Vikings vs. Saints Betting Guide: Will Mike Zimmer Continue to Be Money in Preseason?

Vikings vs. Saints Betting Guide: Will Mike Zimmer Continue to Be Money in Preseason? article feature image

Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Mike Zimmer

Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints Betting Odds

  • Spred: Saints -2.5
  • Over/Under: 37.5
  • Kickoff: 8 p.m. ET

The Saints host the Vikings in one of two Preseason Week 1 matchups on Friday night. Let’s take a look at key storylines for both teams, complete with betting and daily fantasy analysis.

>> All odds as of Thursday night. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NFL odds and track your bets.

Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings don’t inherently have a terrible offensive line, but they were forced to dig deep last season after a plethora of preseason injuries wrecked their overall depth.

There were four key differences in the Vikings offensive line from 2017 to 2018:

  • Starting right guard Joe Berger retired.
  • Left guard Nick Easton was lost for the season due to a neck injury suffered in August.
  • Center Pat Elflein missed the first two games of the season due to an ankle injury.
  • Left tackle Riley Reiff missed three games in the middle of the season with a foot injury.

Minnesota ultimately finished the season ranked No. 23 in adjusted line yards per rush and No. 9 in adjusted sack rate (via Football Outsiders). These figures aren’t far removed from their respective finishes of No. 19 and No. 6 in 2017, though a closer look at Kirk Cousins’ passing statistics shows that he was under pressure more than ever before.

Percentage of Cousins’ Dropbacks Under Pressure:

  • 2018: 38.9%
  • 2017: 36.6%
  • 2016: 32%
  • 2015: 35.9%

Improved health up front combined with the addition of Gary Kubiak as assistant head coach should help kick start Dalvin Cook and the Vikings’ run game, while the defense’s unmatched continuity makes the unit as potent as ever.

Head coach Mike Zimmer (14-7 against the spread, +6.7 units) also hasn’t been a man to take the preseason lightly.

New Orleans Saints

The Saints have been one of the NFL’s most efficient and productive offenses for the better part of the past decade behind the efforts of future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees and head coach Sean Payton.

Overall, they haven’t ranked outside of the league’s top-12 scoring offenses or top-eight units in terms of total yardage since Payton took the job prior to the 2006 regular season.

Payton’s play-calling, the friendly confines of the Superdome and the Saints’ elite offensive line should help continue to prolong Brees’ career as much as humanly possible.

With that said, the end has to come at some point, right?

Peyton Manning in 2014 (38)
Weeks 1-12 (11 games): 68% cmp, 8.1 Y/A, 34 TD-9 INT
Weeks 13-playoffs (6 games): 60% cmp, 6.9 Y/A, 6 TD-6 INT

Drew Brees in 2018 (39)
Weeks 1-12 (11 games): 76% cmp, 8.8 Y/A, 29 TD-2 INT
Weeks 13-playoffs (6 games): 69% cmp, 6.7 Y/A, 7 TD-5 INT

— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) May 22, 2019

LEAN: Vikings +3

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