This is the game of the day. It has everything you could ask for. Superstars, high scoring offenses, opportunistic defenses, special teams playmakers, The Superdome, and loud boisterous fans dressed like it’s Halloween. I don’t see how this game can disappoint. Both teams are coming off blowout wins in the divisional round games. The Saints took care of the Arizona Cardinals and the Vikings suprised by whipping the Cowboys. This game has so many factors you can’t even count them all. So I won’t attempt.
This doesn’t suprise me whatsoever. However, oddsmakers usually award 3 points to the home team because of crowd noise and home field advantage. So an “EVEN” line means that on a neutral field oddsmakers believe the Vikings are a 3 point favorite. Interesting. Personally I think that they saw all the factors that play into this game and threw up their hands. I’d stay away from betting this game.
Outlook: The Vikings first and most important task is to take the crowd out of the game. I don’t think the Superdome is every going to be quiet, but Minnesota wants to make it manageable. How do they do this? Grind the ball. Make those fans go to the bathroom or to the concession stands. The Saints defense wants to create confusion for Brett Favre and lure him into making a bad decision. BUT, they must stop the run first in order to put Favre in 3rd and long situations. The Saints want to play their game. Lots of scoring and excitement. I expect the specials teams to play an enormous part in the outcome of this game. My players to watch for this game are Reggie Bush and Percy Harvin. They are the X factors in a game full of playmakers.
The Vikings should feel pretty good about this game because they have so many weapons at their disposal. They can grind it out or shoot it out. This is important because if the Saints get out to a big lead the Vikings can rest easy knowing that their offense can put up points in a hurry. They’ve also won games in the final moments, so they are capable of coming back to win.
Prediction: This game doesn’t waste any time getting started. The points start rolling. I’m thinking a see-saw type game with leads of 10 points for at least one if not both teams at some point. I would love to see Favre get to a Super Bowl one more time, but I don’t think it’s in the cards. The city of New Orleans has caught the wave of excitement and has seen too many tough times. I think someone is looking down on the Saints. Who dat say they going to be dem Saints? No one.
Final Score: Vikings 30 Saints 34