Sunday Night Football Odds: Saints slim betting favorites vs. Vikings

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Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints are hopeful the third time will be the charm at the stadium where their 2017 season began and ended with losses. The Saints are 1.5-point road favorites against the Minnesota Vikings with a 53-point total for Sunday Night Football at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The game is a rematch from the last season’s divisional playoff round, when the Vikings won on a last-play touchdown by Stefon Diggs, but the OddsShark NFL Database offers some  positive New Orleans trends, including a 5-0 straight-up streak over their last five games – with an average winning margin of 9.8 points – and an 11-1 mark against the spread in their last 12 games in October.

The Saints, who are 5-1 SU and 4-2 ATS, are sixth in the NFL in total offense and second in scoring, and also have a healthy supporting cast around Brees, since no significant starters were listed on the final injury report.

The Vikings’ defense has slipped statistically from a year ago and has significant injuries in virtually every sector. Outside linebacker Anthony Barr (hamstring) and strong safety Andrew Sendejo (groin) are both out, while nosetackle Linval Joseph (ankle) and the Vikings’ best cover cornerback, Xavier Rhodes (ankle), are also hobbled.

It’s possible Brees might not face much resistance in getting the ball to playmakers such as Alvin Kamara. In the rushing phase, the Vikings allow the fourth-lowest yards per rush, but that is contingent on having a healthy Joseph.

While the Saints are 1-5 SU in their last six games at night, they are 7-1 ATS in their last eight road games against the NFC North.

Fortunately for those inclined to back the Vikings, who are 4-2-1 SU and 3-2-1 ATS, they seem equipped to go score-for-score with the Saints in an NFL season that is becoming the Year of the Shootout. Quarterback Kirk Cousins is in the top 10 of the NFL in passing efficiency and the Saints have been porous through the air, allowing 9.0 yards per pass (30th in the 32-team NFL) and making only two interceptions.

Under coach Mike Zimmer, the Vikings are 6-2 ATS as a home underdog. They are also 5-0 SU and 4-1 ATS in their last five home games against NFC South teams.

The total has gone OVER in eight of the Saints’ last 10 games against the Vikings, with an average combined score of 51.2. The total has gone OVER in the Vikings’ last nine home games against NFC South teams. The total has gone UNDER in seven of the Vikings’ last nine games at night.

For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or Spotify or listen to it at OddsShark.libsyn.com.