The line on this game has gone back and forth after starting out a pick em. Right now it is Saints -2 and moving in that direction. I am assuming more sharp money is coming in on them. It definitely should be.
The Vikings are 4-2-1 and coming off their third straight win. They are also 3-0 against the spread during this time and the narrative is that their defense is back. I am not sold on their win streak. I have spoken before about how I think the Vikings and Kirk Cousins are very overrated. Their defense is not good anymore and is currently ranked only 16th in overall efficiency. This is while facing the easiest schedule of opposing offenses. This week they face a Saints team ranked 4th in overall offensive efficiency. The Saints are coming off a game where they scored 24 points in Baltimore on a Ravens defense that was ranked 3rd in efficiency going into this week. The Saints should have no problems moving the ball this week on the Vikings defense. To make things worse for the Vikings, their defense will also be without Anthony Barr and Andrew Sendeho. They will have Xavier Rhodes but he is not expected to be at 100% after missing this last week of practice. The Vikings have played two offenses that are ranked in the top 10 with the Packers and Rams. They gave up 29 and 38 points in those games. I look for the same thing to happen this week.
On the other side the Vikings offense has struggled as well. Although their struggles have been masked by their recent wins they have not done very well. The Vikings most recent wins have more to do with the level of opponent they are playing. The Saints defense is only ranked 25th in overall efficiency and 30th against the pass but have done much better in their past three games than the first three. I see them continuing to improve with their latest addition of Eli Apple. He already has chemistry with former college teammate Marshon Lattimore and he should be a big help to their secondary. The Saints defense is ranked 2nd against the run, which does not bode well for a Vikings offense that already struggles to run the ball, ranked 29th in rushing efficiency. I think the Vikings struggle to move the ball in this game.
On top of everything else this game also has the playoff revenge factor. The Saints lost last year in this same building on a gut-wrenching touchdown at the end of the game. Both of these teams are different than the teams that met in the playoffs. The Saints are a better team but the Vikings are much worse. I see the Saints winning here and winning big.
Xavier Rhodes has been ruled out. Even more reason to be on the Saints.