There is no Thursday night football for fans to look forward to in the NFL this week, but there is still action to come on Christmas Day as the Minnesota Vikings travel to face the New Orleans Saints.
Friday’s encounter should significantly impact the playoff picture with both teams needing a win as they try to go all the way to the Super Bowl in 2021.
Saints Hoping to Get Back on Track
The New Orleans Saints became the first team to clinch a playoff berth back in Week 13, when they overcame the Atlanta Falcons. However, Sean Payton’s side have struggled since, losing back-to-back matches.
The defeats to Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs were close encounters, with the Saints losing by just three points in both matches.
The NFC South title is still up for grabs, but New Orleans are giving their rivals a chance after their latest setbacks.
Sean Payton’s men will be hoping to make it third time lucky this weekend, and home advantage at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome could prove crucial.
The Saints are
20/23 to cover the -6.5 handicap, and the form guide suggests the Vikings will struggle to keep them at bay.
Cook vs Kamara Battle Set to Steal the Show
Like the Saints, the Vikings have lost their last two matches, and they need to win to have any chance of making the playoffs.
Even though the Saints lost to the Chiefs, their defence received plenty of praise last weekend, meaning Kirk Cousins is going to need to be at his best.
Luckily he can call upon the services of Dalvin Cook, and he will be hoping to outrun Saints’ running back Alvin Kamara.
Both are among the Offensive Player of the Year candidates, with Cook already having scored 15 touchdowns. Kamara is close to breaking 1,000 rushing yards for the season, and it is going to be fascinating to see how both Drew Brees and Cousins control their offences.
In this week’s overs market, it is worth considering going over 51 points at
20/21 as three of the last five meetings between the pair have covered that total.
With both teams desperate to end their losing runs and push into the playoffs, Friday’s battle could be a high-scoring affair.
Brees to Make a Point
Saints QB Brees returned from 11 broken ribs last week during the defeat to the Chiefs and, as expected, he look rather rusty.
This week he has other worries, with several of his first-choice wide receivers unable to play due to injuries and Covid-19 protocols.
Tre-Quan Smith will hope to pass a fitness test, while the experienced Emmanuel Sanders should return to the fold. Someone else on the roster needs to step up to the plate with Michael Thomas injured.
Sanders has said the team’s fringe players will come good and if anybody can get them firing, then it is Brees.
After a full week of practice, the veteran should have his eye on the prize, and the Saints could cover the total team points market, set at over 28.5 this Friday, at
*All odds correct at time of writing.