DP Notes - Saints at Vikings
January 12, 2018
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The Minnesota Vikings might be the favorites to win the NFC, but they're definitely in a tenuous spot in their first playoff game. They've got the New Orleans Saints coming to U.S. Bank Stadium in their opening playoff game in 2018, and bettors have lined up in early wagering to drop money on the boys from the Bayou.
Zero is the Loneliest Number
Case Keenum is going to be making his first-career playoff start on Sunday, and he's got a boatload of pressure on his shoulders. He's quarterbacking the team that is the favorite to win the NFC, and if the Falcons happen to beat the Eagles on Saturday, a win in this game would assure that the path to the Lombardi Trophy goes through U.S. Bank Stadium.
Remember that no team has ever formally hosted the Super Bowl in their own stadium; Minnesota is looking to become the first.
But Keenum is looking to pull off the rare feat of bringing his team to a Super Bowl in his first playoff appearance. Both Blake Bortles and Marcus Mariota won their first playoff starts last week, but they were up against Tyrod Taylor and Alex Smith respectively. Not only does Keenum have to make his playoff debut against a much-improved defense, but he has to do so with a Hall of Famer going against him.
Drew Brees has already won one Super Bowl in his career, and he's going to have a huge edge in the quarterback battle with his 12-0 edge in career playoff starts against Keenum.
Streaks Were Meant to Be Broken
The Saints have always had their way with the Vikings. They had won the last four meetings of these two teams before Week 2 when they met here at U.S. Bank Stadium, including posting a 31-28 win in the 2010 playoffs when the Saints won it all.
But now, the script seems to be flipped just a bit. The Vikings were 29-19 winners in Week 2, and they should feel pretty darn good about the fact that they're 9-2 SU and 7-4 ATS in the 11 meetings between these two teams in the Twin Cities dating back to 1986.
There's No Place Like Dome
Home field advantage is technically only worth approximately a field goal in the NFL, but that gap for the Saints feels like it should be much bigger, especially this time of year.
New Orleans has eight postseason wins in its history, and six of the eight have come at home. In fact, the Saints have just one road playoff win to their ledger all-time, that coming in Philadelphia four seasons ago.
It's not that the Saints haven't had some close calls on the road in the playoffs; they lost at Seattle by eight in 2014, at San Francisco by four in 2012 and at Seattle by five in 20111. Finishing off close games like the one that was won over Carolina last week is a lot easier at home than on the road. A close game should favor Minnesota.
Saints vs. Vikings Playoff History
1988 (at New Orleans): Vikings 44, Saints 10 (Minnesota +7 / Over 45.5)
2001 (at Minnesota): Vikings 34, Saints 16 (Minnesota -8 / Push 50)
2010 (at New Orleans): Saints 31, Vikings 28 (OT) (Minnesota +4 / Over 54)
Saints vs. Vikings Opening NFL Odds
Saints at Vikings (-4, 44.5)
Saints vs. Vikings Current NFL Odds (Updated 1/7)
Saints at Vikings (-3.5, 45)
(Odds courtesy of BookMaker.eu)
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