Final score update: The Vikings beat the Saints 26-20 in overtime. The outright win gave them the cover and the game came in under the point total.
The New Orleans Saints host the Minnesota Vikings in one of the two NFC Wild Card games to open the 2020 NFL Playoffs. The Saints opened as a 6.5-point favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook, but the line climbed to eight points overnight. If the Saints win the game, they will face the Green Bay Packers in the Divisional round. If the Vikings win, they will face the San Francisco 49ers.
The Vikings enter the post-season as a 10-6 wildcard team, but may be one of the most consistent and complete squads in the entire league. They rank seventh in Football Outsiders DVOA on defense, and 10th on offense. Minnesota is sixth in adjusted net yards per pass attempt, and seventh in that statistic on defense. They went 0-4 against the Packers and Bears in 2019, but 10-2 against everyone else. Though the Vikings recorded three less wins than the Saints this year, it is worth noting that they are only apart by 13 in point differential.
New Orleans would have likely been a public favorite to win the title had they been able to earn a bye. Unfortunately for them, 13 wins were only enough to be the third seed this year in the NFC. They are still excellent, ranking 11th in defensive DVOA and fourth in offense. Quarterback is the obvious edge here for the Saints, as Drew Brees is at the tail-end of what has been a masterful career. He finished the year third in adjusted net yards per pass attempt, while Cousins finished seventh. Cousins isn’t trash by any means, but has a reputation for being unable to win big games. Otherwise, these teams appear to be incredibly close on paper.
Vikings at Saints
Point Spread: Vikings +8
Total Points: 48
Money Line: Saints -345; Vikings +295
Overall: Vikings 10-6; Saints 13-3
ATS: Vikings 9-7; Saints 11-5
O/U: Vikings 9-7; Saints 9-7
Players to watch: CB Mackensie Alexander (knee), LB Eric Kendricks (quadricep), S Andrew Sendejo (illness), DE Stephen Weatherly (illness), DE Ifeadi Odenigbo (hamstring), RB Dalvin Cook (shoulder), CB Mike Hughes (neck), S Jayron Kearse (foot), RB Alexander Mattison (ankle), CB Xavier Rhodes (ankle), DT Shamar Stephen (knee)
Players to watch: CB Eli Apple (ankle), RB Zach Line (knee), S Vonn Bell (knee), WR Michael Thomas (hand), RB Dwayne Washington (knee), WR Marcus Williams (groin)
- The Saints have won 10 of their last 12 games at Mercedes-Benz Superdome against teams that held a winning record.
- The Vikings have covered the spread in each of their last 12 day games following a loss.
- Each of the Vikings’ last five road games have gone OVER the total points line.
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