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Saints vs. Vikings picks: I’m taking the points on Christmas Day

The Saints and Vikings open Week 16 with a Christmas special. Here’s who I’m picking against the spread and why.

Kirk Cousins #8 of the Minnesota Vikings greets Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints after the Vikings defeated the Saints 26-20 during overtime in the NFC Wild Card Playoff game at Mercedes Benz Superdome on January 05, 2020 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The NFL has a special Christmas Day game planned with the New Orleans Saints hosting the Minnesota Vikings. The game kicks off at 4:30 p.m. ET and will air on FOX and NFL Network.

The Saints enter the game 10-4 and on the verge of clinching the NFC South title. The Vikings are 6-8 and on the verge of playoff elimination. The Saints opened as 7.5-point favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook, but the line has settled at a touchdown after dropping as low as 6.5 points. The point total is 51.

ATS Pick: Vikings +7

This is a game that bettors are probably better suited staying away from this week. Drew Brees is back, but he will be without star receiver Michael Thomas. He’ll also be without guard Nick Easton and wide receiver Tre’Quan Smith, while guard Andrus Peat is questionable. The Saints defense will be without safety Marcus Williams, while defensive linemen Malcom Brown and Trey Hendrickson are both questionable.

On the other side, the Vikings will be without linebackers Eric Kendricks and Troy Dye, defensive end Jalyn Holmes, and tight end Kyle Rudolph, while linebacker Todd Davis is listed as doubtful.

Chalk is backing the Saints at DraftKings Sportsbook, with three-quarters of the handle on the Saints to cover. If this line had settled at 6.5, I’d probably take the Saints, but at a full touchdown, I’m just not sure. I think the Saints will win, but I just don’t think they’ll be able to win going away. The Vikings are right behind them in offensive EPA, and while they trail significantly in defensive EPA, I don’t see the Saints fully taking advantage of that in this game.

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