UFC 253 comes packed with fireworks from both inside the octagon and the betting lines as middleweight king Israel Adesanya settles his grudge with the unbeaten destroyer, Paulo Costa. Both fighters are explosive strikers and with ill will all but guaranteeing heated exchanges. Co-headlining are red-hot fighters Dominick Reyes and Jan Blachowicz facing off for the vacant light heavyweight title. Let's break down these fights and see which bets we can cash.
NFL Point Spread: New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings Divisional Playoffs
This is going to be fun. A lot of experts are predicting more greatness from Drew Brees on Sunday, and I have to agree. Brees is the most underappreciated QB of his generation, maybe ever. Oddsmakers have the Vikings favored to win this game on their home floor. I, however, have the Saints marching into to Minny and pulling off the upset.
Great offense beats great defense. It’s true in every sport you can play. The reality is that no matter how good your D is, it’s reactionary. The offense is what is setting the pace. And at the professional level, there IS NO defense when a professional scorer is hot. Drew Brees is one such talent It’s why you take your chances when you build your team’s identity around D. Particularly in the 4th quarter when you’re down 5 points and need that big drive. I have no trouble seeing Brees doing that. Case Keenum? Not so much.
Prediction: The New Orleans Saints (+5) at Sports Interaction
Let’s start with each team’s strengths. The Saints scored 28 points per game in the regular season, good enough for 4th overall. They were 5th in passing yards with 261.8 per game, and 5th in rushing with 129.4 per game.
Last week, they put a 31-26 hurting on Cam Newton and the Panthers. Brees was great, by going 23/33 with 2 TDs and a pick. Michael Thomas and Ted Ginn JR both caught over 100 yards in the game, and Ginn took one all the way.
On the other side of the ball, The Viking D has been nothing short of terrifying so far this year. The Vikings held teams to 15.8 points per game, the only team holding opponents under 16, and best in the NFL. They also held teams to the fewest total yards at 275.9 per night, and the second-fewest passing yards, at 192.4. That pass rush also forced more interceptions (14) than it surrendered touchdowns in the air. Which is insane.
Now, let’s take a look at each team’s perceived weaknesses. First of all, we’ll start with Minnesota and Case Keenum. Hardly a name that stacks up to his Hall-of-Famer in waiting opponent. It’s pretty funny that Nick Foles and he are both in the running for a Super Bowl right now, as they used to be competing for the same job with the Rams back in 2015. But, this will be his first ever playoff start, and pressure couldn’t be any higher. How will he respond?
Meanwhile. This is Brees 11th playoffs start of his career. But what about their defense? Can they add even more pressure and get to Keenum early? The Saints gave up 20.4 points per game, which was 10th in the league. So, good-to-meh. But, they did force the third most interceptions in the NFL, with 20. They were also tied for 7th in sacks, with 42.
I think New Orleans defense is better than Minnesota’s offense, and that will decide the game, if the high powered offense and world-class defense on the other side of things play to a stalemate.
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