Prosise are all in the mix to get some carries in first-round pick Rashaad Perry’s absence.
For these two teams, this is the third year in a row they are meeting in the preseason with the last two meetings being split. This year is also a rare instance where the two teams will meet in the preseason for a tune-up and then again during the regular season.
Entering this game, the Vikings are 3.5 point favorites on the spread with the total points to be scored set for 39.5. With that in mind, this is the way our Seahawks vs Minnesota Vikings predictions and picks look:
- Expect Minnesota to pick up the win at home as Seattle still figures out their new look offense and defense. Bet Vikings -3.5pts @ -110 with any of Bovada, Intertops, 5Dimes or Bookmaker.
- As for the total, neither of these teams are as good on defense as they were but neither have really shown much in the way of offense either. Bet the under 39.5pts @ -110, again these odds are available with any of the four bookies mentioned above.