Every Friday during the NFL season, ESPN betting analysts Doug Kezirian (0-2 last week, 18-28-1 overall), Joe Fortenbaugh (1-3, 31-51-1), Anita Marks (10-10, 78-88-2), Preston Johnson (0-0, 14-19), Mike Clay (0-0, 15-10) and Tyler Fulghum (1-6-1, 57-73-2), sports betting deputy editor David Bearman (4-1, 29-20), Seth Walder (0-4, 46-29) of ESPN analytics and Aaron Schatz (2-4, 36-43-2) of Football Outsiders will tell us what they like from the weekend’s slate.
Note: Lines courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill and subject to change.
Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints (-7, 51)
Schatz: Don’t overreact to Drew Brees having a poor game against Kansas City. Brees’ performance in Weeks 1-10 tells us more than one bad game does. Take out the four Taysom Hill games and the Saints’ weighted offensive DVOA (giving more weight to recent games) goes from 6.0% to 11.7%. Obviously this works on the other side of the ball, too — any proper consideration of the Saints’ defense removes the Week 12 game when Denver didn’t have a quarterback — but overall, the Saints are probably better than their yearlong numbers. And the Saints’ overall weighted DVOA is more than 35 percentage points higher than Minnesota’s. New Orleans is in the top 10 in all three phases, and Minnesota is not in the top 10 in any of them.