New Orleans Saints vs. Minnesota Vikings Point Spread – Pick

New Orleans Saints (5-1 SU, 4-2 ATS) vs. Minnesota Vikings (4-2-1 SU, 4-2-1 ATS)
Week 8 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday Night Football, October 28, 2017 at 8:20PM EDT
Where: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota
TV: NBC

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: NO +1/MIN -1
Over/Under Total: 52.5

The New Orleans Saints take on the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday Night Football in a battle of streaking NFC teams in week nine. The Saints have won five in a row, while the Vikes have tallied three straight victories after starting off 1-2-1. The last time these teams played was in last season’s playoffs when Minnesota snatched a win from the jaws of defeat with Stefon Diggs’ 61-yard touchdown reception with no time left. Who can come out ahead this time around?

Last week, the Vikings pounded the Jets in a big road-win, 37-17. First-year Vikings QB Kirk Cousins continued his fine play and has been putting up big numbers, getting a lot out of his considerable firepower. The Saints have also looked good, especially after the season started. They opened with a rough loss to Tampa, scratched and clawed to beat the Browns the following week, and then here we are—five straight wins later. This concludes a rough patch where they will play their fourth road game in five games. On Sunday, they fell behind on the road to Baltimore, stormed back late, and had to brave a last-second Ravens TD where only a missed extra-point prevented the game from going to overtime. Maybe this recent patch has them a little weary.

Drew Brees is setting records and still at the top of his game at 39 year of age. This season, he is completing nearly 80% of his throws, with 13 TD strikes and no picks through 7 games. He has a lot of weapons and the scary part is that this offense seems like it hasn’t even hit top-gear yet. Alvin Kamara is a handful in the pass and on the ground, with a returning Mark Ingram looking to add another element of menace. When he gets fully into the swing of things, watch out!

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Over the last several weeks, we see the Saints’ defense making strides. At the beginning of the season, it looked like the New Orleans defense of old—and that isn’t good. They gave up 48 to Tampa, 37 to Atlanta, and they weren’t clutch against the Browns in their narrow miracle win. In giving up 60 total points their last three games, we see them giving the offense more than enough room in which to work. Demario Davis has been a big addition in the middle. Cameron Jordan is still a standout in the pass-rush department. With guys like Tyeler Davison, Sheldon Rankins, and Alex Okafor, the line is formidable and ranked tops in the NFL against the run.

Things didn’t start well for the Vikings this season either with one win in their first four games. But increasingly, we see both sides of the ball coming together. QB Kirk Cousins is getting more-comfortable in this offense. His weapons are starting to thrive more, with the depth in their running game paying off in light of injuries, while the receiving crew is thriving under their new gunslinger. The defense, meanwhile, has been playing with a lot more consistency lately, also being more-disruptive in recent weeks.

It’s fair to say the projected upgrade has manifested at quarterback for the Vikings. Cousins is really good and bringing a lot out of his nice 1-2 punch at wide receiver in Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen. He has also been connecting with TE Kyle Rudolph, Laquon Treadwell, and whoever is at running back. With Dalvin Cook’s status still undefined with a bad hamstring, we see Latavius Murray providing sterling relief, running for 155 yards against the Cardinals and for two touchdowns on Sunday against the Jets. They struggled some on Sunday, but overall, they seem to be hitting their stride with more regularity in recent weeks. While a lot of the same pieces remained from last season, a new quarterback often needs time to find his groove. After such a slow start, don’t look for the Vikes to loosen their grip now after working so hard to get to this spot—now atop the NFC North.

It’s fair to say that the Vikings have gotten it together on the defensive side of the ball the last few weeks. They have given up 17 points in their last two games, more reminiscent of last season’s form. But that was against the Cardinals and Jets. Let’s see how they fare against one of the conference’s better offenses. Are they getting better or has their opposition just become more-manageable? When they played the Rams, they didn’t look very sharp. The same goes for when they played Green Bay. But we see them really tightening up against the run and we’ll see if the Saints are able to get it rolling on the ground in this tough road-spot. In last season’s game in the postseason, they weren’t able to really get the run going against the Vikes.

It’s not even clear how much last season’s game matters in this spot. After all, one team’s quarterback is gone and the conditions have changed. But it was a competitive game last season and should be so again in this spot. I think that both aerial attacks will flourish in this game, with the explosiveness and consistency of the Saints’ offense paying off in spots. But I see the Vikings’ “D” making more of a statement, with the string of road-appearances maybe starting to wear on New Orleans a bit.

Loot’s Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I’m betting on the Minnesota Vikings minus 1 point. Did you know… that you could be wagering on games at discounted odds? There’s a better than good chance that you’re laying -110 odds (or more) with your book. Stop overpaying TODAY by making the switch to BetAnySports Sportsbook! You will be so glad that you did!

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DOCS

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Reduced Juice – Loot explains how reduced odds football betting works and where you can find this valuable asset.

What is a Point Spread? – Many new to the game struggle to understand why one side has a (+) while the other has a (-) in front of a team. We explain what the spread is and how it works.

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Famous Football Players – Biographies of the best and greatest NFL football players of all-time.

Greatest NFL Players of All Time – A list of all time greats at each position. Each position has it’s own dedicated article!

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