“You are what you record says you are.” – Bill Parcells
How about 130-87 picking against the spread this year, coach? Happy Holidays indeed! With two weeks left in the regular season we will take another crack at the $25,000 FOX Bet Super 6 contest.
The Christmas day matchup features the New Orleans Saints hosting the Minnesota Vikings.
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1. How many points will be scored in the first half?
The Saints, still first place in the NFC South, were narrowly defeated by the Super Bowl champion Chiefs 32-29 last week. Look for Drew Brees to return to form. Brees finished up well but began the game 0 for his first 6 pass attempts in his first action after recovering from a punctured lung. Minnesota will do their share as well, facing a depleted New Orleans “D” on short rest.
2. Which team will have the last scoring drive of the 1st half… and how many yards?
Expecting Saints head coach Sean Payton to successfully control the time of possession throughout against a Viking defense that lately has not been effective against the run or pass and is unlikely to reverse that trend in this game. Long drives, via balanced play calling, may rule the day.
3. Which team will have the most RECEPTIONS… and how many?
The Chiefs contained the Saints wideouts as well as a rusty Drew Brees but this explosive unit, even without Michael Thomas, should have their way here. Deep threats Tre’Quan Smith and Emmanuel Sanders will have an easier time shaking loose. Tight end Jared Cook and running back Alvin Kamara are two ball control receivers who can move the chains.
4. Choose the team with the most RUSHING yards… and how many.
Alvin? Alvin? ALVIN!..All-purpose, All-Pro back Alvin Kamara can do it all but he’s been banged up and got 11 touches last week for 54 yards. Brees used his most effective weapon as a receiver out of the backfield and that strategy may be implemented in Friday’s gameplan as well. The Vikings’ Dalvin Cook may be relied on early but not if Minny is playing catch-up late. So we’ll go with Kamara, even though his actual rushing totals may also be limited.
5. Choose the team with the most RECEIVING yards… and how many.
We didn’t see it last week, did we? New Orleans was sluggish on offense, especially early as Brees had difficulty finding any rhythm. Statement time. Look for Drew, with help from Sean Payton’s more aggressive play-calling, to spread the field, light up the scoreboard and make it a generally unhappy holiday for visiting Minnesota.
6. Choose team to win & by how many points.
New Orleans has secured a playoff spot and now they look to clinch the NFC South division title. Tom Brady’s Bucs are a game back with two left and the Saints will take no prisoners against the 6-8 Vikings whose playoff chances are on life support after losing to the offensively-challenged Bears last week. Gotta believe Nola will be up two scores late.