Fresh off another comeback victory last night on the Houston Texans, we’ll turn our attention back to the exciting NFL pre-season for a Friday night winner.
The Texans looked down and out with our wager on Thursday evening, before a late push culminating in sixteen unanswered points got us the cover on the +2.5-line at Lambeau Field. One thing to note about Houston’s performance last night was that their first-teamers didn’t fare all that well. Going from the easiest schedule to the toughest one is going to be a real challenge for Bill O’Brien’s squad in 2019, and it’s unlikely they’ll be able to withstand that pressure over a full season.
Onto tonight as we continue week one of the exhibition season. We will head to New Orleans where the Saints will do battle with the Vikings. This is of course the first game back at the Superdome since that infamous botched called in last year’s playoffs. Can the Saints shake it off and prepare for another grueling sixteen-game slate? The talent is there for sure with Sean Payton’s group. And though this is just a pre-season encounter, both the Vikings and New Orleans still possess lofty post-season goals. Could this be a preview of an eventual NFC Championship match come January? Read on below the odds as we detail who’s in and who is out, as well as our pick for the Vikings and Saints in Week 1 of the NFL pre-season.
Vikings vs. Saints Betting Odds:
Minnesota Vikings +2 (-110)
@ New Orleans Saints -2 (-110)
Over 37 (-120)
Under 37 (+100)
Vikings vs. Saints Pick:
As mentioned in this spot before, when handicapping pre-season football it is imperative to assess motivation, the playing time of starters, as well as quarterback depth charts.
In this contest tonight it is believed that both squads will be relatively even in terms of how much of a run the starters get. For the visiting Vikings, it’s believed they will be subbing off after a total of one series. Though they do have some new offensive schemes and play-callers at the helm this year, QB Kirk Cousins knows the time for added familiarity typically comes in Weeks 2 and 3, so don’t expect to see the Vikings’ regulars all that much in New Orleans. Beyond Cousins, it’s believed the Vikings will have Sean Mannion, Kyle Sloter, and Jake Browning split QB duties. That trio doesn’t exactly inspire much confidence when it comes to moving the chains.
For the Saints on Friday night, head coach Sean Payton has stayed true to form all week by not divulging the plans for his group. Educated guesses and past history would assume that most of his starters will get a series or two, before passing the rest of the game off to the back-ups. One big advantage the Saints possess is within their own quarterback depth, by way of former Viking, Teddy Bridgewater. He is a known asset throughout the NFL and is likely good enough to be an NFL starter somewhere. Sean Payton has said he’ll play a lot against his former team, and that is good news to those looking to back the Saints. Bridgewater was awesome in last year’s pre-season coming off of a tough ACL injury, and you better believe he will be eager to show his former team in Minnesota that they should have been a bit more patient with his recovery.
Expect Bridgewater to show his mettle as a true QB1 and feast on the second and third-team defenses the Vikings trot out. Look for Bridgewater to get at least a full half, before passing the remainder of the game off to Taysom Hill. The Saints have an edge in organizational depth and at the quarterback position, and with everything else being equal in terms of playing time, the value is squarely on the home side as small favourites tonight. Roll with Teddy and the Saints -2.