NFL Picks Against the Spread Week 1: Minnesota Vikings Sleeper Choice to Cover
The San Diego Chargers have been notoriously slow starters under Norv Turner. Last year was no different.
A team that would end up having the league's number one offense and number one defense was just 2-5 in their first seven games of 2010.
While horrendous special teams play is partly to blame, it has been such a prominent theme for this team under Turner that part of the reason must border on psychological.
Whatever the reason is, to assume that the Chargers will break out of their early season funk in 2011 is dicey. Yes, Vincent Jackson is back and Antonio Gates is healthy but offensive production has never been the problem. So, what does this mean for the Vikings on Sunday?
It means they've got a shot. Donovan McNabb, as ridiculed as he has been over the last several seasons, is an upgrade over Tarvaris Jackson and Joe Webb.
Adrian Peterson is the best running back in the NFL.
Jared Allen will probably perform closer to his 2009 season than 2010. Things always find their way back to the mean.
And, the game is in Minnesota!
All that adds up to a line, Chargers -9, that I think is a little high. I'd put it somewhere closer to 7 or 7.5 Regardless, this is a game worth considering if you're placing some gentelmanly bets this Sunday.
Spread: Chargers, -9
Score prediction: 27-20, Chargers.
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