Don't forget to leave your mince pies above the fireplace because Santa has delivered an absolute treat of a game for NFL fans on Christmas Day: It's the New Orleans Saints versus the Minnesota Vikings in a rematch of one of last season's most exciting playoff games.
The Vikings have ditched the Saints out of the playoffs for the last two years in succession, including a 26-20 win in the wildcard round last season, a game in which Dalvin Cook (94 yards; 2 touchdowns) was phenomenal. These defeats have hurt the 'Who Dat' nation, who will no doubt be hungry for revenge on home turf tomorrow night.
The Saints (10-3) have already qualified for the playoffs but come into the game off the back of a defeat to defending Super Bowl champions, the Kansas City Chiefs. In a back and forth contest, the Saints' defense put in an outstanding display, but KC' QB Pat Mahomes stood tall in the pocket, ate the hits, and dragged his team to a big W despite a late onslaught from New Orleans. Saints had started the game slowly, and it took Drew Brees 30 minutes to find his range, but once he did, Sean Payton's team looked as dynamic as ever and were close to turning things around.
The Vikings (6-8) lost out to a resurgent Chicago Bears (7-7) last Sunday, leaving them in 3rd place in the NFC North. Head coach, Mike Zimmer will know his team needs a big win to claw back ground on the Bears and make the playoffs.
The Saints need a win to clinch the NFC South at the expense of the Buccaneers; the Vikings need a win to cling on to their playoff aspirations, so hold on to your paper crowns: this one could be an absolute Christmas classic!
Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints betting odds
Saints odds: 1/3
Vikings odds: 5/2
Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints Picks
- Drew Brees will throw +2 touchdown passes.
- Alvin Kamara will score +2 touchdowns.
- Alvin Kamara will gain +100 yards from scrimmage.
- Trey Hendrickson will sack Kirk Cousins.
- Cam Jordan will sack Kirk Cousins.
- Rookie of the Year contender, Justin Jefferson to catch +5 passes.
- Adam Thielen will score a touchdown.
- Dalvin Cook will score a touchdown.
Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints Key Notes
- New Orleans has big problems at wideout: Michael Thomas won't be back before the playoffs, and Tre Quan Smith, Deonte Harris, and Marquez Callaway are all listed as questionable.
- Saints' issues at WR should mean a huge day at the office for running back, Alvin Kamara.
- Emmanuel Sanders led the Saints receiving corps with 4 receptions for 76 yards versus the Chiefs last week.
- Dalvin Cook had 24 carries for 132 yards and 1 touchdown + 5 receptions for 27 yards versus the Bears last week.
- The Vikings have the superior head-to-head record versus the Saints: 19-11.
Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints Key Injuries
- RB C.J. Ham: Questionable (quad)
- RB Alexander Mattison: Questionable
- LB Troy Dye: Concussion - Questionable
- CB Cameron Dantzler: Questionable (foot)
- DT Armon Watts: Questionable (ankle)
- DT Jalyn Holmes: Questionable (foot)
- TE Kyle Rudolph: Questionable (foot)
- LB Eric Kendricks: Questionable (calf)
- WR Marquez Callaway: Questionable (knee)
- T Andrus Peat: Questionable (ankle)
- WR Tre'quan Smith: Questionable (ankle)
- DE Trey Hendrickson: Questionable
- QB Jameis Winston: Questionable (COVID)
- S Marcus Williams: Questionable (ankle)
- DT Malcom Brown: Questionable (shoulder)
- WR Deonte Harris: Out (neck)
- WR Michael Thomas: (Out (ankle)
Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints Prediction
Most bookies have the Saints edging out a 31-27 win.
Spread: New Orleans -7
Money-Line: Saints -320 Vikings +260Published 25 Dec 2020, 07:16 IST