The Rematch - Saints Battle Vikings in Week 8 SNF

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D.S. Williamson

October 26th, 2018

The New Orleans Saints head to Minnesota, the site of one of their most heartbreaking losses in history, on Sunday night for a key NFC matchup against the Vikings. The Big Easy and the Twin Cities have hopes to gain home field advantage throughout the playoffs. The winner of this scintillating Week 8 SNF matchup keeps pace with the Los Angeles Rams.

NFL WEEK 8 SNF BETTING New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings Sunday, October 28th – U.S. Bank Stadium – 8:20pm ET Odds: Vikings PK (52)

Can the Saints shrug off the past and grab a victory? Or, will Minnesota continue their surge and take their fourth straight?

New Orleans Wants to Get Past “Minnesota Miracle"

Saints free safety Marcus Williams had one answer when asked about the only play to end in NFL history as time expired. “It’s another game,” he said.

The "Minnesota Miracle" was a jaw dropping play. Case Keenum launched a hospital pass to Stefon Diggs for a meager 27-yard gain. Williams launched himself at Diggs hoping to end the play and the game, but missed entirely. Diggs landed, turned and then burned down the game while sprinting to a 61-yard touchdown. That play propelled the Vikings to the NFC Championship. Multiple reporters from multiple news outlets have asked Williams about the play.

Williams has continually said that this is “just another game”. Although reporters love to bring up controversy where none exists, Williams is right. The Saints have bigger problems. They rank 28th in passing yards allowed at 298.7. To worry about a play that happened last season is a waste of their energy.

Williams and the Saints secondary have moved to a more "bend but don’t break" style, trying to keep everything in front of them, which has definitely helped. They can do that because New Orleans ranks first against the rush.

Saints’ fans can thank Drew Brees for that ranking. Opponents must throw against New Orleans because Brees has been great at putting points on the board. Saints average 34 points per game, the second most in the NFL. They also rank 6th in passing yards and total yards.

Vikings Look for Fourth Straight

Like New Orleans, Minnesota has gotten on track on both sides of the ball. Many doubted shedding Case Keenum and going with Kirk Cousins, but it was a great move. Minnesota averages 293 passing yards. Cousins is a calm signal-caller, he completes 70% while he’s only thrown 3 interceptions to 14 touchdowns. His quarterback rating’s a solid 101.8.

Cousins can’t lean on what should have been a strong rushing attack because just like last season, starter Dalvin Cook’s been hurt. What he can lean on is a defense that’s finally gelled. No opponent has scored more than 21 points in Minnesota’s last 3 games. The Vikings beat Philadelphia, the team that did score 21 points.

Minnesota’s on a roll, looking for their fourth straight. With Cousins under center, they don’t believe they need a “Minnesota Miracle” to beat the Saints on Sunday.

Week 8 SNF Betting and Final Analysis

All action, casual and pro, has gone to New Orleans. The Saints are now a PK after the Vikings opened at -2.5. New Orleans beat the Ravens’ and their top-ranked defense after Justin Tucker missed a tying extra point. Too much emphasis has been placed on that win.

But, that doesn’t mean the Saints aren’t the bet. New Orleans is 15-3 ATS in their last 18 versus a team with a winning home record. They’re 21-5 ATS in their last 26 games in October and are 4-1 ATS in the last 5 against Minnesota.

New Orleans will put an emphasis on keeping Cousins from burning them with the big play. The secondary got more help this week when New Orleans traded for former Giants’ cornerback Eli Apple.

With two defenses that are well above the league average, the take in this game depends on which offense you trust more. The Saints have more balance, and Minnesota has to hope that Cousins can win a duel with Drew Brees. That makes New Orleans the team to back.

NFL Week 8 SNF Betting Free Pick: Saints PK