Saints at Vikings Odds, Picks, Live Score – 2018 NFL Playoffs
Vikings vs Saints NFC Divisional Playoff Preview
Decades ago, powerful Vikings sailed the National Football League seas. Led by HC Bud Grant, the Purple People Eaters devoured everything in their path – until they reached their final destination. Once there, the Vikings ships hit massive sandbars as they went 0-3 during three Super Bowl appearances from 1974 to 1977. Minnesota, who enjoyed a 13-3 regular season, is back in the playoffs for the fifth time over ten seasons. Could this be the year they shed the choke collar?
Much better than their preseason +5000 Super Bowl futures line indicated they would be, New Orleans is back in playoffs for the first time in four years. Time flies as it has been eight years (2010) since the Saints rolled the Indianapolis Colts 31-17 during Super Bowl XLIV at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, FL. New Orleans (11-5) won the NFC South Division – which also sent Carolina and Atlanta to the 2018 NFL playoff party. This is a similar squad to the Saints NFL Championship team.
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Despite losing stud RB Dalvin Cook in Week 4 and not so stud QB Sam Bradford in Week 1, plus dealing with nagging injuries to WR Stefan Diggs and TE Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota mashed this season. The Vikings 13-3 record was their best mark since they went 15-1 back 1998. Protecting sparkling new US Bank Stadium well, the Vikings went 7-1 SU at home. The lone blemish was a weird 14-7 loss to Detroit in Week 10. The Vikings bashed visitors by a combined 198-100 margin.
Dogged by bag wearing fans for many years, prior to their franchise first NFL Championship, the sacks have largely been left at home lately. That was especially true in 2017 as Saints fans were treated to a 7-1 straight up performance in contests at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Drew Brees & Crew stumbled some as they went 4-4 as visitors The road losses were against the Vikings, Rams, Falcons and Bucs while the victories were against the Panthers, Dolphins, Packers and Bills.
Please Note: These picks are published with prices current as of 9:00 AM ET on January 12, 2018. For the most up to date odds, from the planets top online bookmakers, check out the prices on our scoreboard above. These lines can be found at the sportsbooks in our Top Five table below.
FINAL SCORE: Minnesota Vikings 29-24 Betting Results: PUSH ATS & Vikings S/U & OVER
Moneyline: Vikings -200 ML @ Bodog
Minnesota made the playoffs two years ago but lost 10-9 outdoors at TFC Bank Stadium when PK Blair Walsh messed up his project and missed a 27-yard chip shot field goal. In their first season, with a roof overhead, the Vikings went 8-8 and missed the postseason. Strong anywhere during NFL 2017 campaign, the Vikings did not lose two straight games at any point and they went on an eight-game SU winning streak prior to a loss and three victories to close their fantastic year.
Posting 30.1 points per game at home, the Saints scoring prowess dipped on the road where they managed just 25.8 PPG. The defense stepped up as visitors though allowing the home side and average of 18.3 PPG. The Saints last two Divisional Playoff games, both on the road, were losses in San Francisco (36-32) in 2012 and at Seattle (23-15) in 2014. While those contests were outdoors, they were also against strong defensive squads. This matchup is a stiff test for New Orleans.
Point Spread: Vikings -5 (EVEN) ATS @ SIA (PUSH)
Tagged with thin chalk lines, more often than not, Minnesota was the favorite in 13 of 16 contests and they finished with a solid 11-5 overall record against the spread. Chalk in seven of eight games at home, the Vikings sailed to a 6-2 ATS mark. The losses were versus Detroit, straight up as -2.5 chalk in Week 4, and Chicago as -13.5 favorites during their 23-10 win over the Bears in Week 17. The Vikings covered the -3 Week 1 line vs the Saints and this contest might mirror that match.
Unfamiliar with the underdog role – New Orleans were ATS pups just five times this year and three of those came during the first three weeks of the season. Alas, the Saints did not have much bite as dogs as they lost outright and failed to cover four of the five matches. The lone cover was a 34-13 win in Carolina during Week 3 action. As pups, the Saints lost in Minnesota, at home vs New England and then as visitors against the LA Rams and Atlanta in Week 12 and 14 respectively.
Totals: UNDER 47 (-115) O/U @ Bet635
Slightly surprising, given their rock solid defense that gave up a league low 15.8 PPG, game totals in Minnesota matches averaged 42.4 points per game this season. Overall, Vikings battles were split 8-8 O/U and the UNDER cashed five times during games at US Bank Stadium – two of the OVER hits were in matches when Dalvin Cook was running wild. Bettor’s taking the UNDER were on the right side during Minnesota’s last three home games as they averaged a 27-8 combined final count.
Playing in the high-flying NFC South, along with potent offenses led by pivots Matt Ryan in Atlanta and Cam Newton in Carolina, the Saints matches averaged a lofty 49.7 game total. The OVER had a slight 9-7 edge in those contests and the number was split 4-4 when the Saints were on the road. Games in Minnesota, Carolina, Buffalo and Tampa Bay went OVER while matches in Miami, Green Bay, LA (Rams) and Atlanta stayed UNDER the line. The Saints last two games have gone OVER.
Saints at Vikings Prediction – Bet It Online
Losing a top running back, plus being guided by a backup pivot with a 24:20 TD to INT ratio over 26 games, is a recipe for disaster in the NFL. Minnesota seemed to rally around their misfortune though as RB Latavius Murray and QB Case Keenum were good in relief. Cranking it up during Week 5 vs Baltimore – Murray had 745 RYD and 8 TD down the stretch. Keenum was consistent all season (22 TD 7 INT) and sharp while tossing ten TD and just two INT over the final six games.
Keenum playing in his first playoff game, vs Drew Brees who is making his 13th postseason start, is advantage Saints but we don’t see it being a big enough factor. The Vikings were #2 vs the run (83.6 YAPG) and Carolina (#7) did a good job of containing Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram last weekend. Weather is a non-factor and both coaching staffs are solid so those are a wash. Feeling the Vikings #1 ranked DEF (15.8 PPG) will be better than the Saints #4 ranked OFF (28 PPG) we are backing Minnesota SU, ATS and UNDER with the final score coming in at around 23-17 Vikings.
Bottom Line: New Orleans will be without LG Andrus Peat and DB Kenny Vaccaro. The Peat injury hurts the running game while the loss of Vaccaro is a boost for Vikings slot receiver Adam Thielen (1,276 YD 4 TD). As much as we respect Drew Brees, and what the Saints have accomplished, we can’t get past the fact that defense often wins championships. How do you see this match playing out? Tell us on Twitter and Facebook and then back up your picks at these world famous online sportsbooks. Don’t forget, NHL and NBA action are also hot betting options at this time of the year.
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