Sunday Night Football for Week 8 brings football fans a real treat as the Minnesota Vikings play host to the New Orleans Saints. We all remember the thrilling playoff game these two teams played just last season, and if their Week 8 encounter is half as entertaining, it’ll make for must-see television on Sunday evening.
The Vikings have been relatively lacklustre so far this season. Kirk Cousins hasn’t been as dominant as many would have hoped, the defense has struggled given the lofty expectations, and Minnesota also enters this clash a badly banged-up group. In a tightly-packed NFC North, wins are crucial for the Vikings and they need to start stringing some together.
Their Sunday night opponents will be the New Orleans Saints who enter Week 8 with a stellar 5-1 record. Their defensive issues of previous seasons have been ironed out, and Drew Brees remains in command of an elite offense. New Orleans has a couple of big weeks coming up with the Vikings on SNF and the Rams as well – so you can bet Sean Payton will want to emphasize the importance of these ‘statement games.’
It’s always fun when two of the top teams in the sport square off in a primetime slot to end off a great day of football. The Vikings/Saints won’t disappoint, and hopefully our pick won’t either! Read on below for a full game breakdown and a betting prediction for Week 8’s Sunday Night Football.
Saints vs. Vikings Betting Odds:
New Orleans Saints -1 (-120)
@ Minnesota Vikings +1 (+100)
Over 54 (-110)
Under 54 (-110)
Saints vs. Vikings Pick:
Beyond the betting selection, this should really be a football game played at a high level. If you’re a fan of prolific offenses – you’ll be looking forward to lots of points as the high total would indicate, and excellent outings from Kirk Cousins and especially Drew Brees.
On the topic of the 39-year old Brees, he’s playing magnificent football at the moment. That is bad news for a Vikings’ stop unit that has heavily regressed this season. They were excellent in 2017, but have taken a significant step back this year. Part of that is due to a rash of injuries, but that doesn’t excuse some of their defending. The Vikes really struggle to defend the middle of the field in particular, and this should open things up mightily for Alvin Kamara as a receiver and Ben Watson at tight end. Anthony Barr and Xavier Rhodes are also expected to be out for Minnesota, likely meaning deep shots downfield toward Michael Thomas could be a regularity on Sunday evening.
Minnesota will try to apply all kinds of pressure and should do a good job clogging up the running game, but the Saints have too many passing weapons to not move the chains. Look for Brees and New Orleans to really exploit the Vikings’ injuries and could put up four or five touchdowns in this one.
For the Vikings’ offense, a lot will need to continue to go through Adam Thielen. The talented slot receiver has had another excellent season, and it remains to be seen if the Saints can actually limit his effectiveness. New Orleans doesn’t really have good coverage in this area, but they might look to bolster it considering their downfield options with Marshon Lattimore roaming are pretty solid. Lattimore should completely blanket Stefon Diggs this week, and that could allow New Orleans to generate more pressure up front, and prevent Thielen from getting catch-after-catch.
The Vikes also have struggled this year with pass protection. The Saints have a talented duo of rushers in Marcus Davenport and Cameron Jordan, and that duo should be all over Kirk Cousins on Sunday evening – forcing him into hurried situations and mistakes.
With all of the injuries Minnesota is forced to endure, and the current state of their defense – it’s hard to go against the Saints right now. Drew Brees will win any type of shootout against Kirk Cousins, and New Orleans is just the better team right now. Along with the Rams, the Saints too remain a legitimate Super Bowl contender to come out of the NFC, and look for them to show it on Sunday night.
PICK = Saints -1 (-120)