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Beating the Spread: NFC Wildcard Playoff Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints

Preview and prediction
Publish Date: 01/05/2020
Fact checked by: Simon Briffa
Aug 9, 2019; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints center Erik McCoy (78) before the snap of he football against Minnesota Vikings during the first quarter at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Date: Sunday, Jan. 5, 2020 | Time: 1:05 p.m 
Location: Mercedes-Benz Superdome (New Orleans, Louisiana)
TV: Fox 
Odds: Saints -7.5, O/U 49.5

Minnesota Vikings

Injuries have hit the Vikings hard, losing linebacker Eric Kendricks and Dalvin Cook. Don’t forget Adam Thielen also. This is a team that wants to pound the rock and throw by using play-action passing and the Cook injury has been a killer. As of this writing, it looks like all hands should be on deck for the Vikings backfield, which gives them a shot in this game. With limited weapons, especially in the last half of this season, Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins has played well. The offensive line has had trouble pass blocking and the defense has struggled at times, but with a healthy Cook in the backfield, the Vikings are a very dangerous team.

New Orleans Saints

The saints are a team on fire as Drew Brees has been playing at the top of his game, and now with a healthy Alvin Kamara, they have to be one of the favorites to hoist the Lombardi trophy in February. An outstanding pass rush and one of the best, if not the best cornerback in the game in Marshon Lattimore, means this is a complete football team.

Prediction

I think this will a very competitive game. If the Vikings can get the running game going it will open up the play-action passing and Minnesota will be able to score some points. I think the biggest issue at this point will be for the Vikings defense. with a limited Kendricks at linebacker and Xavier Rhodes is not the player he once was. The Saints will slant the Vikings to death and Jared Cook should have another big day. This game will be a wrap for sure if Kamara gets going also. This will be a close game for three quarters and then I think you will see the saints get some distance to cover this spread in the fourth quarter.

Saints 31  Vikings 20

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