NFL fans can rejoice as Christmas Day football returns for the first time in three years when the New Orleans Saints host the Minnesota Vikings to open Week 16 (Dec. 25).
For the Saints (10-4), this will be their first experience playing on either Christmas Day or Christmas Eve, while Minnesota (6-8) hold a 1-2 record from their previous outings over the festive period.
Both teams enter this matchup after back-to-back defeats and under a heap of pressure to get back in the win column. New Orleans lost out narrowly to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday but can still secure the NFC South with one more victory, while the Vikings are holding onto a glimmer of hope in their pursuit of the playoffs.
According to the bookmakers, it will be Sean Payton’s side who get their wish, listed as -300 moneyline favorites at home with Borgata NJ. Minnesota have won two of the past three encounters between these franchises but are nevertheless the pricier pick as +260 underdogs.
Supporters from both teams will remember The Minneapolis Miracle as one of those results, where Stefon Diggs—now a Buffalo Bill—claimed a famous Vikings victory with the last play:
Minnesota Vikings @ New Orleans Saints Game Info
Date: Friday, December 25
Time: 4:30 p.m. ET
Venue: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana
TV Info: FOX, NFL Network, Amazon
The return of Drew Brees wasn’t enough to prevent a Saints defeat against the reigning Super Bowl champions, with the veteran quarterback struggling early on in particular following a month on the sidelines with injury. Brees, 41, is sure to benefit from another week’s practise back among the squad, and his chances are helped by the fact only six teams have conceded more passing touchdowns than Minnesota this season (27).
That being said, the Vikings don’t look liable to take a loss lying down. Mike Zimmer’s men have scored 45 total touchdowns this season (29 passing, 16 rushing)—just three fewer than the Saints—and boast a rookie Justin Jefferson in superlative form at present:
Justin Jefferson has set a Vikings rookie record with 70 receptions this year, to surpass Randy Moss’ total of 69 catches from the 1998 season.— Ben Goessling (@GoesslingStrib) December 20, 2020
Both teams have scored 20 points apiece in their last three meetings, a trend we expect to continue at the Superdome, except this time with the Saints coming out as Christmas winners. New Orleans are available at -140 to win with more than 42.5 points scored, with Minnesota hoping to end a run of two straight regular-season losses when they visit the Saints.
Vikings @ Saints Prediction: Saints by 8 & Odds
Minnesota Vikings: +260
New Orleans Saints: -300