This line has crossed the key number of 3 after Jameis Winston was ruled out for the Saints, but I've been of the mind a healthy Andy Dalton is a better option than an injured Winston, so I disagree with the downgrade. The Saints will also be without Michael Thomas, but Chris Olave is quickly emerging as the go-to weapon in the offense anyway. I like the matchup of the Saints defense against Kirk Cousins and Co. as well, and I also believe the Saints feel more like the home team after going over to England early, while Minnesota is looking to make the trip as quick as possible. These London games tend to go Under, so I like getting the points here.
Vikings six-time Pro Bowl safety Harrison Smith is expected to return from his concussion for this game in London, while the Saints' injury report looks bleak. New Orleans ranks last in pressure rate (16.8 percent) and 28th in sacks (four). That bodes well for Kirk Cousins. If opponents continue to bracket Justin Jefferson, Cousins showed last week he can find K.J. Osborn, Adam Thielen and Irv Smith for big gains. The Saints' offense has had 25 drives in the first three quarters of their three games: They've scored one touchdown. I played Minnesota -2.5 (-115).
The Saints belatedly are considering a respite for banged-up QB Jameis Winston as Taysom Hill has taken practice snaps. With a sore Winston or a weak-throwing Hill behind center, the Vikings wield a matchup advantage. The defense has yielded too many yards but has held opponents to below 20 points per game. Winston surely is dreading the overseas flight to London. On offense, the versatile RB Dalvin Cook (shoulder) could be limited but is expected to give it a go. The O-line has protected QB Kirk Cousins, who’s been sacked just four times.
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