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Betting against the Vikings injuries in the Wild Card round

The Saints host a Vikings team depleted in the secondary. We break down the issues and why it makes sense to lay the points.

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees and Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins talk following a preseason game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.  Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints host the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday in a Wild Card round matchup many think could be a one-sided affair. The Saints offense is rolling heading into the playoffs, but it is worth noting the Vikings get Dalvin Cook back and hopefully a little healthier than he’s been in recent weeks.

The game kicks off Wild Card Sunday at 1:05 p.m. ET on FOX. The Saints are an eight-point favorite over the Vikings at DraftKings Sportsbook, and the point total is 49.5 as of Friday afternoon.

Injury report

Vikings

Things just got a whole lot worse for the Vikings’ secondary. Mackensie Alexander is out and Mike Hughes was placed on injured reserve. Trae Waynes and Xavier Rhodes have their work cut out for them depending on how the Vikings approach all-world receiver Michael Thomas.

Out: CB Mackensie Alexander (knee), CB
Questionable: DE Ifeadi Odenigbo (hamstring

Saints

The Saints defense is banged up from earlier in the year, and losing Mario Edwards costs them some line depth. If Craig Robertson can’t go on Sunday, that will be another key depth loss.

Out: DE Mario Edwards (hamstring)
Questionable: LB Craig Robertson (hamstring)

Betting splits

The betting public is decidedly one-sided on this game at DraftKings Sportsbook. 77 percent of handle and tickets bet on the point spread are on the Saints (-7.5), while 90 percent of handle and 89 percent of tickets bet on the money line are on the Saints. People expect a shootout in this one with 86 percent of handle and 80 percent of tickets bet on the over. The point total currently sits at 49.5.

Pick Against the Spread

Early in the week, I was leaning Saints to cover at -8 and over the point total of then 48. I’m sticking with it, primarily because of the Vikings injury issues. Laying eight in a playoff game is never ideal, but the secondary injuries are a big issue for Minnesota.

The Vikings could cover in a shootout, but their best chance to win is keeping this game under the point total. The Vikings have an explosive offense, but I just don’t think it can quite match up shot for shot with what the Saints put out there. Add in the banged up secondary, and it becomes that much more difficult.

You might be better suited teasing down the Saints number if you’re not quite comfortable with it, but I think they can still cover the eight in a big win.

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