The Cajun capital will be rocking Thursday night as the NFL season kicks off the 2010-2011 season in prime time (8:30 PM EST). The game features two legitimate Superbowl threats as the Minnesota Vikings will look to avenge their disastrous NFC championship loss to the New Orleans Saints. Both clubs had strong finishes to their preseason and come into this tilt fairly healthy on both sides of the ball. There won’t be a hotter ticket in North America then for this heavy weight battle going down at the Superdome on Thursday night.
The Minnesota Vikings hope Brett Favre can mirror his 2009 campaign as he marched the club all the way to the NFC championship game with his career best season. Favre looked solid in his two preseason games and aside from his ankle woes should be ready to let the pigskin sling on Thursday night. For all the media attention on the Vikings offensive side of the ball this off-season, it was the defense that illuminated their preseason. The defense surrendered just 59 points in their 4 games and had significant showings from rookie CB Chris Cook and DE Everson Griffin. This club will look to ride on its thoroughbred RB Adrian Peterson all the way to the Superbowl this season, and if his fumbling woes are behind him, should have no problem doing so. This 2010-2011 Vikings club will most likely battle it out with the Packers for the NFC North Crown and need a win Thursday night to overcome any lingering hangovers from the NFC championship game last season.
The boys from the Bayou, fresh off their courageous Superbowl win last season want to show the NFL and fans that they were not a one year wonder. Defensive units around the league have now had an off-season to totally dissect and analyze this offense, so it will be very intriguing to see if this offense, which was virtually unstoppable last season, will be able to fire on all cylinders early and often again this year. The 2010 Saints open up this campaign practically the same as the 2009 Saints, the only starter that is different is DE Alex Brown that came over in the off-season from the Bears. If the preseason is any indication then it looks as though the Saints offense hasn’t slowed since their Superbowl victory over the Colts, they put up a staggering 125 points in the 4 preseason contests. However, as good as the offense has looked in the preseason the defensive unit needs to get back on track for this team to have a legitimate shot of repeating. A win on Thursday night would go along way in cooling off some of the heated analysis on if this team is legitimately worthy of being recognized as for real.
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Vikings vs Saints Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
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Vikings vs Saints Prediction for Week 1 Thursday Night Game:
Over/Under Prediction (Top Play) – Both offenses boast the potential to put up staggering amounts of points. The Saints can score at will some games and the Vikings have Adrian Peterson who can hit a homerun at anytime in the game. I believe this game just scrapes over this number (48) as I see the game starting off slow then getting increasingly more loose as some of the “first game” stigma loosens. Two fast dome teams that are playing in a dome, a game that is filled with hype, an offense that can score at anytime, a defensive that has looked brutal in the preseason, take the over. PREDICTION (TOP PLAY) – OVER 48 POINTS (-110)
Spread Prediction – “And the Saints keep marching on”, a classic Cajun tune but also my prediction for this 2010 team. I believe the Saints will be able to solve this Vikings defense that has looked impressive in the preseason and will be able to match point for point with the Vikings offense. I look for Reggie Bush to be the “X-Factor” and see him racking up impressive numbers running and receiving. The Vikings just come into this contest with too many ailments and not enough time with all their starters in place. We are going to be entertained by an exciting game but the Saints will be able to cover this spread. Play on the Saints -5 points. Cheers to a new season!