When: Friday, August 12, 2016, 7:30pm ET Where: Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati TV: KMSP FOX 9 Minneapolis Radio: Sports Radio 104.3 FM The Fan Denver / WBBM 105.9 FM Chicago Live Stream: NFL Game Pass NFL Odds: Cincinnati (-2.5) NFL Preseason Week 1 Minnesota Vikings vs Cincinnati Bengals The NFC and AFC North champs from last year meet in the preseason opener in an intriguing NFL betting opportunity, as the Vikings head down to Cincinnati to take on the Bengals. It will be interesting to see if the Vikings can hold their championship form from a year ago, or whether that frozen loss to Seattle in the wild card game will leave marks that hold over into this season. The Bengals also lost a disappointing home playoff game in even weirder fashion, as their defense gave the Pittsburgh Steelers 30 yards in penalties on the next to last play to give up the winning field goal. So to say that this is a matchup of teams seeking redemption is an understatement. Why should you bet on the Bengals? Cincinnati will roll out Andy Dalton at quarterback for the first time since the 2015 regular season, and I like his arm to lead the team down the field for an opening score or two. Then, of course, he will come out, but A.J. McCarron, as he showed during the last weeks of the regular season and in the playoff game, is no placeholder, as he can drive the Bengals offense as well. I see the defense rolling out fired up after its culpability in the playoff loss last year, which could make life difficult for Viking offense, particularly after the starters head to the sideline and watch the rest of the game. Why should you put your money on Minnesota? Even though they vanquished the Green Bay Packers in Week 17 at Lambeau Field last year, the Vikings do not feel respected by the rest of the league. They did keep the Seahawks’ offense largely in check in their playoff matchup last year, and they were in position to get the win late. So even though they missed a short field goal, the Vikings did show they could compete against — and even beat — several of the conference’s elite teams last year. Teddy Bridgewater and Adrian Peterson should be able to marshal a couple of strong drives of their own before they take a seat, and the Vikings have the deeper of the two defenses. Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction I like the Bengals to come out ready to defend their home turf and show the Vikings a lot of energy. Minnesota will be spirited as well, but I like Cincinnati to prevail at home, 23-20.