NFL Preseason Betting Preview
Pittsburgh Steelers at Minnesota Vikings
Saturday, 8:00 pm Eastern – CBS
SBG Global Opening Line: Vikings – 2.5 , Total 37
The Minnesota Vikings are expected to have quarterback Tarvaris Jackson under center on Saturday night as they host the Pittsburgh Steelers. Jackson sprained his knee last week against Baltimore but is expected to start on Saturday. Most of the starters for both teams will play into the third quarter.
“You treat it like a regular season game because you are going to be out there longer,” said Pittsburgh running back Willie Parker. “I am out there trying to get better. It’s a preseason game but it’s time to see where we are at as a team.” SBG Global reports that early NFL betting has the public taking Steelers on the Road.
The Steelers will go with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for at least the first half and then Byron Leftwich will get more playing time. He played last week against the Bills and went 5-11 for 41 yards. “I am feeling more comfortable,” said Leftwich. “I have a better understanding of what we are trying to do offensively. It was a tough situation last week when I only had two days. At the same time it’s getting better. I don’t want to say I am fully getting the offense but I am getting the offense to the point where I know where the ball needs to go and what we are trying to do. I am looking forward to it because I have a week to prepare instead of two days. I am anxious and excited to go back out there on Saturday.” Pittsburgh is still trying to find cohesiveness on the offensive line. They lost Alan Faneca in the off-season and are trying to find the right combination upfront. Chris Kemoeatu started the first two preseason games at left guard, Sean Mahan started at center against the Eagles and Justin Hartwig will get his second start of the preseason this week. “We have to get used to the people that are in there,” said Parker. “We are shuffling people around. There are some new faces. We have to get a feel for the line and get comfortable with the set line. It really doesn’t affect me. It makes me better. Some offensive linemen do things different or better than others so it keeps me on my toes how I make my reads.”
SBG Global Current Line: Steelers – 2.5 , Total 37
NFL betting stats show that the teams have met 10 times in the preseason with the Vikings winning 8 of the 10 games. Minnesota won the last preseason meeting 17-10 in 2006. This is the first preseason meeting between the two teams in Minnesota since 2001. Pittsburgh has not defeated the Vikings in the preseason since 2002. Pittsburgh is 105-95-1 all-time in preseason play. Minnesota is 130-84-3 all-time in the preseason. Minnesota has finished at .500 or better in 37 of their 47 preseasons.