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New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings - 9/11/17 NFL Pick, Odds, and Prediction

New Orleans Saints (0-0) at Minnesota Vikings (0-0)

NFL Football: Monday, September 11, 2017 at 7:10 pm (U.S. Bank Stadium)

The Line: Minnesota Vikings -3 -- Over/Under: 48 See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN

The New Orleans Saints and the Minnesota Vikings face off in the first half of a Monday night doubleheader to kick off their respective 2017 NFL regular season schedules.

The New Orleans Saints will look to kick this season off on the right foot after finishing the preseason with a 2-2 record after falling to the Ravens, 14-13, in their preseason finale. Drew Brees returns for yet another season as the starting QB in New Orleans, putting up yet another 5,000 yard season, throwing for 5,208 yards, 37 TDs and 15 picks. The interesting part for the Saints offensively, is where will Adrian Peterson fit in the offense, with many expecting Mark Ingram to lead the ground game for the Saints heading into the season. Michael Thomas will hope to replicate the success from his rookie season in 2016, racking up over 1,100 yards and 9 touchdowns while Ted Ginn Jr. joins the fray to add a speed threat for the Saints on the outside while also adding a special teams stud. Defensively, the Saints hpe that 2017 11th overall pick, defensive back Marshon Lattimore out of Ohio State, can help tighten up a Saints’ defense that was shredded through the air last season, allowing a league-worst 273.8 yards per game last season.

New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings - 9/11/17 NFL Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings will hope to find some consistency to start the season after alternating wins and losses in the preseason to finish with a 2-2 record, including a 30-9 beatdown in their preseason finale against Miami. Sam Bradford will get yet another season starting under center for Minnesota, with Teddy Bridgewater’s inability to stay healthy on the field, combined with a solid 2016 campaign that saw the former 1st overall pick throw for just under 3,900 yards with 20 touchdowns compared to 5 picks. Minnesota hopes to have also found their new franchise running back going forward, taking Florida State standout Dalvin Cook in the 2nd round of the 2017 draft. Cook racked up 1,765 yards and 19 touchdowns for the Seminoles last season and his 2nd straight campaign with over 1,500 yards and 19 touchdowns. Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen return to lead the Vikings’ receiving corps along with Jarius Wright and Laquon Treadwell lurking in the shadows as one of the more athletic receiving groups in the NFL. Defensively, the Vikings will try to maintain their standing amongst the NFL’s elite, finishing 3rd last season in total yards and passing yards against per game. Where the Vikes will need to improve is defending against the run, as they allowed 106.9 yards on the ground per game last season.

New Orleans is 9-1 ATS in their last 10 road games and 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games against the NFC while the over is 11-5 in their last 16 Monday nighters. Minnesota is 22-7 ATS in their last 29 home games and 38-17 ATS in their last 55 games overall while the under is 10-4 in their last 14 games against the NFC. The favorite is 5-2 ATS in the last 7 meetings between these two teams.

Brees had a solid season last year, but the New Orleans offense isn’t as effective on the road as it is in the Superdome. Minnesota has a rock solid defense and has the horses offensively to keep up with the Saints’ aerial attack. This could be a game where we see Bradford tear up a New Orleans secondary that didn’t instill much confidence defending the pass last season and I think laying the points with the Vikings on home soil is the way to go in this one. 

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