• New Orleans and Minnesota meet in a compelling SNF showdown of red-hot division leaders. Which NFC power should you bet on?
By Scott Gramling
October 24, 2018

New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings (-1)

Sun. 10/28, 8:20 p.m. ET

Four things you need to know before betting on New Orleans-Minnesota:

1. The last time these teams met was in this past January’s playoffs with Minnesota pulling off an improbable 29-24 victory thanks to a 61-yard pass from Case Keenum to Stefon Diggs on the game’s final play. While the Vikings have gone 3-0 both straight up and against the spread in October this season, the Saints have won five consecutive games straight up and four consecutive against the spread. New Orleans has been the beneficiary of some good fortune along the way, escaping Baltimore with a 24-23 victory on Sunday after Ravens kicker Justin Tucker missed an extra point for the first time in his career. The Saints’ win streak began when Browns kicker Zane Gonzalez missed two field goals and two extra points—including what would’ve been a go-ahead extra point with 1:16 remaining and a potential game-tying field goal from 52 yards out with eight seconds left—in what turned out to be a 21-18 Saints victory.

2. The Vikings’ current three-game win streak started with a road victory in Philadelphia and continued with back-to-back double-digit wins against the Cardinals and Jets. Much of the team’s recent success has been due to its improved ground attack, as running back Latavius Murray has rushed for 224 yards on 39 carries (5.7 yards per rush) over the past two games. Minnesota was able to have its first turnover-free game versus the Jets this past Sunday, and there’s a good chance the team will make it two straight turnover-free games with New Orleans having tallied only five takeaways all season.

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3. Although New Orleans ranks sixth in the NFL with an average of 8.5 yards per passing attempt, Minnesota is 4-1-1 against the spread since the start of the 2016 when facing an opponent that’s averaging at least 7.5 yards per attempt. In two games against the Saints last season, the Vikings defense held New Orleans to 21.5 points per game and just 70 rushing yards per game on 3.1 yards per carry. Minnesota also held Saints quarterback Drew Brees to fewer than 300 passing yards in each of the victories—29-19 during the regular season and 29-24 in the aforementioned playoff win.

4. While it’s tempting to take points with teams on winning streaks, road underdogs have gone 9-30-2 against the spread in games prior to the midway point of a season when coming off three or more consecutive victories with the average margin in those games having been more than eight points per game for the favored team. Minnesota has gone 9-1 straight up and 8-2 against the spread over its past 10 games against NFC South opponents, with six of the victories having been by 10 or more points despite none of the point spreads having been more than 6 points.

Pick: Minnesota -1

Confidence Level: High (on a scale of Low/Moderate/High/Very High/Extremely High)

Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)