Next Sunday at 4:40 PM EST, the New Orleans Saints will be going to the U.S. Bank Stadium to take on the Minnesota Vikings at home. The lines opened with a 3.5 point spread for the Vikings to cover, which has since climbed by half a point; and a 44.5 point game total, which has since climbed by half a point. The betting is going against them to cover that spread however, with 59% of the bettors backing the Saints and 41% backing Minnesota.
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The Saints are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 January games, 1-4 in their last 5 games overall, and 13-5 in their last 18 road games. Their O/U trends are 4-1 in their last 5 games on field-turf, 9-3-1 in their last 13 playoff games, and 3-1-1 in their last 5 Divisional Playoff games. They also stand 4-0 ATS in their last 4 meetings with the Vikings.
The Vikings are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 playoff home games, 6-2 in their last 8 games vs. NFC, and 4-1 vs. a team with a winning record. Their O/U trend are 1-5 in their last 6 home games, 1-4 in their last 5 games overall, and 1-7-1 in their last 9 playoff games. The two teams also share an O/U trend of 5-0-1 in their last 6 meetings when playing in Minnesota.
The Saints won their NFC Wildcard 31-26 against the Panthers last week with Drew Brees completing 23 of 33 passes for 376 yards, 2 scores, and a pick. Alvin Kamara led the ground with 10 carries for 23 yards and a score and Michael Thomas was the star receiver with 8 receptions for 131 yards. The Vikings secured a 1st round bye but two weeks prior, they dominated the Chicago Bears 23-10 on New Year’s Eve. Case Keenum completed 21 of 29 passes for 189 yards and a score while Latavius Murray led the ground with 20 carries for 111 yards and 2 scores and Stefon Diggs led the receivers with 6 catches for 65 yards and the touchdown pass from Keenum.
Our Free NFL Prediction: The Saints’ victory was definitely a hard-earned one as their defence has to take a stand to defend their 5-point lead numerous times right down to the last minute. Their running game was completely shut down as Kamara and Mark Ingram both struggled to find the yards but Carolina’s defence could not find an answer for Brees who connected to 8 different receivers; two of which were Kamara and Ingram. Minnesota’s game was no surprise as their defence dominated the Bears and Murray went to work to put up the points. Coming into this game, that defense will have to show a dominating performance here as well to make sure they seal both Brees and the Saints’ running game. They did beat New Orleans before in the regular season but as the game between the Rams and the Falcons showed, experience in the playoffs carry significant weight and the Vikings are a young team. I say take New Orleans.