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NFL Opening Odds: Vikings open as road favorites over Raiders

Is it justified?

NFL: Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

To start the homestretch of their 2023 NFL season, the Minnesota Vikings are taking to the road to battle the Las Vegas Raiders, and the opening lines appear to indicate that they’re expected to emerge victorious.

The folks at the DraftKings Sportsbook have installed the Vikings as a 2.5-point favorite in early betting for their trip to the Giant Roomba in the Desert to take on the silver and black.

The Vikings have lost their last two games by a combined total of three points despite turning the ball over seven times in those two games. They really could have salted away a playoff spot over the past couple of weeks but, because this is the Vikings, they’ve made it a whole lot harder on themselves than it needs to be. They’ll play two road games in the course of six days as they follow up this game with a Saturday afternoon trip to Cincinnati.

The Raiders are also coming off of their bye week as losers of two straight. They won their first two games under interim head coach Antonio Pierce as they took down the two New York teams but fell to Miami and Kansas City in the two weeks ahead of their bye. They still have some postseason aspirations but it’s going to be pretty difficult for them given how loaded the AFC is at this point.

This will be the first regular season matchup between these two teams since the Raiders became the Las Vegas Raiders. The last time these two teams met was in 2019 at U.S. Bank Stadium when the Vikings defeated the Oakland Raiders by a score of 34-14. Yes, there was a time when the Vikings actually won games comfortably on occasion. I know it’s been a while so you’re just going to have to take my word for this one.

Do you think the Vikings are justified as early favorites over the Raiders as they get back onto the field, folks?