New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings - 1/14/18 NFL Pick, Odds, and Prediction
New Orleans Saints (12-5) at Minnesota Vikings (13-3)
NFL Football: Sunday, January 14, 2018 at 4:40 pm (U.S. Bank Stadium)
The Line: Minnesota Vikings -5 -- Over/Under: 44 See the Latest Odds
The New Orleans Saints carry their high octane offense into Minnesota to take on the Vikings in the NFC divisional round on Sunday.
The Saints look to build on their home win last weekend against the Carolina Panthers and keep their Super Bowl aspirations alive as they take to the road to battle the defensively stout Minnesota Vikings in a contrast of styles that should make for a very exciting game. The Saints have redefined the use of the running back in the passing game this season as both Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara have been excellent when called upon to carry the rock and catch it out of the back field as such it has added an extra dimension to the Saints offense that can still lean heavily on Drew Brees throwing the ball down field if they need to. The difference for New Orleans here is whether they can put pressure on the Vikings front to get to Case Keenum as they have been one of the most balanced teams in the NFL and if they can’t keep their pivot upright this weekend it could be their downfield and spoil the chance to play in a Super Bowl at home.
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The Vikings meanwhile should be well rested here after receiving a bye last week by virtue of claiming the conference’s second overall seed and now they get a home game against a Saints group who went right down to the wire last weekend against a hard fighting Carolina Panthers team. Minnesota has defied the odds this season as they have had to rely on career backup Case Keenum to lead their offense but he has been excellent behind centre and has led to a breakout for a Vikings offense that can beat you down field with Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen and also between the numbers with Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnon. Minnesota’s defense will be the real key here though as we can expect a limited effort from Michael Thomas with Xavier Rhodes shadowing him but New Orleans has so many game breakers that the Vikings defense will need to be sharp all over the field.
The Saints are 1-4 ATS in their last five overall and 13-5 ATS in their last 18 on the road while the Vikings are 6-2 ATS in their last eight against the NFC and 5-1 ATS in their last six home playoff games. This is going to be a very exciting game and while the Vikes have home field here I think the line is moving in the wrong direction as this one should be a field goal game.