For the first time since 2007, the Minnesota Vikings will be taking the field without Adrian Peterson in the fold. Peterson, the Vikings’ all-time leading rusher with 11,747 yards, will instead be lined up against the purple and gold for the New Orleans Saints in the Week 1 season opener.
Sportsbook opened the Saints as 3.5-point road underdogs with a total of 48.
In the wake of three straight 7-9 SU seasons, New Orleans has been wading in the waters of mediocrity for some time now. The Saints haven’t been to the postseason since 2013 despite consistent performances from its high-octane offense led by signal-caller Drew Brees.
The biggest problem for the Saints, as always, is the defense. New Orleans’ D ranked 27th in yards allowed and 31st in points allowed in 2016, as they surrendered a bloated 28.4 points per game. Sportsbooks are used to seeing high-scoring games when they take the field, so the totals are perennially high. Sean Payton’s club posted an OVER/UNDER record of 9-7 last season as a result.
The 2016 campaign was a roller-coaster for the Vikings. After a 5-0 start, the wheels started to come off and the squad missed out on the playoffs entirely thanks to an 8-8 SU record. The offensive line was horrid but should be better this time around after some offseason upgrades, while quarterback Sam Bradford is back under center and will be looking to improve on career highs in completions (395), passing yards (3,877) and passer rating (99.3). Bradford completed 71.6 percent of his passes last season – a new NFL record.
If the Vikings are going to make a run in the NFC North, it’s going to be up to the defense to take them there. Minny’s defensive unit is returning nearly every starter and placed third in yards allowed per game in 2016 (344.7).
New Orleans has traditionally been a terrible wager in Week 1 over the years. In the Saints’ last seven season openers, they’re a brutal 1-6 ATS.
Sportsbook Odds & Computer Pick
Betting fans looking to side with the Minnesota Vikings in this one found them as 3.5-point favorites earlier in the week at Sportsbook, while the total was sitting at 48.5.
A 23-20 result in favor of the Vikings was the prediction by the OddsShark handicapping pick engine earlier this week. View the computer score prediction and who will win the pick on the moneyline for all upcoming NFL matchups here.
New Orleans Saints vs Minnesota Vikings Matchup
Team Betting Records & Power Rankings
The New Orleans Saints will look to cover ATS vs their hosts on Monday, as they were 10-5-1 ATS versus the spread last season, while the Minnesota Vikings were 9-7 ATS. New Orleans was 9-7 against the OVER/UNDER total, while Minnesota was 7-9 versus the number. Stay Informed: follow us on Twitter for odds specials, betting line moves and Minnesota vs New Orleans injuries news.
The OddsShark Power Rankings have the Minnesota Vikings at No. 18 and the New Orleans Saints at No. 5 heading into this contest.
Offensively, the game matches up the Minnesota Vikings No. 23-ranked offense last season (20.44 PPG) against a New Orleans Saints defense that ranked No. 31 at 28.38 PPG. The Vikings passing attack averaged 239.75 yards per game, less than the Saints gave up through the air (273.75 YPG on average).
In comparing defenses, the New Orleans Saints owned the league's No. 4-rated front 7 in terms of stopping the run, allowing 89.88 yards per game when on the road. Minnesota, on the other hand, rated No. 32 in generating rushing yards at home.
Recent Outings Betting Recap
Drew Brees led the way last time out for the Saints, connecting for 350 passing yards, but failing to earn the victory in a 38-32 loss to the Falcons at the Georgia Dome.
In their last game, the Vikings got 3 passing scores out of Sam Bradford en route to a 38-10 win over the Bears at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Next Betting Matchups
New Orleans home to New England, Sunday, September 17
Minnesota at Pittsburgh, Sunday, September 17