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Dalvin Cook leads Vikings to halftime lead, Saints a 5.5-point second half favorite

New Orleans Saints defensive tackle Shy Tuttle tackles Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook during the first quarter of a NFC Wild Card playoff football game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Chuck Cook -USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook is the early front-runner for player of the game in the Wild Card round against the New Orleans Saints. Minnesota heads into halftime with a 13-10 lead over New Orleans, and it’s been all about Cook and their defense. The Saints are 5.5-point favorites for the second half and the point total is set at 24.5.

Cook has rushed for 84 yards and a late second quarter touchdown, and added a 19 yard reception. The Saints have not given up 100 rushing yards to opposing running backs since 2017, and Cook is well on his way to reaching that number. Kirk Cousins has not had to make too many plays thus far, but at some point the Saints defense likely will put the Vikings in a position where Cousins needs to make some big plays.

The Vikings defense held the Saints to 137 total yards in the first half. Anthony Harris picked off Drew Brees to set up the Vikings touchdown drive late inc the second quarter.