Free Pick for Saints-Vikings Thursday Night

By Todd L. Frank  |   Thursday, September 09, 2010  |  Comments( 0 )

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The 2010 NFL season is finally upon us so it’s time for the first Free Picks and Best Bets column, featuring the spotlight game on opening night Thursday.

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS -5 vs. Minnesota Vikings

I love the Saints in this spot. The New Orleans Saints are playing at home as the SUPER BOWL CHAMPIONS for the first time ever. At night. On national TV. The atmosphere will be beyond electric, and while the game is played on the field I do believe that home field advantage and the intangibles involved in the particular circumstances of this Thursday night game will absolutely make a difference.

The last several weeks have been all about Brett Favre and if he’ll play in this game. Now that we know he will, it’s been about whether he’ll get his revenge in New Orleans. How’s his ankle? Will he gel with the receiving corps with Sidney Rice out of the line up and Percy Harvin battling migraines? Can the ol’ gunslinger redeem himself with the world watching on opening night?

Reminder: there’s another team playing Thursday night. And those New Orleans Saints, those World Champion New Orleans Saints, will be primed to throw a victory party for their fans and that battered region. They’ll prove that last year was no accident, and they WON the NFC Championship and Super Bowl games… they weren’t “lost” by Favre and Peyton Manning throwing critical 4th-quarter interceptions.

I don’t believe in voodoo. But whatever mojo and vibes are floating around in the Superdome, mixing with the blood, sweat, and tears and spirit under that formerly leaking roof, will all be tilting in the Saints favor.

As for the point spread: sure, it seems high at first glance. This is supposed to be a brutal rematch of an overtime game. The Saints and Vikings are expected to be two of the best teams in the league this year. It should be 3 or 3.5 right? Taking the Vikings plus the 5 points seems like the easy-money no-brainer, right? Wrong. While I don’t think this will be a blowout (though I wouldn't be shocked if New Orleans runs away with it), I do think the Saints can and will win handily. Maybe be up by 7 or 10, then score to go up by 13, 14, or even 17. And then even the too-little too-late heroics by Favre in garbage time would result in the Saints winning by 7-10 points to cover the spread.

Take the Saints and give the points.

Check back Friday for our Free Picks and Best Bets for Sunday’s games.

Last season against the spread: 65-48-2
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