By: Trent Pruitt (@trentbets)
I’m going to have to set up a second t.v. at my sister’s house so I can keep up with the NBA action while this game is going on! Uncle Roger Goodell has blessed us with NFL football on Christmas day! What a gift. Let’s get into this matchup between the Vikings and Saints from the Superdome and lock in a few bets to cash.
Spread: MIN +7 (-120) | NO -7 (+100)
Money Line: MIN (+257) | NO (-307)
Total: 50.5 (O -110, U -110)
Kickoff: 4:30 ET | Mercedes-Benz Superdome | New Orleans, LA
Minnesota Vikings (6-8)
The Vikings lost a hard-fought NFC North battle to the Chicago Bears last weekend at home by a final score of 33-27. It was a back and forth scoring affair for most of the game but Mitch Trubisky was able to match and outperform Kirk Cousins just enough to seal the win for Chicago. The Vikings amassed 407 offensive yards thanks to another great day at the office from Dalvin Cook. Cook racked up 132 yards on a tough front seven of the Bears and that puts him at 1,484 yards on the season. Cousins was 24-35 on the afternoon with 271 yards, 2 TD’s, and an interception.
Minnesota boasts the fifth best offense in terms of yardage but are 14th in scoring. When you have a guy like Cook in the backfield, you have to rely on the run game and that’s what they do. They’re fifth in rushing in terms of yardage with 2,068 yards on the ground as a team. It’s the defense that’s been the issue with Minnesota this season. They’re 23rd in yards and against and 25th in points given up. I mean, that’s what happens when you let Xavier Rhodes walk and replace his production with two rookie corners.
New Orleans Saints (10-4)
As for the Saints, it was sort of a let down last weekend as they welcomed back Drew Brees. They lost 32-29 to the Chiefs on Sunday afternoon while only accumulating 285 offensive yards and going three and out on six drives. Brees was only 15-34 in the contest although he threw three touchdown passes and did his best to keep the game close.
It was far from an excellent outing from the Saints but they can clinch the division with a win on Christmas. The season has gone very well for New Orleans as they are the ninth highest scoring team in the league and allow the sixth fewest points. Drew Brees has started 10 games this season and has a 70.5% completion rate to go along with 2,430 yards and a 21/4 TD/INT ratio. As for the running game, Alvin Kamara leads the charge. He’s racked up 777 yards in nine starts and scored ten TD’s.
Final Analysis & Best Bet
The Saints offense was not playing at a high level last week and they still put up 29 points against the Chiefs. This week they square off against just a mediocre defense in Minnesota. I think Brees is going to pick apart the rookies on the outside but I also think seven points is too much to lay with an offense that went three and out so many times last week. I will be playing the over on 50.5 points (-110). I hate betting overs but here we are again. The Vikings offense is versatile enough to keep pace, if not control the pace of this game. The Saints offense is exceptional but it’s going to be tough for them to try and make the Vikings one dimensional. You have to pick and choose whether you want to try and slow down Cook or keep an extra defender on the field and slow down the passing game. Ultimately I see a Saints win 34-28 here – it’s going to be a barnburner. Take the over and Merry Christmas, friends!
Similar to calories, units don’t count on the holidays. So I’m going to lock in a few prop bets as well because I love the action. I’m taking New Orleans winning margin at 1-13 (+136). This is a pretty thrilling pick with a positive payoff that I believe will have a great chance to hit. Additionally, I’m taking Dalvin Cook at -167 as an anytime TD scorer.
For more sports betting talk, follow me on Twitter: @trentbets