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New Orleans Saints vs. Minnesota Vikings Predictions, Odds, Picks and NFL Week 1 Betting Preview – September 11, 2017

New Orleans Saints vs. Minnesota Vikings Predictions, Odds, Picks and NFL Week 1 Betting Preview – September 11, 2017


New Orleans Saints vs. Minnesota Vikings Preview

Where: US Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN

When: Monday, September 11, 2017, 7:00 PM ET

Line: New Orleans Saints (+3.5) at Minnesota Vikings (-3.5); total: 48.0 – view all NFL lines

TV Broadcast: ESPN


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Betting on the New Orleans Saints (+3.5)

Moneyline: +145

For as long as Drew Brees is under center, the New Orleans Saints’ offense is in good hands.

Last season, Brees was the only quarterback in the NFL to reach the 5,000-yard passing mark, which was also the fifth time that he’d done so in his illustrious career. The 38-year-old ageless wonder also finished the season with an even 70-percent completion percentage, meaning his passing game’s very efficient as it is prolific like in seasons past.

Although New Orleans lost its top receiver in Brandin Cooks to New England, rookie wideout Michael Thomas (92 receptions, 1,137 yards and nine TDs) proved in his debut season that he’s capable of taking over as the team’s top receiving option. The Saints’ backfield also got an overhaul of sorts by getting future Hall-of-Fame running back Adrian Peterson, who could still emerge as an elite rusher under a new team despite concerns with his durability and age, and as a fine complimentary piece in the backfield with Mark Ingram.

The Saints still have a suspect defense, although that unit saw a slight improvement in 2016 by no longer ranking in the bottom of nearly every defensive category in 2015. Facing a relatively-inept Minnesota offense in Week 1 is a good starting point to see how much or how little the D has carried over its improvements the last time out.

It’s also worth noting that the Saints have won four-straight meetings against the Vikings since 2010, albeit that they only went 2-2 against the spread during those contests.

Betting on the Minnesota Vikings (-3.5)

Moneyline: -165

In essence, the Minnesota Vikings are the polar opposites of the Saints. They’re powered by a defense that ranked third in the league in yards allowed in 2016 and was one of just eight teams in the NFL to surrender less than 20 points on average per game. However, their inept offense couldn’t keep up with most teams shortly after key pieces on defense started getting injured, particularly cornerback Xavier Rhodes and defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd.

Strangely enough, quarterback Sam Bradford outdid Brees in passing efficiency, setting a new single-season record for completion percentage at 71.6 percent. However, Bradford finished with less than 4,000 passing yards given his reluctance to take shots downfield, which inevitably hurt his team’s overall offensive production.

Expect the Vikings offense to be just as timid as it was, especially with its offensive line barely getting upgrades to fix the running game. Minnesota had the worst rushing offense in the league last season, which means first-round rookie running back Dalvin Cook will need to find running lanes on his own on more occasions than none.

On a positive note, the Vikes went a decent 5-3 at home last season and an even better 6-2 record against the spread in those contests. On the other hand, failing to make any significant moves during the offseason to improve either side of the ball may come back to haunt them early on.

Writer’s Prediction

The Saints (+3.5) spoil the Week 1 festivities in Minny, 29-20.

The much-awaited NFL regular season has finally arrived! Create a betting account now to place your stakes on Week 1’s slate and beyond!

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Mark
Written by Mark

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