The Minnesota Vikings (1-0) will try to shut down another explosive offensive team when they visit the Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0) on Sunday as solid road underdogs at the sportsbooks.
The Vikings are coming off an outstanding defensive performance on Monday night against the New Orleans Saints, holding them to just one touchdown in a 29-19 victory to cover the spread as three-point home chalk.
NFL betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 27.0-16.9 Steelers (NFL picks on every game)
Why the Vikings can cover the spread
Minnesota's defense is as good as any in the league and will get a stiff test here at Pittsburgh. However, the Steelers looked lethargic last week in a 21-18 road win over the Cleveland Browns, as running back Le'Veon Bell got off to a slow start following his holdout and totaled just 47 yards (32 rushing and 15 receiving).
Why the Steelers can cover the spread
The Steelers, up to +750 (bet $100 to win $750) on the Super Bowl 52 odds, have a tendency to play to the level of their competition, but they were in control of the Browns throughout that AFC North matchup despite failing to cover the spread as 10-point road favorites. Roethlisberger had a solid 2017 debut, with 263 passing yards and two touchdowns, both of which went to tight end Jesse James.
Big Ben also relied heavily on his favorite target Antonio Brown, who made 11 receptions for 182 yards. Say what you want about Minnesota's defense versus New Orleans, Pittsburgh has much more dangerous offensive weapons and will pressure Sam Bradford as well.
Bradford was fantastic in the win over the Saints, but he will face a different animal here defensively in the Steelers. Pittsburgh has won 11 of its last 13 home games, and the team will look to take away Bradford's top two receivers in Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs.
While rookie running back Dalvin Cook was also impressive for the Vikings in his NFL debut, Bell will be extra motivated to be the best player on the field and help the Steelers win and cover.
NFL betting trends
The total has gone under in six of the Vikings' last eight games against the Steelers.
The Vikings are 3-1 ATS in their last four games on the road against the Steelers.
The total has gone under in 10 of the Steelers' last 12 games in the early afternoon.
All NFL odds and betting trends courtesy of Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, OddsShark. All quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line-movement updates and the OddsShark YouTube page for picks and analysis, or download the free odds tracker app.