Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints 9/21/14 NFL Pick, Odds, Prediction
Minnesota Vikings (1-1) at New Orleans Saints (0-2)
NFL Football: Sunday, September 21, 2014 at 1:00 pm (Mercedes-Benz Superdome)
The Line: New Orleans Saints -10 -- Over/Under: 49 See the Latest Odds
The New Orleans Saints look to win their first game of the season as they host the Minnesota Vikings from the Superdome in New Orleans.
The Minnesota Vikings enter this contest at 1-1 after having their way with the Rams in week one and getting blasted by the Patriots 30-7 in week two. The Vikings scored the first touchdown of the game against New England for an early 7-0 lead, but the success was fleeting as the Patriots quickly tied the game after one of quarterback Matt Cassel’s four interceptions and never looked back in the rout. Cassel completed just 53% of his passes on the day and was under constant pressure getting sacked six times. Cordarrelle Patterson led the team in receiving with 56 yards on four catches and TE Kyle Rudolph added five catches for 53 yards. Matt Asiata didn’t have much success running the ball in Adrian Peterson’s absence but did catch five passes for 48 yards and the team’s only score.
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The Vikings defense struggled immensely against the run in week two allowing 150 yards and 4.1 yards per carry to the Patriots – that deficiency figures to carry over here as the Saints actually boast the fifth best rushing attack thus far in addition to the aerial potency we’ve come to expect. It would be fair to expect the Minnesota offense to struggle as well given the crowd noise inside the Superdome coupled with the lack of offensive identity when playing without star back Adrian Peterson.
The New Orleans Saints have lost two nail biters to start the season as they enter this contest 0-2. Last week against the Browns, the Saints rallied to take a one point lead into the final minutes of the fourth quarter, but the defense allowed the Browns to engineer a game winning drive from their own four yard line in a gut wrenching loss. Drew Brees has been his usual self through the first two games and found nice rhythm with Jimmy Graham last week as the star tight end hauled in ten catches for 118 yards and two TD’s. Mark Ingram was also highly effective in the backfield last week with 83 yards on 11 carries while also catching three passes for 21 yards -- unfortunately Ingram will miss up to two months with a hand injury leaving an increased workload for Pierre Thomas and Khiry Robinson in this contest.
The Saints have not lost in the Superdome since 2012 and it would be foolish to think they buck that trend here. The real question is whether the Saints can manage to cover the spread, or if the Vikings will do just enough to hang around and get a cheap cover late in the game when the Saints are content to sit back on their lead. With Drew Brees coming off back-to-back losses, I wouldn’t bank on the Saints offense putting on the brakes at all though.
This line only figures to climb higher as public money enters the market, so get your tickets in early and comfortably ride the Saints as your survivor pick this week.