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Betting On Monday Night Football – ATS Lines – Over/Under

MNF Preview – Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints

The Minnesota Vikings (1-3, 1-3 ATS) look to get their season on track when they meet the New Orleans Saints (2-2, 3-1 ATS) at the Superdome on Monday night. Oddsmakers have the Vikes as 3-point road underdogs on the NFL betting board, with the total currently listed at 46.5.

Many handicappers picked the Vikings to be the toast of the NFC North this season, but Minnesota finds itself in an early hole after looking mediocre through four games. The Vikes fell 30-17 on the road against the Tennessee Titans last week, as Minnesota failed to cover as 3-point dogs. Veteran quarterback Gus Frerotte was 25-for-43 for 266 yards with an interception, while running back Adrian Peterson ran for 80 yards on 18 carries with two touchdowns for the Vikings.

Minnesota bettors are banking on head coach Brad Childress calling more plays for Peterson and backfield mate Chester Taylor on Monday. The Vikes were 7-1 SU and 6-1-1 against the number last season when they ran the ball more than 30 times. Expect that to happen against a Saints defense that allows nearly 123 yards rushing against per game, and that is dealing with an injury to their defensive front. Defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis will miss the game with a right knee injury, although it’s on the offensive side of the football where New Orleans is hurting the most.

The Saints will have to deal without wide receivers Marques Colston and David Patten, as well as tight end Jeremy Shockey. Colston is out with a torn ligament in his left thumb, while Patten remains on the sidelines with a serious groin injury. Shockey – who suffered a sports hernia three weeks ago – should be on the injured list for at least another two weeks.

The depleted offense didn’t hinder QB Drew Brees and the Saints last week in their 31-17 victory over the San Francisco 49ers. Brees went 23-for-35 for 363 yards with three scores and a pick for New Orleans, which rolled to the bank as 4-point home faves. Saints backers benefited from strong performances from RB Deuce McAllister and WR Lance Moore, who hauled in seven balls for 101 yards with two TDs in the payday.

It doesn’t seem to matter who Brees has to throw to – statistically he’s been the best in the league despite not having his top three targets at his disposal lately. Brees leads the league with a 72.3 completion percentage and 106.9 passer rating, and averages almost 10 yards per completed pass. Brees might have to do even more against a Vikings defense that is holding opponents to a miniscule 71.8 yards on the ground per contest.

Sharp cappers are eyeing the over for this matchup, with a ton of trends pointing in that direction. The Vikes are 7-3 O/U in their last ten games, while the over is 9-0-1 in the Saints’ last 10 games overall. Looking at this season, all five Monday night games have played over, which is surprising considering the typical behavior of public bettors.

Squares love to play the favorite and the over, and this week’s Monday nighter is no exception. 72 percent of wagers so far have come in on New Orleans at –3, although it will likely take much more for the Saints to be moved to 3.5-point favorites or more. Similarly, bettors are pounding the over after some initial heavy action on the under, which forced oddsmakers to move the number from 47 down to the present 46.5-point total.

It appeared earlier in the week that sharps were attempting to force the line towards New Orleans to get in some late action on Minnesota, but they’re likely going to change course. The line isn’t moving, so pro players are either going to grab the Vikings at a less favorable number than expected, or jump on the public bandwagon and lay down on the Saints.

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