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NFC Championship Playoff NFL Spreads: Vikings vs. Saints

NFC Championship Game – Vikings vs. Saints

All right, it’s time to pick some nits and make the case against the Minnesota Vikings going to the Super Bowl in a few weeks. And it’s has nothing to do with any deal with the devil that the old-man quarterback might have made. It goes like this:

Time: Sunday 6:40 ET
Venue: Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans
MoneyLine: Vikings +160 (-110) / Saints -190 (-110)
Spread: Saints -3.5
Over/Under: 53

Minnesota is flat-out an average team when it crosses state lines to play a game. The Vikings were a blah 4-4 on the road this season. They lost to decent teams (Pittsburgh 27-17 and Arizona 30-17), they lost to an average team (Carolina 26-7) and they lost to a crummy team (Chicago 36-30). But they lost nonetheless. Their last victory on the road was Nov. 1 (Green Bay), and the other three wins were early in the season against dregs (Cleveland, Detroit, St. Louis).

With all that in mind, the Vikes head to the Deep South this Sunday to play a New Orleans team that will have the mother of all home-field advantages. The Superdome noise will be measured in decibels, and if you want to know how easy it is to run an offense in the middle of a hurricane of noise, contact Tony Romo. Dallas scored 34 at home in beating Philadelphia in the wild card round, then couldn’t even get the Cowboys into the end zone last Sunday in Minnesota. Now the Vikings will have to contend with the same maelstrom.

Then there’s the quarterback. Brett Favre had a great season (134 QB rating, 33 TDs and just 7 interceptions), and another Super Bowl trip would once and for all shut up his critics and validate the diva treatment that he has demanded from the team since walking in just as training camp was finishing up. Favre is fresh off that 34-3 demolition of the Cowboys last week, but it’s been six years since he has played in a road playoff game and he rides a 3-game road playoff losing streak in which he has thrown a total of 9 interceptions. Sports Betting at Sportsbook.com

But even as the Vikings ponder going into battle with a 40-year-old calling signals, they also have to be wondering what the heck is wrong with Adrian Peterson. With crowd noise figuring to be a factor, Minnesota needs a half-decent running game to control the clock a bit and keep Drew Brees off the field. In the last 8 games Peterson has morphed into Laurence Maroney – 3.3 yards a carry, with zero 100-yard rushing games. He’s getting touches (20 carries a game over that stretch), but not breaking any long runs. If Peterson is banged up, the Vikes aren’t talking about. In the meantime, Chester Taylor is staying sharp.

Finally, we’re assuming that the Vikings will not be playing against air. As Pete Carroll likes to say, the Saints are “pumped and jacked,” and just about everyone in the country not wearing a Favre No. 4 jersey will be rooting for NO to get to the Super Bowl in Miami on Feb. 7.

The Saints give 3.5 in this one, but bettors who like the points should be aware that in eight playoff games so far not once has the losing team covered the spread.

Pick: Saints 23 vs. Vikings 21

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Lawrence Paul is a regular contributor to the Cappers Picks Blog, and is a free-lance gambling and travel expert from Massachusetts.


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About Lawrence Paul

Lawrence Paul is back in the saddle as a regular contributor to the Cappers Picks Blog. He's got an AMAZING knack for predicting when a team will have a letdown! Stick with our resident gambling experts sports betting tips all season long!



  1. Don Lockhart says:

    The Vikings, again are picked to lose by the experts. They have been terribly wrong so far. Having the Vikings in the Super Bowl would be a perfect story for the NFL. Prediction: Minnesota 30, New Orleans 28, Peterson 165 all-purpose yards which includes minimum 100 yard rushing game. I hope they run Peterson wide and not up the middle. Watch for Shinacoe and Harvin to be a factor.