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Bettors backing coach with focus on preseason

By Jeff Fogle  (VSiN City newsletter) 

August 10, 2018 11:59 PM

Don’t get dizzy from this quarterback merry-go-round!

If you haven’t paid much attention to NFL headlines since last season ended, you won’t be surprised that Case Keenum and Trevor Siemian will see action as quarterbacks in Saturday night’s Minnesota-Denver exhibition game televised live by the NFL Network. Though, it might catch you off guard to see Keenum playing for Denver…and Siemian for Minnesota.

Keenum is the projected starter this season in Denver, as the Broncos came to the firm conclusion that neither Siemian nor Paxton Lynch was ready to lead John Elway’s team to the playoffs. You’ll recall that Keenum took Minnesota deep into the NFC brackets last season, before losing to eventual Super Bowl champion Philadelphia.

The Vikings decided they needed an upgrade from a “game manager” to a deep thrower to win a Super Bowl. They signed Kirk Cousins to a huge contract in the offseason. Minnesota also decided to acquire Siemian and give him a shot at the backup position.

Minnesota QBs: Cousins, Siemian, Kyle Sloter

Denver QBs: Keenum, Lynch, Chad Kelly

Oddsmakers expected immediate betting interest in the Vikings, opening this game at only Denver -1. That’s below the standard for home favorites in August. Some locales have tested pick-em through the week. Sharps are aware Minnesota head coach Mike Zimmer expects effort from his players in exhibitions. 

Mike Zimmer’s Preseason Records

2014: 4-0 straight up, 3-1 against the spread

2015: 4-1 straight up, 4-1 against the spread

2016: 4-0 straight up, 4-0 against the spread

2017: 2-2 straight up, 2-2 against the spread

That’s 14-3 straight up for Zimmer in exhibitions, 13-4 against market expectations. 

Pro bettors expect intensity Saturday from the Vikings…with a new big-money quarterback performing for a new offensive coordinator (John DeFilippo, replacing new Giants head coach Pat Shurmur)…in front of a head coach who’s a stickler for execution in August. 

Personnel carousels can make you dizzy. Focusing on head coaching histories in the preseason will help you get your bearings.

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