By Jason Patterson | USA
The No. 2 Vikings come in with a statistical advantage with a dominant defense and an offense that has proven capable of often doing just enough to get the job done. The Saints, the 3 seed have a much-improved defense to go with a first-ballot Hall of Famer, and super bowl champion in Drew Brees leading the defense.
The Vikings come into this game on a hot streak, winning 11 of their last 12 last regular-season games and with a 29-year-old quarterback who has had a shocking standout season.
|Date/Time (ET)||Home Vs. Away||TV||Streaming||Odds||Total|
|Jan. 14, 4:40 p.m.||No. 2 Vikings vs. No. 3 Saints||FOX||Yahoo Sports app, Fox Sports Go app||MIN -5||47|
- Minnesota is 9-2 ATS in its last 11 games
- Minnesota is 11-1 SU in its last 12 games
- The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Minnesota’s last 5 games
- Minnesota is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games at home
- Minnesota is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games at home
- The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Minnesota’s last 6 games at home
- Minnesota is 7-2 ATS in its last 9 games when playing New Orleans
- Minnesota is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games when playing New Orleans
- New Orleans is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games
- New Orleans is 12-3 SU in its last 15 games
- The total has gone OVER in 4 of New Orleans’s last 6 games
- New Orleans is 12-5-1 ATS in its last 18 games on the road
- The total has gone UNDER in 4 of New Orleans’s last 6 games on the road
- The total has gone OVER in 7 of New Orleans’s last 9 games when playing Minnesota
- New Orleans is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games when playing on the road against Minnesota
- New Orleans is 1-6 SU in its last 7 games when playing on the road against Minnesota
- The total has gone OVER in 6 of New Orleans’s last 7 games when playing on the road against Minnesota
Making Picks: No. 3 New Orleans Saints (12-5) at No. 2 Minnesota Vikings (13-3)
The Saints come into the game with the fifth-ranked pass and rushing offense and second overall in the NFL at 393 yards per game.
But Carolina found a way to shut down the run game, holding the Saints to just 41 rushing yards.
Yes, these teams met in Week 1 and the statistical differences were staggering with the Vikings outgaining the Saints, 437-269 (75 from the Saints which came in a late meaningless TD drive) en route to a 29-19 win. But much has changed for both teams since that first week, so while you can’t fully throw away that result, know that the Saints defense has improved steadily throughout the season.
That said, the team has lost four starters since the beginning of the season and has given up 400-plus yards in each of their last three road games.
Plenty of numbers to lead one to think this is a Vikings victory, but Jones has plenty of numbers of his own.
“Although we are acutely aware that the Vikings are being portrayed as the “next big thing” we believe it would be foolhardy to discount the experience Drew Brees brings in postseason contests,” Jones said. “The Saints and Vikings are similar teams in that both are ranked in the top 10 in points scored, points allowed and rushing yards per game. New Orleans has a clear in edge in passing yards per game with Brees under center, averaging 261.8 (5th) versus Minnesota’s 234.6 (11th).
“Earlier this season the Vikings defeated the Saints by the score of 29-19 as three-point home favorites but New Orleans has toughened up on defense and rung up 31 points on a very good Panthers’ defense last week. Here are some trends to consider:
– New Orleans is 12-2 ATS in their last 14 games as a road underdog of 3.5-10.0.
– New Orleans is 8-1 ATS in their last nine road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
– New Orleans is 4-1 ATS in their last five games in January.
– New Orleans is 13-5 ATS in their last 18 road games.
“Don’t be afraid to grab the points with New Orleans and regardless of what you do, make sure you check out the latest lines at one of the premier online sportsbooks in the industry, BetOnline.”
FIVE BEST BETS BEYOND THE BASICS
Rushing Yards, Alvin Kamara: Under 42.5 (Even)
Great value, and given the Vikings defense, this is the best statistical play as well in these five picks.
The Vikings rank fifth against the run and have faced their share of tough run-heavy offenses. Kamara will struggle to get his yards against this team, especially at home. Bonus: Go under with Mark Ingram as well (55.5, -130), but the payoff is definitely not as strong.
Rushing Yards, Latavius Murray: Under 67.5 (-105)
Murray was mostly absent from the team’s first meeting, as rookie Dalvin Cook shined in a pre-injury star turn. Murray went over 75 yards in four of last five starts, including 111 yards versus the Bears to close the season. His one down performance? Against the Panthers, where he rushing nine times for 14 yards. Guaranteed the Saints studied that tape plenty. I like Murray more for close to 45 yards in this one.
Receiving Yards, Adam Thielen: Under 70.5 (+105)
Great odds and a high number for a receiver that has struggled to put up bigger numbers down the stretch. In the comforts of home, Thielen will get close, but the value here is too strong not to take a low-money shot.
Passing Yards, Case Keenum: Over 240.5 (-125)
Not great value for your wager here, but considering the numbers, it’s still a top-5 pick. Keenum has been one of the most potent strikers 15 yards or more downfield this year (43 total), but the bulk of his plays (52.5 percent) are for five yards or less. Both Thielen and Stefan Diggs are in the top 25 in yards after catch and the Saints are among the worst in YAC. Keenum will get his yards. This number has gone up from 235.5 and we still like it.