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Debating Tonight’s Saints/Vikings Game

Posted by in NFL Picks on October 6th, 2008 | 7 Comments

Thanks to the Sunday Night teaser and the Chicago game, it put me in the black despite a huge Chargers let down and now it’s time for Monday Night Football. Tonight, we have the Minnesota Vikings @ New Orleans Saints. The Saints are 3-point favorites and the over/under is set at 46.5. So far, the Saints are 3-0-1 on the over and the Vikings are 2-2 on the over. Most people think the over is the play to make, but the Saints won’t keep putting up 30+ points every game, especially not against a defense like the Vikings, but so far the Vikings haven’t been overly impressive. Everyone thought the Vikings would rack up sacks with Jared Allen on that line, but he’s only had 2 sacks this year. Their team has only had 7 sacks this year (ranked 23rd) and Drew Brees has only been sacked 4 times this year. The Vikings are allowing 20.5 PPG and the Saints are allowing 25 PPG. The Saint’s 27.8 PPG is 7th in the league compared to the Vikings 17.8 PPG (ranked 23rd). The Vikings have managed only 2 INTs to the Saints 4.

The Saints have a lot of injuries on their defense, the key injury being to 1st-round pick DT Sedrick Ellis. That loss means the team is without their two starting DTs. The Saints are already 27th in yards allowed, 19th against the run (allowing 123 YPG), and 29th against the pass (allowing 250 YPG). What they lack in defense, they’ve made up in offense, but can they keep passing against a team that is 7th in yards allowed and a team that allows just 207 YPG passing (ranked 16th)? The Vikings are also 3rd against the run, allowing just 72 YPG.

At covers.com 11/13 experts are picking the Saints. I may do a teaser with taking the Vikings +10 or Saints +4, I still can’t decide and going with the over 39.5. The Saints over is 8-0-1 in their last 9. You can be assured that they will both score and give up points, which makes the over a safe play. The over is also 7-3 in Minnesota’s last 10 games on turf. The injuries to the Saints starting DTs is making me want to play the injury card (see the Packers depleted secondary against the Falcons yesterday) and counting on a big game from Adrian Peterson, but I’m not confident with Gus Ferrotte as the Vikings QB. You can count on him making a key INT in the game at some point. He’s completing 57% of his passes, has 1 TD, 2 INTs, and a poor 70.7 passer rating. Also a big question: will the Vikings defense that dominated the Panthers show up or will the defense that laid down to the Titans show up? You also have to think, even without the the starting Saints DTs, you can be confident that Vilma and Fujita assigned to handle Peterson would be able to at least contain him somewhat. The Saints have also had the upperhand against the spread this year, the Saints are 3-1 ATS this year and Vikings are 1-3 ATS.

I say the Saints stuff the box to stop Peterson and make Ferotte try to beat them with his arm and I don’t see it happening. Peterson has been held to under 80 yards in his last two games (against the Panthers and Titans though, two very good defenses). The Vikings are great against the run, but they’ve struggled against the pass and that’s what the Saints will come out doing with their 1st ranked passing attack. I think it’s better to play home-field advantage and take the Saints +4 and over 39.5. If you don’t want to mess with the over/under, taking the Saints -3 isn’t bad either, but I could see this one being a tight game throughout. The Saints should give up 20 and score more than 20, so I think the over 39.5 is safe and if the Vikings still escape with a W by a field goal, I’m still in good shape. I’m not prepared to bet on a team led by Gus Ferrotte, I’ll take the Saints. 3-1 ATS vs. 1-3 ATS. The Saints just better be prepared to deal with AP.

Key Stats: Vikings have allowed 27 PPG in their away games this year and have averaged only 18 PPG on the road. Those were against the Titans and Packers. Somewhat alarming stat: Vikings have allowed only 2 passing TDs (1 to Aaron Rodgers, 1 to Peyton Manning), but have given up 6 rushing TDs (3 to the Titans). On the other hand, the Saints have given up only 2 rushing TDs, but have allowed 5 passing TDs.

Tonight’s Pick: 7-point teaser Saints +4, Over 39.5.

Prediction: Saints 27 – Vikings 23



7 Responses to Debating Tonight’s Saints/Vikings Game:

  1. Tom Peters

    Date: Oct 06, 2008 at 11:43 am

    Good pick. I trust the Saints pass offense will take advantage to the terrible Vikings pass defense.

  2. Vegas Martin

    Date: Oct 06, 2008 at 1:20 pm

    Thanks for comments Tom. Like 10 being the magic number for Pittsburgh last night on the teaser card. 20 should be the magic number for the Saints. If the Saints can score 20, which they should considering their 28 PPG average (and the Vikings 27 PPG allowed on the road), they should be able to cover the 4 points and the over 39.5 will be hit. My prediction: Saints 27 – Vikings 23.

  3. Brandon Phillips

    Date: Oct 06, 2008 at 8:44 pm

    HOW MANY CALLS CAN THE REFS IN THIS GAME GET WRONG IN A ROW???

  4. Chris Hines

    Date: Oct 06, 2008 at 11:34 pm

    Thanks for throwing out this teaser tonight…it got me back in the black as well for this week.

  5. Vegas Martin

    Date: Oct 06, 2008 at 11:59 pm

    Yeah, I needed to get something going after some bad beats the last 2 weeks. The Sunday Night and Monday Night games got me back in business. I would just like to thank Ben Roethlisberger and Reggie Bush for making it happen. Without both of you, none of this would be possible. I would also like to thank the Vikings punt coverage and the Jaguar’s lack of pass rush for helping me out with these two picks. Is there anyone I’m forgetting? Mike Tomlin, um, the guy that laid a nasty hit on the Vikings player to set up the Reggie Bush punt return…

    What week 6 spreads do ya like?

  6. Chris Hines

    Date: Oct 07, 2008 at 4:22 am

    I’m liking the home dog 9ers ATS and the Packers right now. I’m also liking the over on the Ravens/Colts game.

  7. Vegas Martin

    Date: Oct 08, 2008 at 10:18 am

    Don’t jump on the 49ers just yet. Sure, the Eagles have looked like dogshit the last two weeks, but this game is a must win for them. The Eagles have a history of dominating the 49ers and using them as a statement game. In McNabb’s last 2 games against San Fran, he’s thrown 7 TDs and the Eagles went on to beat them up. Sure, they’re both very different teams now, but this is the Eagles week to returns to form.

    Do not bet on the Packers while their secondary is banged up. Remember, they’re missing 3 starters to their secondary which is why Roddy White dominated them.

    Ravens/Colts over/under is questionable. Right now it’s at 40. I can see the Ravens holding the Colts to 17 and I expect the Ravens to be in that 14-17 point range, but with the Colts 32nd running game, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Colts gave up more points than that and the Ravens actually upset the Colts.

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