Week 8 SNF Capper Court: Slight Lean to Visiting Saints Over Vikings

nfl week 8 saints vikings REGULAR

SBR Staff

Monday, October 22, 2018 10:02 PM UTC

Monday, Oct. 22, 2018 10:02 PM UTC

Welcome to the "Capper Court," where five of SBR's NFL handicappers will provide their opinions on Thursday night and Sunday night NFL games. The majority rules! It's a terrific Saints-Vikings matchup on SNF for Week 8.

New Orleans (5-1 SU, 4-2 ATS) at Minnesota (4-2 SU, 4-2 ATS)Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC)Free Majority Pick: Saints +1.5 Opening LineBest Line Offered: BetOnline

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Matthew Jordan:

What would you list the “over/under” for number of times that ESPN shows the “Minneapolis Miracle” this week? Of course, the Vikings shocked the Saints at U.S. Bank Stadium in last year’s Divisional Round, 29-24, on Stefon Diggs’ 61-yard catch and run touchdown from Case Keenum as time expired – the first walk-off touchdown in NFL playoff history. Poor Saints defensive back Marcus Williams will never live that down. The Saints had rallied from a 17-0 halftime deficit to lead with 25 seconds to go. Minnesota would get trashed the following week in Philadelphia as it attempted to become the first team to play in a Super Bowl in its own stadium. Of course, Keenum is now in Denver. The Vikings also beat the visiting Saints in Week 1 last year and that day’s starting QB, Sam Bradford, is riding the pine in Arizona.

This is certainly one of the most important NFC games of the year, with this writing believing the winner will eventually be the conference’s No. 2 playoff seed behind the L.A. Rams. Since losing in Los Angeles in Week 4, the Vikings have been very impressive in three straight wins, each by a larger margin than the last. The defense is starting to play to expectations, and Adam Thielen has become Steve Largent, tying a league record with seven straight 100-yard receiving games to open the season. However, some bad news from Sunday’s win at the Jets as top cornerback Xavier Rhodes sprained his ankle. The Saints rallied from 10 down in the fourth to win in Baltimore on Sunday when Ravens kicker Justin Tucker missed the first PAT of his career. That’s five straight wins for Drew Brees & Co. Early action on the Saints has pushed this line down from 2.5 to 1.5. That’s fine by me. Minnesota has covered 11 of its past 12 at home vs. teams with a winning road record. New Orleans has dropped five of its past six at night.

Swinging Johnson:

The Vikings sit all alone atop the NFC North after their 37-17 dismantling of the Jets last week. Now they welcome the team they vanquished in the divisional round of the playoffs last season courtesy of Case Keenum’s game-winning heave to Stefon Diggs with time expiring. It was dubbed the Minneapolis Miracle and Vikings fans are expecting more of the same but hopefully without the need for the last-second heroics. However, with the way that the Cousins to Thielen connection is firing, they may be well in front from box to wire. The Saints wiped the sweat off of their collective brows when Baltimore’s kicker Justin Tucker failed to convert, for the first time in his career, the extra point after the Ravens’ scored with just 24 seconds remaining. Instead of an overtime session the Saints notched a W and marched out of Baltimore with a 24-23 victory. Now the boys on the bayou get a chance to atone for their gut-wrenching loss to Minnesota and all the squares will be relying on that one dynamic to send it on New Orleans.

Well, I’m here to tell you that the Minnesota offense is nearly as good right now than New Orleans and their defense is far superior. Sure, the masses will look back a month ago when the Vikings were stunned by the woeful Bills, but that is the outlier not the rule. Minnesota has won their last two against the Saints and is 1-1 ATS in those victories. At home Minnesota has been a veritable ATM as evidenced by their covering the number in 14 of their last 19 games at home and boast an 11-1 ATS mark in their last 12 home games vs. a team with a winning road record. We’ll lay the small number and back the home chalk here.

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The #MinneapolisMiracle was incredible.

Your reactions? Priceless. #BringItHome pic.twitter.com/sydPiQUdLY

— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) January 17, 2018
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Doug Upstone:

For quarterbacks like Drew Brees and Tom Brady, it has to be difficult at times to find motivation. Certainly every quarterback wants to reach the Super Bowl and that seems like it should be enough but most are realists also and know that is not possible. Though Brees is a team player, this season he's had no shortage of goals. Just in the past few weeks he became the all-time passing yards leader, reached the 500 touchdown passing club and beat Baltimore, meaning he has defeated every team is this career.

This week at Minnesota brings a different motivation, one of pain, where New Orleans had the Vikings beat in the playoffs, until they did not, on the last play of the game. For the Saints players, this will feel like it just happened once they walk into the building. The message from the coaches will be simple, play all four quarters. Now that the Saints are up and running again, they will have the motivation and more importantly the talent to earn a measure of revenge against the Vikings.

Kevin Stott:

Over the past decade, Drew Brees (41-28 ATS as Road Underdog) and New Orleans have been a profitable team in October (60-48 ATS), but Minnesota has been a money-maker at Home in Princetown on SNF (11-6 ATS) and the Who Dats have also been a good team on which to bet on the Road in this rare prime-time spot (6-3 ATS). Do you always yell at your computer too? With Thielen turning into a clutch receiver and Cousins getting acclimated to the Land Of 10,000 Lakes, the Vikings can probably beat anyone on any given Sunday, but also seem to be capable of being their own worst enemy, as their Week 3 loss to the Bills as 16½-point Home chalk demonstrates.

The series Trends point to the Purple People Beaters with Minnesota 7-2-1 ATS the L10 meetings and 4-1 ATS the L5 purifications in Lake Minnetonka, but I’m not sold. With 2017 Mark Ingram back from Suspension, All-Pro WR Thomas and a vastly improved Defense (#7 in Total Net Yards Allowed, Vikings #18), look for an “upset” at 401 Chicago Avenue with the Saints seemingly better at rallying from behind than the constantly rebuilding hosts.

Rainman:

The Vikings are favored, although they lack a significant advantage against the Saints. Particularly, Minnesota’s defense has been disappointing. On Sunday, it benefitted from facing a rookie quarterback in windy conditions. But it has yet to succeed against a good quarterback. Aaron Rodgers, Jared Goff and Carson Wentz each shredded the Vikings’ partially injury-ridden secondary with high-yardage outputs, a solid touchdown-to-interception ratio, and a strong completion percentage. Drew Brees led his team to a comeback against one of the NFL’s most vaunted defenses in Baltimore. With a 13-to-zero touchdown-to-interception ratio, he’s a major reason why the Saints have won five and covered four in a row.

The obvious objection is that New Orleans’ defense lacks a strong reputation. Even if we grant this objection despite the fact that New Orleans has, like Minnesota, held half of its opponents to fewer than 20 points, the Saints boast a more balanced attack. Minnesota’s backup running back isn’t as effective as injured starter Dalvin Cook. Conversely, the Saints boast a three-headed monster with superstar Alvin Kamara, the physical Mark Ingram, and X-factor Taysom Hill.

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