After steamrolling the Jaguars within the Hall of Fame Game last week, the Raiders (-4, 35.5) are the largest favorites of Week 1 within the preseason ahead of their matinee Sunday against the short-handed Vikings.
Las Vegas looked the a part of a preseason darling per week ago, jumping out to a 20-0 halftime lead in an eventual 16-point win. That bodes well for the team’s possibilities here. The past six teams to win the Hall of Fame Game went 4-2 in the next contest, outscoring their opponents by nearly a touchdown per game.
The Raiders’ starters should see more time on this second tune-up game, including the potential debut of the Derek Carr and Davante Adams connection for the primary time since their days at Fresno State.
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Meanwhile, the Vikings can be without Kirk Cousins (COVID-19), forcing so-so backups Kellen Mond and Sean Mannion into major roles against this improved Raiders front. Minnesota can also be still understanding the kinks of its fresh 3-4 look under recent defensive coordinator Ed Donatell, which could lead on to some growing pains on Sunday.
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Control the Raiders’ running backs. Josh Jacobs surprisingly played within the exhibition last week, but fourth-round pick Zamir White stole the show, turning 14 touches right into a combined 75 yards in his preseason debut. Each could have an enormous day against this new-look Vikings defense.
Lay the points with Las Vegas.
The play: Raiders -4