Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 10:30 AM EST.
Minnesota +6½ over NEW ORLEANS
4:30 PM EST. The Vikings aren't eliminated yet, but their loss last week to the Bears means it will take a near miracle for them to advance to the playoffs. They'd need the Cardinals and Bears to both lose their final two games to have a chance but the good news is that when this game kicks off, the Vikes are still in it.
The Saints had several avenues for clinching the NFC South last week but none of them materialized. However, the Saints could still clinch the division today if they beat the Vikings here. Point being, both teams figure to be motivated and they also have a history of dislike for one another.
Most of Minnesota’s losses - and several of the wins - were all by close margins. This is a team that is extremely risky as a favorite but is usually very live as a dog, especially in this range. When you have Dalvin Cook’s dominance, an outright win is always a possibility, The man can wear down a defense on his own and Kirk Cousins, although erratic can also shine. Cousins has thrown for three touchdowns in six games and 300 yards four different times. We also love that the Vikes have failed to cash in five straight with their last cover coming against the Bears way back on November 16th. This is now a great opportunity to take back significant points with a decent football team.
The return of Drew Brees wasn't enough to beat the Chiefs and for at least the first half, looked like an all-around bad idea. Still, the Saints came within three and anyone who bet them last week likely got a push. That’s not a loss so it’s safe to suggest that the Saints market cred did not take a hit last week. Now it’s one win or a loss by the Bucs and the NFC South again belongs to the Saints. This is still a team that is going to get more support than the Vikes simply because they have been a relevant playoff team for a very long time and they also have one of the greatest QB’s of all time guiding them. The market and media like that Brees has had a game under his belt since being out for five weeks and looked better in the second half last week than the first. That’s nice it really is but Father Time is undefeated. Brees has regressed badly this year and it only continued last week. Losing Michael Thomas is hugely significant but this line does not reflect that in the slightest. The winning equation is getting points with the distinct possibility of a high time of possession and the books over-compensating for Drew Brees being back after a “tightener”.
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Minnesota +6½ -104 (Risking 2.08 units - To Win: 2.00)