New Orleans Saints vs. Minnesota Vikings Point Spread – Pick ATS 9/11/2017

New Orleans Saints (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) vs. Minnesota Vikings (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
NFL Week 1
Date/Time: Monday, September 11th, 7:30pm
Where: US Bank Stadium - Minneapolis, MN
TV: ESPN
by Bob, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com

Point Spread: NOR +3.5 / MIN -3.5
Over/Under Total: 48

This week there will be two Monday Night Football games. At 10:30pm we get to see a west coast game with the Chargers and Broncos but before that, we have this contest with the Saints and Vikings. Of course, the huge story to this game will be the debut of Adrian Peterson with the Saints taking on his old team. Regardless of how good the game itself is, it will be interesting to see how Peterson plays and the reception he will get from his former team’s fanbase.

Minnesota comes in as a 3.5 point favorite over the New Orleans Saints while the total points are set at 48 combined. As of Wednesday morning, a majority of the betting action liked the Saints to go on the road and cover the spread against the Vikings. 64% of the action is on New Orleans and in regards to the over/under, 57% likes this game to soar over the 48 points. The Saints finished 2016 with a 7-9 record while the Vikings finished at an even 8-8 overall. Both teams have talent and this game should be an interesting and even match up for week one.

The Saints are always dangerous…offensively speaking. Drew Brees is consistently in the top three of the NFL year in and year out in passing yards and touchdowns thrown. Now, with the help of Adrian Peterson, this may make things even easier for Brees and the wide receiver group of the Saints. I predict that New Orleans will have one of the best scoring offenses in the NFL but the major question mark is their defense. In 2016, the New Orleans Saints ranked 31st in the NFL, allowing over 28 points per game. The only defense worse was the San Francisco 49ers. This must improve in 2017 or the Saints will again miss the playoffs no matter how great the offense may be.

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The Vikings are still waiting on the return of Teddy Bridgewater who suffered a near career ending injury in practice before the 2016 season. There is still question of IF AND WHEN he would return ever, if not in 2017. Some say his return this season is not ruled out but many experts are skeptical. For now, the Vikings will rely on Sam Bradford to run the show. Yes, the Vikings lost Peterson but they replaced him in the draft with the first round pick of Dalvin Cook, out of Florida State. Cook should add a spark to the Minnesota run game that will take a lot of pressure off Bradford. If Bradford can just manage the game, I am confident that he can find ways to win. However, he is not the type of QB that can pass the ball 25 to 30 times a game with huge success.

I have a feeling this game will be a shootout. I do think both teams will attempt to establish a run game but in the end the ball will be thrown all over the field, especially by the Saints. The keys will be to make plays on defense. Both defensive fronts level of play will be crucial. History has shown that although Brees is one of the best passers of all time, if you pressure him, he WILL make mistakes due to the confidence he has in himself. If the Vikings can force a few turnovers, I think they can pull away, I will say however, I think the Saints are the better team and should be the favorite.

Based on that, I am going with the Saints in this one. I do not like Bradford in a shootout against Brees. I think the Saints head into Minnesota and win this game something like 34-28.

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