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NFL Week 1 Line Movement: Saints vs. Vikings

Pro Football Predictions Week 1 Lines

A pair of dark horse candidates to make some noise in the NFC will lock horns in the first of two Week 1 Monday Night Football tilts from the Twin Cities where the host Minnesota Vikings will be out to win back-to-back season openers against the New Orleans Saints. Sean Payton’s squad hasn’t been to the playoffs since falling to Seattle in the division round back in 2014, while the Vikings are still feeling the after effects of a shanked Blair Walsh field goal that cost them a chance at advancing in 2015. Each is eager to get back to the second season.

New Orleans Saints vs. Minnesota Vikings
Date and Time: Monday, September 11, 2017, 7:10 p.m. ET
Location: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN
NFL Week 1 Opening Odds: Vikings -3.5, O/U 48
Saints vs. Vikings TV Coverage: ESPN

Not many futures bettors have eyes for the Saints who have seen their odds to win the NFC South ( +449 ), NFC ( +2600 ), and Super Bowl LII ( +5700 ) all get longer as the preseason enters Week 4. That hasn’t been the case for the Vikings whose odds have gotten shorter across the board in all three of those categories. They’re also predicted to be the Packers lone speedbump in their journey to secure their sixth NFC North title in the last seven years.

The betting line for this tilt hasn’t budged since first opening in the spring. There has however been way more action on the Saints with nearly 74 percent of the bets booked riding the visitors. The over has also been the popular side to back with 60 percent of the action expecting a high scorer forcing linemakers to bump it up to 48 from the 47.5-point opener.

Why the Saints vs. Vikings Odds Haven’t Changed

The Saints have long been a much different team on the road in outdoor stadiums than in the comfort of their own home digs. However, this matchup with the Vikings will take place in one-year old U.S. Bank Stadium which just so happens to be one of the more impressive and extravagant indoor venues in the NFL. New Orleans won three of its eight played road games a season ago. One of those wins took place in the desert where the Arizona Cardinals also play in a domed stadium.

The only other indoor stadium the Saints paid a visit to saw them fall to the Atlanta Falcons 38-32. They did however manage to sneak within the closing 7.5-point spread making them a perfect 2-0 versus the number in opposing domed stadiums.

The main road block that would prevent the Saints from making it three straight trips to the winners circle is a Vikings stop unit that wrapped the 2016-17 season ranked out as the No. 1 fantasy defense in the sport. Minnesota gave up an average of 314.9 yards per game ( No. 3 ) with only 208 of those yards coming through the air ( No. 3 ). Led by Drew Brees, New Orleans routinely possesses one of the best aerial attacks in the game.

So, it will be a battle of strengths in this one with Xavier Rhodes and his secondary mates doing their best to contain the likes of Michael Thomas and company from torching them through the air.

Minnesota hasn’t had any recent issues as hosts when installed 3.5-point favorites coming out with pointspread covers three of the last four times. The most recent came last season when they took care of business against the Giants in a game the defense dominated en route to the 24-10 win.

That said, New Orleans hasn’t been too shabby in the road underdog role when being given 3.5-points either. The Saints split the pair of occurrences last season falling 16-13 at the New York Giants, and then fought back to topple then San Diego 35-34 in a game they outscored the Chargers 21-10 in the second half. The pair of pointspread covers moved the Saints to 3-1 against the spread the last four times they received that amount of points on the road dating back to 2014.

Should money continue to flow in on the Saints, it’s possible the line falls to -3. I don’t see that happening. That hook looks to be enticing enough to attract a good amount of action both ways with Minnesota possessing the skills defensively to combat a New Orleans offense that could take some time to start firing on all cylinders with Brandin Cooks now suiting up for the defending champs.