Vikings vs. Saints Predictions for NFL Prop Betting Odds
Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints; Mercedes-Benz Superdome, 1:05 p.m. EST. Jan 5, 2020.
The first wild-card game on Sunday takes place at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, and it's a rematch of the 2017 Divisional Round game where the now-infamous "Minnesota Miracle" took place. For those of you who don't remember, the Saints held a 24-23 lead with time winding down in the fourth quarter. On the last play of the game, Case Keenum threw a 27-yard pass to Stefon Diggs, who was able to evade two tackles and take it all the way for a 61-yard touchdown. It truly was a miracle. However, for the Saints, it would be the first of two straight heartbreaking endings to their season.
Both teams will say that the 2017 meeting doesn't matter in terms of how this year's game is going to play out. But for the Saints, I believe it's a chance at redemption for them and I believe they get the job done despite facing a Vikings team that has been impressive at times this year.
The Saints can take solace in the fact that this game is being played indoors as they are 6-2 on their home turf, whereas Minnesota is just 4-4 on the road. From a statistical perspective, the Saints are ranked ninth in total yards, seventh in passing yards, 16th in rushing yards, third in points and 10th in third-down percentage. Those are the kind of numbers we've come to expect from a Drew Brees-led team, but it's the defense that has really stepped up to compliment the offense. The defense ranks 11th in total yards, 20th in passing yards, fourth in rushing yards, 13th in points and sixth in third-down percentage.
We know the Vikings' bread and butter is their rushing attack as they ranked sixth overall. However, if the Vikings have any shot at winning this game, they'll need to rely on Kirk Cousins throwing the football against the Saints' pass defense. Dalvin Cook should be healthy enough to be effective. However, against the fourth-ranked run defense, it'll be tough sledding inside. The Vikings middling defense will also need to step up in a big way as they rank 11th in yards per game, 15 th in passing yards, 13th in rushing yards, fifth in points and 19th in third-down percentage.
As of writing this, the Saints are favored by eight points and the total is set at 50. The Saints could be a great teaser option in order to get them down to under the key number of three using a six-point teaser. However, I've circled a few props that I believe give us the best chance to win some money on this game.
Team Total Points - New Orleans "Over" 13.5 First Half Points (-150)
We aren't exactly crazy about laying -150 with a first-half play. However, the way the Saints play at home, we believe this may be the best bet of the entire game. We've seen how crazy and raucous the Superdome can be in big games. And with the revenge factor from 2017 in play, and a Saints team that comes into this game winners of three straight, we believe the Saints are going to ride the high and put points on the board early and often. The Saints have a plethora of weapons they can attack you with. And with the somewhat revitalized Alvin Kamara running the football (four touchdowns in his last two games; one in his previous 12 games), the Vikings defense is going to struggle to figure out which option to take away. The Saints have scored more than 14 points in three straight home games, and we see that trend continuing on Sunday afternoon.
Longest Touchdown Yardage in the Game - "Over" 41.5 yards (-115)
We like this bet to go over the number for a few reasons. The first being the fact that the Saints - a pass-happy team - are at home and will likely be the more aggressive of the two teams in terms of play calling. The Saints have Michael Thomas to throw the ball to along with speedster Ted Ginn Jr. and Jared Cook. Not to mention, Kamara can break a big play off at any time as a rusher or as a pass-catching back out of the backfield. The Vikings do have two great receivers in their own right with Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen. Both of these guys can bust loose for a long score, as can Dalvin Cook, who runs downhill and has extremely good acceleration and top speed in the open field. With points expected, it's only a matter of time before one of these two high-powered offenses break a big play for a score.
Anytime Touchdown Scorer - Alvin Kamara (-160)
We know that this is a little high on the juice end for anytime touchdown scorer, but we don't think the Vikings will have enough on defense to contain the plethora of options the Saints can throw at them. Alvin Kamara was essentially a fantasy bust this season, accounting for only one touchdown prior to Week 15. Since then, he's found the endzone in two straight weeks and has scored a total of four touchdowns. We expect the Vikings to key in on Michael Thomas and force Brees to go elsewhere with the football, and that's why we like the dual-threat ability of Kamara as a rusher and pass-catching back out of the backfield. Kamara continues his scoring ways and helps us cash in on our first prop selection in this piece.
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