Vikings and Saints to Start the Season Shorthanded

The Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints are two top contenders in NFL betting odds this season but gamblers should be aware that both teams will be shorthanded to start the season.

A federal judge dismissed the claims of five NFL players (four starters) who had been suspended last season for using a banned diuretic.  That decision means the Minnesota Vikings will be without two Pro Bowlers to start the season while the New Orleans Saints will be without two of their defensive starters.

The Vikings will be missing defensive linemen Pat Williams and Kevin Williams while the Saints will be without defensive ends Charles Grant and Will Smith.  All four players will miss the first four games of this season.
“We are pleased that after a careful review of the record the court has upheld the suspensions of the players in this case,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said, The decision strongly supports the NFL program on performance enhancing substances that protects the health and safety of NFL players and the integrity of our game.”

The NFL suspended the four players last year along with running back Deuce McAllister who is currently unsigned.  The players hired an attorney to fight the suspensions but in the end the NFL won.  The victory was not without controversy though as the judge who ruled in the case chastised the NFL for not warning the players about the supplement (StarCaps).  The supplement contained Bumetanide which is on the league’s banned substance list.

How will these suspensions affect the NFL odds at the online sportsbook on Minnesota and New Orleans games the first four weeks of the season?  The answer is not much.  The suspensions won’t affect the NFL betting odds because gamblers and NFL odds makers don’t give much weight to defensive players.  That doesn’t mean the NFL betting results won’t be affected at the sports book.   The Vikings are losing two Pro Bowl players on defense while the Saints are losing two defensive starters.  The Vikings open up at Cleveland and could have a very difficult time stopping the run or pressuring the passer without Pat and Kevin Williams.  The Saints are at home against the Lions so the loss of their defensive starters probably won’t hurt them too much versus the NFL betting pointspread in the opening game but it will hurt them in the following weeks against Philadelphia, Buffalo and the New York Jets.

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