Free Picks Minnesota Vikings vs New Orleans Saints

Vikings at Saints NFL
Minnesota Vikings vs New Orleans Saints, NFL, Mercedes-Benz Superdome

The Saints (10-4) nearly kept pace with the defending-champion Kansas City Chiefs last week in the return of quarterback Drew Brees. Meanwhile, the Vikings (6-8) were embarrassed in another upset loss, this time at home against the Bears. Minnesota is also stuck in a five-game slump against the spread, as well as two recent losses as the favorite. The Saints have lost consecutive games ATS, so someone will bounce back.

Vikings on brutal ATS slide as playoff hopes hang by a thread

Trends are the lifeline of sports betting, so when we see something as stark as five consecutive losses against the spread for a team, it’s important to shine a light on that. The Minnesota Vikings have failed to cover in five consecutive games ATS, two of which they lost straight up as favorites.

On Christmas Day, they’re looking for an ATS win in their stocking as 7-point favorites (-110 at 888Sport) on various betting sites. More importantly — to them, not the betting public — is that they need a straight-up win to keep their playoff chances alive.

So what’s going on with the Vikings? We know they have an exceptional one-two punch at receiver, as well as Dalvin Cook, who is among the leading rushers and leads the NFL with 15 touchdowns.

Where they’re struggling is defense. The Vikings rank 23rd in total defense (378 yards allowed per game) and 25th in scoring defense (27.7 points allowed per game).

Enter the New Orleans Saints, who got off to a very shaky start with the return of future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees last week. Brees failed to connect on five consecutive pass attempts to start the game, which he had never previously done in his lengthy career.

But he rebounded, leading the Saints to 29 points — just north of their 28.4 average, which is good for ninth in the NFL.

It’s worth noting that the Vikings upset the Saints in the playoffs last year, 26-20, in overtime as 7.5-point underdogs. But nothing is clicking for Minnesota right now, and they clearly aren’t as talented as the team that made the divisional round a season ago.

Go with the Saints, primarily because Brees should be stronger with a game under his belt and secondarily because the Vikings are ice cold ATS. Also, both teams have seen the over hit nine times in 14 games, so feel free to consider grabbing the over on 51.5 points (-111 at 888Sport), too.

Stats

  • Minnesota is 4-6 ATS in its past 10
  • The OVER has cashed in six of the Vikings’ past 10 games
  • New Orleans is 5-5 ATS in its past 10 games
  • The OVER has cashed in five of the Saints’ past 10 games

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Jordan Horrobin is a freelance sports journalist based in Toronto, Ontario, who enjoys sports-related research and telling engaging stories. His work can also be found at Sportsnet, Forbes and elsewhere. Though he abandoned most of his team-specific fandoms in the interest of unbiased analysis, Jordan roots hard for his fantasy football/hockey teams (and he's a complete homer for all things Ohio University). You can follow Jordan on Twitter at @JordanHorrobin

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