The NFL regular season begins on Thursday night with an NFC Championship game rematch as the Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints host the Minnesota Vikings in NFL betting.
The Vikings have had a turbulent preseason with the Brett Favre Saga and the injury to Sidney Rice while everything has gone great for the Saints leading up to this game. Get ready to make an NFL bet on this superb season opener.
The Saints are 4.5 point favorites with a total of 49 at SBG. The Vikings have the revenge angle in this game but the Saints are coming into this game at full strength. The Vikings offense has not looked good in the preseason and Brett Favre really misses Sidney Rice.
Adrian Peterson – If the Vikings are to have a chance in this game then it has to be A.P. to the right, A.P. to the left and A.P. up the middle. The Vikings are not going to win on the arm of Brett Favre like they did last year. The loss of Sidney Rice is huge. There is no real deep threat anymore for Minnesota.
Unstoppable New Orleans Offense – The Saints are simply loaded on offense. They have one of the best quarterbacks in the league in Drew Brees, a number of quality receivers led by Marques Colston and two very good running backs in Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas. The Vikings couldn’t stop them last year in the NFC title game and they are not going to stop them on Thursday.
A Shootout Again? The Vikings should be able to run the ball against New Orleans. Peterson had 122 yards and three TDs against the Saints last year. If Minnesota keeps giving him the ball they could take time off the clock and control the ball. That might keep this game lower scoring in NFL betting than most people believe. Also keep in mind that the Saints are probably going to be without Darren Sharper and he was their best defensive player last season.
Betting Trends – The Saints have covered four of their last five opening games. They are just 2-5 though against the number in their last seven home games. Minnesota is 6-2 ATS in their last eight opening games. The Vikings have covered their last five in a row against the Saints. Keep in mind as you make this NFL bet that although the Vikings lost the NFC Championship game last season against the Saints they did cover the spread. The Vikings are 8-3-1 ATS in their last 12 vs. the NFC.