Even the most casual of NFL fans will probably have their TV tuned to ESPN tonight for the preseason clash between the Vikings and Texans, if for no other reason than to see the strange sight of quarterback Brett Favre wearing #4 in purple. Favre and his new teammates take another step towards the regular season when they visit Houston as a 3-1/2 point underdog. Most bettors, nearly 80% of them at Sportsbook.com, give the 40-year old QB the edge against the spread.
Minnesota’s newest quarterback played only briefly last week and reports are he will see considerable action on this televised contest. The worldwide leader in sports newest NFL reporter Adam Shefter has reported there is a “schism” in the Vikings locker room concerning what teammates think about the veteran quarterback, compared to those already on hand. Upon further review, those close to the team have found this not to be the case, with a few dissenting voices, but hardly the next Civil War to start in Minnesota.
The Vikings have won and covered both their preseason encounters and will have to settle on a backup quarterback. Sage Rosenfels missed last week with an ankle and Tarvaris Jackson, thought to be the goner when the Wrangler jeans pitchman was signed, took full advantage of the situation, completing 12 of 15 passes against Kansas City for 202 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Sportsbook.com has the Vikings as three-point road underdogs, with a total of 38.5.
Houston hasn’t had the drama seen in the Twin Cities, but there was a many long face after the Texans were blasted by 38-14 by New Orleans as three-point home favorites last week. The Houston defense was scorched for 420 yards by the Saints and some members of the defensive line are on the firing line. In particular, starting defensive tackle Amobi Okoye has come under scrutiny. Now in his third season, the Nigerian hasn’t progressed as some would like to see for the 10th overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft. A solid game against a good Minnesota offensive line would help quell dissatisfaction.
Quarterback Matt Schaub leads what should be a potent Houston attack, with numerous weapons like Andre Johnson, Steve Slaton, Owen Daniels and Kevin Walter. The Texans are 6-4 and 4-3-3 ATS playing at home in August football since 2004 and have covered their last three Week 3 assignments.
Minnesota is 24-13-1 ATS in their last 38 underdog roles and 16-5 ATS when they score 22 to 28 points in the preseason. From a situational perspective, the Vikings could be in a hole, since they are 0-7 ATS on the road versus an opponent coming off a double-digit loss..
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