Minnesota (0-0) at Las Vegas (1-0)
When: Sunday, August 14th 2022
Where: Allegiant Stadium,
Time: 4:25 ET | TV: NFL Network
Opening Odds: Las Vegas -2.5/33.5
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The Las Vegas Raiders have an advantage this Sunday afternoon when they host the final preseason game of Week 1 against the Minnesota Vikings. The Raiders are playing their second game after winning the Hall of Fame Game 27-11 over the Jacksonville Jaguars. First-year Raiders coach Josh McDaniels is now 3-6 in his preseason career dating back to his time with the Denver Broncos. This will be the first ever trip to Allegiant Stadium for the Vikings, who come into this season with high expectations. This marks the head coaching debut for Kevin O’Connell, formerly the L.A. Rams offensive coordinator. It took a while to hire him, as he was helping the Rams win Super Bowl 56.
Las Vegas comes in as a 3.5-point home favorite with a total of 34 points. These teams last met in the 2019 regular season with the Vikings winning 34-14. Dalvin Cook rushed for 110 yards and a TD, while Kirk Cousins threw for 174 and a touchdown. Derek Carr threw for 242 with two TDs and a pick for the Raiders, while Darren Waller caught 13 passes for 134 yards. We probably won’t see much, if any, of these players on Sunday. The Vikings are 7-2 ATS in preseason road games since 2016 – all with Mike Zimmer as head coach. The Raiders have had a winning record in each of the last three preseasons under Jon Gruden.
O’Connell worked under Sean McVay in L.A. and he rarely played starters during the preseason, so maybe O’Connell will follow suite. O’Connell was Minnesota QB Kirk Cousins’ quarterbacks coach for one year in Washington. Cousins has been put on the Covid list, but he probably wasn’t playing Sunday anyway. Tight end Irv Smith will miss the preseason after having thumb surgery but should be ready for Week 1 of the regular season. He missed the entire 2021 season after having surgery to repair meniscus damage in his right knee. Tyler Conklin took over for Smith, but has since signed with the Jets. The Vikings will run a 3-4 base defense for the first time since 1985 under new coordinator Ed Donatell.
Carr didn’t play in Las Vegas’ romp over Jacksonville in the Hall of Fame Game last Thursday. McDaniels hasn’t give indication if any starters will play on Sunday. Jarrett Stidham, Nick Mullens and Chase Garbers will see the most action under center. No. 1 running back Josh Jacobs surprisingly played last week and had five carries for 30 yards amid some trade rumors. Fourth-round draft pick Zamir White out of Georgia had 11 carries for 54 yards and three catches for 23 yards against Jacksonville.
Minnesota has played well in the last few preseasons and I’m sure the new head coach will want to start out his tenure on a good note. The Raiders were impressive in the win over a bad Jacksonville team and are now laying 3.5 here. I’m going to take the points.
Pick: Vikings +3.5