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