The Minnesota Vikings (4-2) are set to host the New Orleans Saints (5-1) on Sunday Night Football. Kickoff is set for 8:20 EST at U.S. Bank Stadium and will be televised nationally on NBC.
Oddsmakers currently have the Vikings listed as a slim 1-point home favorite with the total set for 52 points. Click here for a full look at the Week 8 NFL betting schedule and for more links to our game previews.
Vikings vs Saints NFL Betting Odds & Vegas Game Preview
New Orleans comes into this one off a thrilling 24-23 win at Baltimore as a 3-point dog. The Saints went into the 4th quarter trailing 17-7, but had a 24-17 lead before they hit the 2-minute warning. The Ravens responded with a 6-play 81-yard TD drive, but Justin Tucker missed the extra point to allow New Orleans to secure the victory. It was one of the more improbable outcomes, as Tucker had never missed a PAT in his career (was 222 for 222). That’s now 5 straight wins for the Saints following that shocking home loss to the Bucs in Week 1.
Minnesota enters off a 37-17 road win over the Jets. It took the Vikings a little bit to get going offensively, as they had just a 10-7 lead at the half, but Kirk Cousins, Latavius Murray and Adam Thielen stepped up big over the final two quarters. Minnesota has now won three straight after that disappointing 1-2-1 start.
These two teams actually met twice last season, but most only remember the epic playoff game in the Divisional Round. The Vikings led 17-0 at the half, before New Orleans stormed back to take a 24-23 lead with 25 seconds to play. That set up the “Minneapolis Miracle,” as Case Keenum hit Stefon Diggs for a 61-yard TD as time expired. As far the regular-season meeting, the Vikings won 29-19 at home in Week 1.
Free NFL Betting Prediction & Game Pick: Saints +1
When I first looked at this game I was leaning heavily towards taking the Vikings at basically a pick’em at home. However, my lean here would have to be to roll the dice with New Orleans.
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I’m usually not huge on revenge in the NFL, but New Orleans had to stew on that loss to the Vikings in last year’s playoffs for an entire offseason. I know every game is huge in the NFL, especially this early in the regular-season, but I have to think this one means just a little bit more than the rest to these Saints.
That’s not the only reason I’m taking New Orleans in this one. I have major concerns with the injury report in Minnesota. While the big headline is that star defensive end Everson Griffen has returned to the team, there’s a bunch of other big names who might not play and it’s still up in the air if Griffen will play (I think he will).
Linebacker Anthony Barr had to leave the Vikings last game against the Jets and is questionable to play (seems a bit unlikely with it being a hamstring injury). Safety Andrew Sendejo, corner Xavier Rhodes and defensive tackle Linval Joseph are also all questionable to play.
I just think with Drew Brees and that Saints high-powered offense coming into this game playing with a ton of confidence, it’s going to be really hard for Minnesota to slow them down if they are down all those starters. Keep in mind, even if the Vikings were at full strength, it would be a challenge to slow down this offense.
I’m also not sold on this Vikings offense just yet. Kirk Cousins has played well, but they have been hit or miss. I know they just put up 37 points on the Jets, but a lot of that was a result of 4 New York turnover, as Minnesota only had 316 total yards and 15 first downs. The offense has been pretty one dimensional with the passing attack with Dalvin Cook out and the Saints have the league’s No. 1 ranked run defense (72.3 ypg). New Orleans has also been playing much better defensively over the last few games and are going to give a full effort in this one.
I’ll definitely be monitoring the injuries for the Vikings before making a final call on this one, but as of right now I would have to lean New Orleans. Give me the Saints +1