The New Orleans Saints meet the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday (11/12/23) at 1 p.m. EST in Minneapolis as a home game for the Vikings. Get New Orleans Saints vs. Minnesota Vikings predictions and best bets below as our best bet is on the Vikings to cover the +3 spread.
Saints vs. Vikings Prediction & Best Bet
When Kirk Cousins went out with a season-ending injury, the Vikings season outlook looked bleak. Minnesota made a last-second move at the trade deadline, dealing for Arizona’s Joshua Dobbs. Jaren Hall was supposed to fill in as the starter, but he also went out with an injury. That thrust Dobbs into the starting role days after the trade. Dobbs pulled off the improbable, beating the Atlanta Falcons on the road while learning the offense on the fly.
Though it speaks more to the Falcons’ struggles, what Dobbs did is nothing short of incredible. He now gets another week to learn the Vikings system, most likely being fully integrated and getting to open up the playbook. Being able to run a full play sheet is vital against the Saints defense. New Orleans remains an elite unit that excels at every level of the field. The Saints rank ninth in Def DVOA and sixth in Def EPA.
While the Saints boast impressive numbers on the defensive end, they do have one glaring weakness that plays right into Dobbs’ hands. The Saints currently rank 23rd in Pressure while checking in at 22nd in Blitz Rate. The lack of pressure directly correlates to their inability to routinely sack the quarterback, ranking 29th in Def Adjusted Sack Rate. Factor in the Vikings’ ability to protect the quarterback – they rank 11th in Off Adjusted Sack Rate – and Dobbs should find himself with plenty of room to operate.
The Vikings defense has made leaps in improving after ranking well below average in Def DVOA. Rounding out to an average unit, they are well equipped to rattle Derek Carr, who has struggled with consistency. Especially with their scheme to blitz at the highest rate in the NFL, forcing Carr to throw into tight passing lanes and revert back to his turnover -worthy throw tendencies.
Saints vs. Vikings Prediction & Best Bet: Vikings +3
Saints vs. Vikings Best Betting Odds
Even with turnover at quarterback for the Vikings, oddsmakers still have this pegged as a tight one, opening the Saints as a -2.5 favorite. Bettors believe that was a tad too low, backing the Saints up to the key number of -3. Vikings backers should not play them at any lower than the key number of +3, being one of the most important numbers when betting on football.
As for the total, points are expected to be scored at a moderate pace as oddsmakers opened the number at 41. Bettors have yet to take a firm stand on either side of the total, keeping the number the same since the opener. With heavy variance on the Vikings and with questions surrounding how much of the playbook Dobbs gets to play with, this is an immediate pass.
Saints vs. Vikings Key Injuries
While the Saints are fairly healthy, the Vikings feature prominent names on their injury report with T.J. Hockenson and KJ Osborn currently listed as questionable.
Saints vs. Vikings Key Matchups
Can Alexander Mattison generate any sort of rushing production against the Saints front seven?
Alexander Mattison vs. Saints Front Seven
It’s been a year to forget for Alexander Mattison in his first starting stint with the Minnesota Vikings. After backing up Dalvin Cook, Mattison finally got his chance to shine as their three- down back and has struggled at this point of the season. The Vikings currently rank 28th in Rush DVOA.
JAREN HALL LETS IT FLY TO ALEXANDER MATTISON 🔥
— Last Take™ (@TheRealLastTake) November 5, 2023
Even amidst their struggles, Mattison has the chance to take advantage of a Saints front seven who ranks 17th in Def Rush DVOA and 14th in Adjusted Line Yards. Their average mark comes from their tendency to leave the front four alone in the trenches, giving the Vikings offensive line the chance to create gaps for Mattison to get to the second level of the defense.