The early game in the NFC Playoffs features two teams who seem to be going in opposite directions. New Orleans has won three straight games and six of their last seven, while the Vikings are losers of two straight. Here We preview the game with NFL pick and prediction. Saints Quarterback Drew Brees has been on fire in recent games, leading his team to a 13-3 regular season record and a # 3 seed in the NFC Playoffs. This game also features the largest betting spread and highest point totals of any of this weekends games.
New Orleans is a 7.5 point favorite as the home team and experts are listing the point totals at 49.5. Much of that is due to the Saints prolific offense led by Brees and designed by Head Coach Sean Payton. Brees has All-Pro receiver Michael Thomas as his primary target and dynamic Running Back Alvin Kamara behind him in the backfield.
Minnesota has had an up and down season from it’s quarterback, Kirk Cousins, and need him to step up in this game if they want to have a chance. The good news is that talented Running Back Dalvin Cook will most likely be back for the Vikings after missing the last two games with a shoulder problem. The Saints will need to keep an eye out for Cook and his presence makes the play action pass a more dangerous weapon.
How will injuries affect the game?
Minnesota was hobbled the last two games by Cooks’ injury, but also their other key running back Alexander Mattison. However, both were participants in mid-week practices and appear ready to go. For linebacker Eric Kendricks, there is a chance he may not be. He could be a game time decision. The Saints also have a few hobbled players. The defensive backfield has been slowed by nagging injuries with cornerback Eli Apple (ankle), safety Vonn Bell (knee) and cornerback Marcus Williams (groin) all rehabbing but not ruled out.
Will the Saints remember 2017?
You can bet they will. In the game dubbed “The Minneapolis Miracle”, it was Minnesota winning on a pass from Case Keenum to Stefon Diggs in the closing seconds for the winning touchdown. However, that game was played in Minnesota and this time the Saints will have the home field advantage. You can expect revenge to be on their minds.
Minnesota Vikings vs. New Orleans Saints NFL Pick and Prediction
Even though the Saints lost Brees for five games early in the season, they won every game he missed. That’s the mark of a really good team. Many experts believe they may be the best team in the NFL right now. Minnesota will need their Head Coach Mike Zimmer to design a defensive strategy to slow down the Saints offense to have an opportunity to win, but we don’t see that happening. In a high scoring contest, the Saints will cover and betting the over is the smart NFL pick.
Minnesota Vikings vs. New Orleans Saints
Sunday January 5th, 2020
1:05pm ET @ Mercedes-Benz Stadium
Betting Spread: Saints -7.5
Pick and Prediction: New Orleans Saints -7.5