Saints vs. Vikings Prediction
Are the New Orleans Saints a live dog or are public bettors missing an opportunity to lay the points on the Minnesota Vikings? Here is our pick for Sunday’s NFL Divisional Round matchup.
WHO ODDSMAKERS LIKE: Minnesota. According to oddsmakers from online sports book Bovada.lv, the Vikings are 5.5-point home favorites to beat the Saints, who opened as 3.5-point underdogs before the line climbed two full points. The total, meanwhile, hit the board at 44.5 but jumped two points to 46.5.
WHO PUBLIC BETTORS LIKE: New Orleans. As of this writing, the Saints are receiving 63% of betting tickets but 54% of the money is on the Vikings. As for the total, the over is receiving 52% of the betting tickets and 74% of the money.
WHO THE TRENDS LIKE: The over and the favorite. The over is 5-0-1 in the last six meetings between these two teams in Minnesota and has cashed in seven of the last nine meetings between these two teams overall. The favorite, meanwhile, is a perfect 4-0 at the betting window in the last four meetings between these two teams.
WHO WE LIKE: Minnesota. This is how I see this game playing out. Last week the Panthers had the blueprint to slow the Saints’ offense: Stop Alvin Kamara, Mark Ingram and that New Orleans running game and dare Drew Brees to beat them. Unfortunately for Carolina, that’s exactly what Brees did. It was vintage Drew Brees.
That said, if the Vikings shut down New Orleans’ running game, I don’t see Brees being as effective against that Minnesota secondary as he was against the inexperienced Carolina defensive backfield. Xavier Rhodes can slow Michael Thomas and Ted Ginn won’t cash on another big play with Harrison Smith roaming the deep middle for Minnesota. This is a much better Vikings defense than the Panthers, one that constantly wins on third downs and isn’t overly reliant on turnovers.
Now, there is the matter of Case Keenum. Brees versus Keenum doesn’t instill a lot of confidence. However, Keenum has been fantastic all season and I don’t think this is a Brees-Keenum matchup. This is a Brees-Vikings defense matchup and I’m riding with the best defensive unit in the NFC.
NFL DIVISIONAL ROUND PREDICTION: MINNESOTA VIKINGS -5.5