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Spread in Vikings vs Saints NFC Wild Card Opens at New Orleans -7.5

Drew Brees dropping back to pass
Oddsmakers have set an opening line favoring the New Orleans Saints by 7.5 points over the visiting Minnesota Vikings in their NFC Wild Card game. Photo by Kelly Bailey (Wikimedia)
  • Opening line on the New Orleans Saints-Minnesota Vikings NFC Wild Card game lists the hometown Saints at 7.5-point favorites
  • Minnesota has won three of four playoff meetings from the Saints
  • The teams have split two previous postseason meetings at New Orleans

The last time the New Orleans Saints and Minnesota Vikings met in the postseason, there was a miraculous conclusion. Well, at least from a Vikings point of view there was.

In the 2017 NFC Divisional Playoff Round, Vikings receiver Stefon Diggs went for a 61-yard touchdown as time expired to give Minnesota a stunning 29-24 victory. It was the first time in NFL history that a postseason game ended with a game-winning TD as regulation time expired.

Oddsmakers are not counting on a repeat performance. They have established the 13-3 Saints as healthy 7.5-point favorites over the visiting 10-6 Vikings when the two clubs meet on Sunday, 1:05 pm at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Minnesota Vikings vs New Orleans Saints NFC Wild Card Odds

Team Moneyline Spread Total
Minnesota Vikings +285 +7.5 (-115) Over 46.0 (-110)
New Orleans Saints -360 -7.5 (-105) Under 46.0 (-110)

Odds taken Dec. 30

New Orleans has won three straight at home over Minnesota and is 6-2 straight up at home this season.

Saints Firing on All Cylinders

There’s an old saying that it’s not necessarily the best team that wins the championship, but rather the team that’s playing the best. If so, that bodes well for the Saints.

The Saints scored at least 40 points in each of their final four games. Since Week 11, New Orleans has averaged an NFL-leading 36.3 points per game.  That’s certainly something to keep in mind, considering that the total on this game is set at what seems to be a very low 46 points.

Running back Alvin Kamara scored two touchdowns through the first 15 weeks of the season. He’s found the end zone four times in the past two weeks. Tight end Jared Cook has been on the receiving end of five TD passes over the past four games. He finished with a career-high nine scoring receptions.

Quarterback Drew Brees has thrown for 15 TDs in his last four games, and hasn’t been intercepted. Wide receiver Michael Thomas finished with an NFL-record 149 receptions.

The Saints turned the ball over just eight times all season. That’s an all-time NFL low.

Vikings Finish on a Low

Minnesota closed out the regular season with consecutive losses to the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears. It was the first time the Vikings lost consecutive games all season long.

The Vikings have lost their last four road playoff games, including a 31-28 overtime loss at New Orleans in the 2009 NFC Championship Game.

They’ve lost the last three times they played in the Wild Card Round. Minnesota routed the Saints 44-10 at New Orleans in a 1987 NFC Wild Card game.

Minnesota was just 1-4 against teams with winning records this season.

Line Will March on Toward Saints

The odds are stacked against the Vikings. Only two teams – the 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers and the 2010 Packers – won the Super Bowl as a #6 seed.

Minnesota likes to operate a ball-control offense but both of the Vikings’ top two running backs – Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison – are ailing. That puts more pressure on QB Kirk Cousins to come up big, and this has never proven to be a recipe for success.

Already a 7.5-point pick, it might seem a bit much to anticipate the line growing even further in favor of the Saints but that’s the only direction it will go.

It’s hard to envision much action going on the Vikings for this game. New Orleans simply has too many offensive weapons.

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