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Thread: How To Bet Sunday's Vikings-Saints NFL Game

  1. #1 How To Bet Sunday's Vikings-Saints NFL Game 
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    How to bet New Orleans-Minnesota
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    ESPN Chalk's NFL Vegas experts (Phil Steele, Erin Rynning, Warren Sharp and Mike Clay) are here to provide analysis and best bets for Sunday's divisional-round tilt between the New Orleans Saints and Minnesota Vikings. John Parolin of ESPN Stats & Information breaks down the best prop bets.

    Note: Odds courtesy of the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook as of Friday morning.



    New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings (-5)

    Total: 47
    PickCenter: 64 percent on New Orleans

    Phil Steele

    The Saints have the most balanced offense in the NFL with the No. 5 rushing and passing offenses (second in the NFL at 393 yards per game overall). However, the Carolina Panthers shut their run game down last week, holding them to a season-low 41 yards on the ground. That was the fourth time in five weeks New Orleans had 92 or fewer rushing yards. The Panthers settled for three short field goals, missed a 25-yarder and were at the New Orleans 21-yard line down by five late in the game.

    These two met here in Week 1, and Minnesota had a commanding 437-269 yardage edge and led 29-12 before allowing a 75-yard drive for a garbage-time touchdown with under two minutes left. The Vikings have outgained their foes by a league-best 137 yards per game, and over the past six games, their top-ranked defense has allowed just 10.6 points and a minuscule 217 yards per game. The Saints defense has allowed 404 yards per game their past three road trips, so I expect the better team to get the job done off a bye in this one.

    ATS pick: Minnesota

    Erin Rynning

    It's difficult to find fault in this Vikings team that overachieved with 13 wins while also going 11-4-1 ATS. Their talented defense is sound throughout, with an NFL-best 276 yards allowed per game. It's a quarterback-driven league, and thus a bit tricky with Drew Brees as an underdog of more than a field goal. The Vikings offensive line has held up shockingly well all season, but this hungry and talented Saints defensive front should provide plenty of issues.

    Pick: Pass

    Warren Sharp

    The biggest factor in this game that I believe decides the outcome is that the Saints defense is not where it once was, and I believe the Vikings offense will be able to exploit some of the holes they have. The Saints defense has lost key starters including Alex Anzalone, Alex Okafor, A.J. Klein and Kenny Vaccaro this season, with the last three going out since Week 12. In large part because of defensive issues, the Saints lost two of their past five games, and it took a great effort in the fourth quarter to even knock off the Bryce Petty-led Jets at home.

    Minnesota's defense has been downright phenomenal, particularly at home. But its offense, led by what I think has been a highly underrated coordinator in Pat Shurmur, has been incredible given the Week 1 injury to QB Sam Bradford. The Vikings defense does very well against RB passes, and ranks No. 5 against the run, having gone against the fourth-most difficult schedule of run offenses.

    ATS pick: Minnesota

    Mike Clay

    Prediction: Minnesota 25, New Orleans 20
    ATS pick: New Orleans and the under

    John Parolin's props

    235.5 passing yards by Case Keenum (O/U -110)

    Keenum averaged 243.4 yards per game in his 14 starts this season, a 7.4 yards per attempt average that was helped by a higher completion percentage (68 percent) than any quarterback except Brees. Keenum was one of the league's great success stories this season: an undrafted free agent, throwing passes for his third team and who clicked in his fifth year in the league. A former prospect with arm strength concerns, Keenum has as many completions 15 yards downfield this season as Matt Ryan, Cam Newton and Jared Goff (43). The problem is, his opponent knows turnarounds too.

    From 2014-16, the Saints pass defense was embarrassingly bad, allowing 270 pass yards per game with 98 touchdowns and 30 picks. New Orleans' 3.27 TD-INT ratio in that span would rank only behind Dak Prescott, Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady as an individual quarterback. But this season, the Saints defense recorded 20 interceptions, third most in the league, and ranked ninth in completion percentage (59.4 percent). New Orleans held opponents to less than 236 pass yards in nine of 16 games this season. But for all their improvement, they still show one flaw in particular that will be a problem Sunday.

    Keenum throws 52 percent of his passes less than five yards downfield, the fifth-highest percentage of short throws in the league this season. For him to rack up heavy yardage, he needs yards after the catch -- and the Saints defense has not tackled well this season at all. New Orleans has allowed 5.72 yards after catch per reception this season, fourth most in the league, and they rank dead last in that figure to wide receivers (like Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen). This is not a group you can afford to miss tackles against, with Thielen ranking eighth in the league in yards after catch and Diggs also ranking in the top 25. One or two missed tackles could make all the difference.

    Play: Over
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  2. #2  
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    No opinion on this material fellas, just posting for others to read...
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