Saints vs. Vikings Odds & Picks: NOLA Should Cover This Christmas Spread
Getty Images. Pictured: Kirk Cousins, Drew Brees
- The New Orleans Saints host the Minnesota Vikings for a Christmas Day showdown.
- With Drew Brees and Co. slated as 6.5-point favorites, where's the betting value on this matchup?
- Sean Koerner -- our Director of Predictive Analytics -- explains why it's on New Orleans to cover the spread.
Saints vs. Vikings Odds
Drew Brees was rusty in his return from breaking 11 ribs a month ago.
The Saints fell into an early 0-14 hole against the Chiefs last week, but managed to come back to lose only 32-29. We shouldn’t underestimate Brees’ motivation in what could be his last season — he was likely at the highest risk of re-injuring his ribs against the Chiefs, but that risk should decrease significantly as we go forward.
Working in his favor for this matchup is the fact that the Vikings generate the sixth-lowest pressure rate in the NFL, so Brees should feel much more comfortable in the pocket against Minnesota than he did against Kansas City.
I have the Saints projected as 7.5-point favorites, and I’m interested in backing them now that the market has lowered them to -6.5, exposing the key number of 7 (shop real-time lines here).
One key factor is the absence of Eric Kendricks, who owns the second-best grade (82.6) among linebackers according to Pro Football Focus and whose absence will only enhance the outlooks Brees and Alvin Kamara.
Week 16 means that we also have to factor in motivation: The Saints are looking to lock up the NFC South while the Vikings need to win to avoid elimination from contention for the NFC’s final wild-card spot.
With Kendricks out and PointsBet offering the Saints at -6.5, I’m locking them in.