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Bet Saints Vikings – Minnesota Pushes New Orleans In High-Octane Shootout

Posted by Stan Simmons on 12/14/2011 2:35:05 PM
bet saints vikings

New Orleans is moving up the online betting ladder in the NFL with their recent hot streak, but they’ll face a tough test in Minnesota this weekend as the Vikings could have their star running back in the lineup, and even without him they have an offense that can at least put a scare into the Saints on the road.

What: NFL Betting
When: Sunday, December 18th, 1:00 PM ET
Where: Mall of America Field at the Metrodome, Minneapolis, MN
Pick: Minnesota Vikings +7

Why Bet On New Orleans Saints (10-3 SU, 9-4 ATS)

Drew Brees continued his MVP-caliber season with a 337-yard, two-touchdown performance in a 22-17 win in Tennessee, completing 36 of his 47 pass attempts. The Saints also grinded out 114 yards on the ground and held the ball for over 37 minutes, which will always increase your chances of winning. New Orleans struggled in the red zone, failing to score on all three attempts, but Brees found Marques Colston twice with big plays in the fourth quarter to lift the Saints to their fifth straight win, and they also got an outstanding effort from the defense, who made plays when it counted. While rookie Jake Locker entered the game and has some success, the Saints stopped the Titans on nine of 10 third-down attempts and slowed down Chris Johnson, who had just 23 yards on 11 carries. The defense is ranked 27th in the league and 30th against the pass, but New Orleans manages to get off the field when they need to and with Brees on the other side of the ball, that makes the Saints a legitimate NFL betting threat for the Super Bowl.

Tight end Jimmy Graham (back) still had five catches for 55 yards, but he was obviously by health problems and he’ll have an MRI this week, so keep a close eye on the injury report. But the Saints have plenty of other weapons to get by with until he gets healthy, so don’t expect New Orleans to risk their second-year star. The defense has to continue to play at their current level to extend their winning streak to six, and the offense will take care of the rest.

Why Bet On Minnesota Vikings (2-11 SU, 5-6-2 ATS)

The Vikings had six turnovers, two of which were returned for touchdowns, and didn’t force any, so they should be content with a 34-28 loss in Detroit, a game that they still could have won if not for a missed facemask call. Christian Ponder was 11-of-21 for 115 yards and two touchdowns, but he was picked off three times, he lost one of his two fumbles and ended up getting the hook. Joe Webb took over and went 12-of-23 for 84 yards and a score, and he also ran for 109 yards and a touchdown, but a first-quarter 21-0 deficit was too much to overcome. The defense held their own, limiting the high-powered Lions to 280 yards, but the offense made far too many mistakes. Without the turnovers, Minnesota may have run away with the game as they racked up 425 yards, including 269 on the ground without Adrian Peterson (of course, the Lions were without the suspended Ndamokung Suh) and they had 29 first downs to 13 for the Lions.

Ponder (hip) had been limping around, but it was his performance that earned him a spot on the bench; however, head coach Leslie Frazier said that Ponder will be under center this weekend. Peterson (ankle) is expected to be back this weekend, but with the Vikings well out of the playoff race, they can afford to be safe with their franchise player. The Saints can be attacked through the air and if Ponder can void turnovers, the Vikings can put up points. New Orleans is only -2 in turnover margin and have only 12 takeaways on the season, but Ponder is a rookie and is prone to mistakes.

How It Will Play Out

NFL betting odds have the Saints as a 7-point favorite on the road in Minnesota, who are 3-2 SU and 5-0 ATS in their last five meetings with New Orleans, who have been the home team for four of those meetings. Four of those games went over the posted total, which isn’t surprising as both are dome teams who love to put up points.

This could be a high-scoring game that comes down to the wire, and Minnesota is 2-3-1 ATS at home while New Orleans is 3-4 ATS on the road. Locker had a decent day against the Saints and if Ponder can convert a few more first downs and take care of the ball, he can keep the team in it. Brees and the Saints are the SU bet to make, but take Minnesota against the sports betting spread.

Saints Vikings Betting Pick: Minnesota Vikings


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