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Surging Saints on a Quest for Six Straight Wins Sunday Night

The Saints probably had many sleepless nights after being on the wrong end of the Minneapolis Miracle when they lost in dramatic fashion on the final play of their divisional playoff game at Minnesota last season. They won’t get even for the heartbreaking loss, but they will have an opportunity to give the Vikings a dose of insomnia with the two teams set to go toe to toe in Week 8’s best matchup. The spread is set at EVEN at most sportsbooks with a total of 52.

Both teams are starting to stand out as serious Super Bowl contenders with the Saints on a five-game win streak while the Vikings are finding some consistency of their own with three straight wins.

Shark Bites
  • The Vikings are 29-11-1 ATS in their last 41 games at home.
  • Kirk Cousins threw for 322 yards and 3 TDs in a game vs the Saints last season.
  • The Saints are averaging 35.75 points per game over their last four games.

Saints vs Vikings Game Center

Team Scoring Analysis

A good case can be made that the Saints are the better team and better than when these two teams met in the playoffs last year. This isn’t the same suffocating Minnesota defense that dominated its way to the NFC title game last season as the Vikings are allowing an average of 23.6 points per game which is a significant drop-off from the 17.4 they allowed last season. With the defense in decline, it’s unlikely that they get back on track vs a Saints team that’s averaging 35.75 points per game over its last four games.

The Minnesota offense might be able to make up for the early-season shortcomings on defense, however. Excluding the dud vs the Bills where the Vikings somehow only scored six points, they’re averaging 28.5 points per game. They shouldn’t have much of an issue keeping pace with the explosive Saints offense, as New Orleans is allowing 27.2 points per game, sixth-worst in the NFL.

Vikings are Money in the Bank at U.S. Bank Stadium

You might assume that a team that’s been so dominant against the spread at home might get a little bit more love from oddsmakers, but that’s not the case for the Vikings, who look like they’re rounding into form after a rough start. Minnesota is 29-11-1 ATS in its last 41 games at home which of course dates back to its time playing at TCF Bank Stadium and the Metrodome. With the Vikings riding a three-game win streak, which includes two double-digit wins, it’s entirely possible that they’re being undervalued when you factor in how great a bet they’ve been at home.

The Saints are just 1-7 SU in their last eight games on the road vs the Vikings. Two of those losses occurred last season, but the other five took place between 1994 and 2005 so this shouldn’t be factored into your handicapping.

Quarterback Showcase

As pointed out above, we have two vulnerable defenses, so Drew Brees and Kirk Cousins should be able to fill the stat sheet. Brees is off to quite possibly the best start of his career and will be in the MVP conversation for the remainder of the season. Through six games he’s tossed 13 touchdown passes and has a 121.6 QB rating, but most impressively, he has thrown zero interceptions while averaging 36.6 pass attempts per game.

As for Kirk Cousins, he’s not quite living up to that contract just yet, but he’s posted a decent 14 TDs to three interceptions with a 101.8 QB rating. As a member of the Redskins last season, he torched this Saints defense for 322 yards and three touchdown passes. The Saints have the best rush defense in the league, allowing just 72.3 rushing yards per game, meaning the Vikings’ best option to move the ball will be through the air. This is a good strategy with the Saints allowing the fifth-most passing yards per game so far this season, so expect a busy day for Cousins, Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs.

Best Bet for Saints vs Vikings

If you actually read the content above, it should be crystal clear that I expect a lot of points. As a result, I’m betting OVER 52 points. Saints games this season have had an average combined score of 61.17 points and Sunday’s total probably won’t be far off from this number.