The Minnesota Vikings are sure glad to see Adrian
Peterson back. Regardless of all his off-field drama and beef with the
franchise, the Vikes are going to need “All Day” this year, especially
come the winter when the schedule really tests Minnesota’s chops.
Starting in Week 10 with a trip to Oakland, then back home to play Green
Bay in Week 11, then a trip east to face Atlanta Week 12, and back home
to play Seattle in Week 13, Minnesota is put through the ringer with
long road trips and tough home stands against the NFC’s elite.
cherry on the sundae for this tough stretch of sked is a Thursday Night
Football matchup in Arizona in Week 14. Not only are the Vikings making
a long trek to the desert to play in a game that will likely hold
playoff implications for both teams, but they’re doing so on a short
week after playing the most physical team in the NFL. Factor in that
grueling five-game schedule and the Cardinals could be a gift as early
5.5-point early favorites for this Thursday nighter.
If you need to bet on football before the start of the college or pro seasons – even before the NFL preseason – luckily you have the CFL. The Canadian Football League kicks off its 57th season this month, with Grey Cup champions, the Calgary Stampeders, beginning their title defense against the Hamilton TiCats on Friday June 26.
Unlike the NFL, Week 1 CFL lines are out yet but bettors should be wary of the Stamps in that opening game at home. Defending Grey Cup winners have been solid the past three seasons, going 3-0 SU and ATS in the season opener but going back to 2003, the CFL champs have a combined 7-5 SU and 5-6-1 ATS mark in those Week 1 contests, unable to consistently meet last year’s standards in the eyes of the oddsmakers. The previous time Calgary opened as the reigning champ back in 2009, it floundered in a 40-27 loss to Montreal as an 8-point home favorite.
Interleague play has teams in the National and American League doing battle outside of their respective groupings this week. However, one of the most heated rivalries in baseball picks up once the novelty NL-versus-AL games are through, with the Los Angeles Dodgers hosting the defending World Series champion San Francisco Giants, starting Friday.
The Giants and Dodgers are in a tight race in the NL West, with L.A. holding a 3.5-game lead as of Tuesday. San Francisco is home to Seattle this week before making the trip to Chavez Ravine while the Dodgers host Texas. Both NL West clubs dropped the opener in those interleague sets and could get caught looking ahead to Friday’s rivalry this Thursday. The Giants swept a three-game set versus the Dodgers at home in their most recent meeting and are 4-2 against L.A. this season.