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Saints

vs.

Vikings
 
Division Playoffs

NFL Pick
 

1/14/18
 
By: Jason Green

 
New Orleans Saints (12-5 SU 9-8 ATS) vs. Minnesota Vikings (13-3 SU 11-5 ATS)
 
 The Saints were at home in the Wild Card rounds and beat their NFC South rival in the Carolina Panthers and they head to the Land of 10,000 Lakes to face the Vikings, who they lost to in the season opener. New Orleans did win 12 games, but their lost their season finale and three of their losses came in the 2nd half. Oh, and the 29-19 loss to the Vikings in the first game was in Minnesota. Still the team has Drew Brees, a legit run game, and a defense that ranks 10th in the league in points against. This season the Saints were only 4-4 on the road.
 
 At 5 dimes sportsbook the Vikings are a -5 point favorite with a total of 46.5.
 
 The Vikings had a bye in the Wild Card round of the playoffs and they just need to win two more games to play in the Super Bowl, which will be held on their home field. They won 11 of their last 12 games of the season, including their last three, and they were 7-1 at home. Case Keenum went from 3rd straight QB to MVP candidate and the Minnesota defense ranks first in the league only givine up an average of 15.8 ppg.
 
 The favorite has covered the spread in the last four games between these teams.
 
 In the Wild Card round the Saints beat the Carolina Panthers 31-26 where they withstood a late comeback. The Saints had three fewer yards in the game (413-410), had the game’s only turnover, and only rushed for 41 yards, but Drew Brees put the team onb his back and the defense came up big late. Brees passed for 369 yards with two TD and one INT and the WR duo of Michael Thomas and Ted Ginn Jr. combined for 246 receiving yards. Mark Ingram and rookie Alvin Kamara each made the Pro Bowl this season, but in the win over Carolina they each only had 23 rushing yards and neither averaged over 2.4 yards per carry. New Orleans only rushed for 60 yards in their loss to the Vikings this season.
 
 The Saints may have to be more balanced in this game and run the ball better, but they will be tough to do facing a Minnesota defense that not only ranks 2nd against the run, but 2nd against the pass as well.
 
 The Vikings beat the Chicago Bears 23-10 in their last game of the season and in winning their last three games they only gave up 17 points. Keenum passed for 189 yards with a TD and no INT and Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen combined for 126 receiving yards. Latavius Murray rushed for 111 yards and if the Vikings can run the ball they will be very tough to beat with Keenum and a legit WR corps and a great defense.
 
 Keenum and company will be facing a Saints defense that ranks 15th against the pass and 16th against the run.
 
 The Saints are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games, 13-5 ATS in their last 18 road games, and in their last 9 games after an ATS loss they have an Over record of 7-2.
 
 The Vikings are 34-16-1 ATS in their last 51 home games, 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games facing a team with a winning record, and in their last 6 home games they have an Under record of 5-1.
 
 Jason’s Pick: This game will be close, but have to go with the Saints. Brees has the playoff experience and the team will run the ball better than they did in their last game. Even facing a great defense New Orleans will move the chains and they will not only cover the spread, but get the W as well ending the Vikings hopes of playing the Super Bowl on their home field.

 

Bettorsworld Pick - NFL teams goals each year are of course to make the playoffs and in the process, attempt to secure home field advantage. The Vikings have done just that and the feeling here is that this will be a game where the home field advantage will be huge.

When we run our model using only the last 7 games of the year, the model comes up with a predicted score of 24-14 with the Vikings on top and that sounds about right to us. At anything less than a TD this is a Vikings call. Vikings -5

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