After two-straight losses for the second time this season, the New Orleans Saints welcome in the Minnesota Vikings on Christmas Day. The Saints have another opportunity to wrap up their NFC South championship for the fourth season in a row, something that’s never been done before in the division. In order to do so, they’ll need to bounce back from a disappointing loss to the Philadelphia Eagles and a lengthy fistfight with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Entering Christmas Eve, the Saints are 6.5-point favorites over the Vikings.
Straight-Up: Minnesota (-105), New Orleans (-115)
Against the Spread: Minnesota (+6.5), New Orleans (-6.5)
Over/Under: o50.5 (-110), u50.5 (-110)
Vs. the Vikings
There is a big difference between the Saints and Vikings playoff series and their regular season history. Minnesota is most noted for knocking off the Saints in two of the last three seasons in the playoffs. However, when these two teams meet in the regular season, the tides are much different.
Since 2008, the Saints have won four of the six contests between these two teams. Minnesota memorably knocked off the Saints to open the 2017 season in their brand new stadium. Before then, you’d have to go back more than a decade to find Minnesota’s other win in 2008. New Orleans is 3-2-1 against the spread, only having been an underdog to the Vikings once. They have also split the over/under evenly 3-3, but have only hit the over in a Saints win once.
So it looks like the Saints would want to keep this game relatively low scoring if the history tells us anything about the results in those circumstances.
Vs. Kirk Cousins
Kirk Cousins entered the NFL in 2012 and has faced the Saints four times. Three games in the regular season and once in the playoffs last season. He is 2-2 vs. the Saints with wins heading up the now Washington Football Team and Minnesota Vikings. He has throw multiple touchdowns in all but the playoff game last season and led the teams to split the over/under 2-2 against the Saints. He is also 3-1 against the spread facing New Orleans.
The Run Game
Has the Saints run game faltered for good or were the last two games just a victim of circumstance? A mobile quarterback in Philly, daring the Chiefs to run last week. Both of those instances might be excusable to an extent, but they won’t be able to slack against Dalvin Cook who nearly rushed for over 100 yards in the team’s last postseason meeting.
Fun fact for the live bettors out there. The Saints have lost only 15 regular season games since 2017. In those losses, New Orleans has let up 100+ team rushing yards in 12. New Orleans is 14-12 against teams that hit that mark, but it seems to be a key component to the losses they have suffered.
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