NFL Week 1 Pick: New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings

Matthew Jordan

Tuesday, August 1, 2017 10:56 PM UTC

Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2017 10:56 PM UTC

One of the great things about Week 1 of the NFL season, other than football simply being back, is bettors are treated to a doubleheader on Monday night. That opens with an intriguing Saints-Vikings matchup.

New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings (-3.5, 48)

New Orleans is 10-18 all-time in the regular season against Minnesota, but the Saints have won the past four meetings – most recently in 2014. That streak ends Monday night. Survivor Pick: Vikings.

The No. 1 story line for this game is the return of the greatest Vikings running back ever, likely future Hall of Famer Adrian Peterson, to Minnesota. In absolutely no surprise, the Vikings back in late February announced they were not picking up Peterson’s option for 2017 that would have counted $18 million against the salary cap. Sorry, but not even Walter Payton is worth $18 million against the cap. Peterson was coming off an injury-plagued 2016 season that saw him play just three games and average only 1.9 yards per rush in his 37 carries. Frankly, Peterson looked shot, but the Saints signed the 32-year-old to a two-year deal. Peterson won’t be asked to carry the load in New Orleans as it already has a good tailback in Mark Ingram. The Saints, incidentally, have finished 7-9 three straight seasons and four of the past five. The Vikings won the NFC North in 2015 largely on the back of Peterson but sunk to 8-8 last year because they couldn’t run the ball whatsoever. After coming over in trade last August from Philly, QB Sam Bradford had a solid year in place of the injured Teddy Bridgewater, setting the NFL single-season record for completion percentage.

  • Saints are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games in September.
  • Saints are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 Monday games.
  • Saints are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games in Week 1.
  • Vikings are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games in September.
Free NFL Pick: Vikings -3.5Best Line Offered: WagerWeb

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These teams couldn’t be much more dissimilar. With Drew Brees winning yet another passing yardage title, the Saints were No. 1 in the NFL in total offense and second with 674 pass attempts. Brees lost top receiver Brandin Cooks in trade to New England this offseason, but second-year WR Michael Thomas is an emerging star. The Vikings are a much more conservative team and wouldn’t have attempted as many passes as they had (588) if the running game wasn’t so terrible – the offensive line was partly to blame. Minnesota thinks it solved its running problem with good-looking second-round pick Dalvin Cook, one of the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year favorites. On the flip side, the Vikings ranked third in total defense last year and third against the pass. New Orleans was 27th in total defense and 31st in points allowed (28.4). Brees is amazing, but he tends to be a much different QB (i.e. worse) on the road.

  • Under is 4-0 in Vikings last 4 Monday games.
  • Under is 5-1 in Vikings last 6 games in September.
  • Under is 10-4 in Vikings last 14 vs. NFC.
Free NFL Pick: ‘Under’ 48Best Line Offered: JustBet

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