New Orleans Saints vs. Minnesota Vikings 8/9/19 NFL Pick, Odds and Prediction
Photo by Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints
Friday, August 2, 2019 at 6:00 PM (Mercedes Benz Superdome)
New Orleans Saints -2.5 -- O/U: 37
The Minnesota Vikings and the New Orleans Saints meet in week 1 NFL preseason action from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Friday.
The Minnesota Vikings come into the 2019 season looking to bounce back from a frustrating 2018 campaign that saw Minnesota finish the regular season with a record of 8-7-1, ending up 2nd in the NFC North, missing out on the playoff on the final week of the regular season. Kirk Cousins returns under center for the Vikings after throwing for 4,298 yards, 30 touchdowns and 10 interceptions on 70.1% passing last season, the highest completion percentage of his career. Dalvin Cook hopes to finally remain healthy after rushing for a team-high 615 yards last season while Minnesota’ receiving corps brings back a top duo with the likes of Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen who combined for 2,394 yards and 18 touchdowns last season. Danielle Hunter and Linval Joseph return to anchor the D-Line while Anthony Barr is back in the linebacking corps and Xavier Rhodes will lead the secondary to help Minnesota’s defense remain in the top-5 after finishing 4th in the NFL last season in total yardage, giving up just 309.7 yards per game, including the 3rd best pass defense in the league, giving up just 196.3 passing yards per game last season. As a team, Minnesota averaged 345.6 yards of total offense and 22.5 points per game last season while allowing 309.7 yards of total offense and 21.3 points per game last season.
The New Orleans Saints will once again be a favorite in the NFC after finishing the 2018 with a record of 13-3, earning their 2nd straight NFC South title. The Saints received a first round bye, taking down the Eagles in the divisional round before losing a highly-controversial 26-23 overtime decision to the Los Angeles Rams, marking the first time that the Saints have lost at home in the playoffs since 1992. Drew Brees is back again at starting QB for New Orleans after throwing for 3,992 yards, 32 touchdowns and 5 interceptions on 74.4% passing last season. Alvin Kamara and Latavius Mrray come in as arguably one of the best 1-2 combos in any backfield in the NFL, with Kamara who led the team with 883 rushing yards and 14 rushing touchdowns last season as part of his 1,592 all-purpose yards last season. Michael Thomas is bas as the Saints’ top receiving option after catching 125 passes for 1,405 yards and 9 touchdowns last season. Cameron Jordan leads the Saints up front after logging 12 sacks last season while Demario Davis leads the linebackers for New Orleans while the Saints boast a strong secondary with the likes of Eli Apple, Marshon Lattimore and Marcus Sherels who will hope to improve on a secondary that finished bottom-5 in the NFL last season against the pass, allowing 268.9 passing yards per game but finished 2nd against the run, allowing just 80.3 rushing yards per game last season. As a team, New Orleans averaged 379.2 yards of total offense and 31.5 points per game last season, the 3rd highest scoring offense in the NFL. Defensively, the Saints allowed 349.1 yards of total offense and 22.1 points per game.
Minnesota is 35-15-1 ATS in their last 51 games on turf while the under is 4-0 in their last 4 games against the NFC and 5-1 in their last 6 games overall. New Orleans is 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games overall and 0-4 ATS in their last 4 home games while the under is 7-1 in their last 8 games against the NFC. Minnesota is 1-5 ATS in the last 6 meetings between these two teams.
I’ll say this a lot for the next couple of weeks, betting on preseason action is tough because you never really know how much time the starters, if any, are going to see, and betting on preseason football is all about who has more depth as guys battle for positioning on the depth chart. However, the Saints not only have more depth side by side in my opinion, they’re also going to be playing with a chip on their shoulder all season after the way their season ended in controversy last year. I have high hopes for Minnesota, but the Saints are coming into this year with a take no prisoners attitude and I think that it starts on day 1 so I’ll lay the points with New Orleans in this spot.