The Saints are 4-3 on the road while giving up 26 points a game. The Saints have won five in a row while the Vikes have lost five straight.
The Vikings haven't had an interception in eight games. Brees is 11-0 in the touchdowns-to-interceptions ratio in past four games.
The Saints have clinched a playoffs spot and are still playing for the division title and the NFC crown. Defensively, the Saints could use a more consistent pass rush if they want to be a threat to win the NFC.
Brees is on pace to set a career-high in sacks. He's been dropped 23 times in 13 games. Thanks to Pro Football Focus, Brees has dropped back to pass 577 times -- which is 20 more than any other passer. His offensive line has allowed him to be pressured 26 per cent of the time. Even when pressured, he ranks as the third-most effective quarterback by completing 65 per cent of his passes.
Even if Jared Allen and Kevin Williams are able to harass Brees, he can still do plenty of damage.
Even with Adrian Peterson returning, and even with the Purple playing at home, I don't see how the Vikes can stay with the Saints.
Prediction: Lay the 6 1/2 points. Final: Saints 34-14.
Other NFL picks: Cowboys-6 1/2 over Bucs; Giants -61/2 over Redskins; Packers -14 over Chiefs; Seahawks + 31/2 over Bears; Bills -1 over Dolphins; Texans -6 over Panthers; Colts +6 1/2 over Titans; Bengals -6 1/2 over Rams; Lions -1 over Raiders; Broncos +6 1/2 over Patriots; Jets +2 1/2 over Eagles; Arizona -6/12 over Browns; Ravens -3 over Chargers; Steelers +2 1/2 over 49ers. Last week: 11-3.
Running back Adrian Peterson is returning to the Vikings lineup against the Saints.
The question is how many carries will he get because of an ankle that is "85 per cent."
"He's missed some time, so we'll have to work him in there," said Vikings coach Leslie Frazier espn1500.com. "We'll have to monitor how he's doing."
Quarterback Christian Ponder (hip) will start.
Saints safety Roman Harper has been fined $22,500 for two plays -- a $15,000 fine for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Titans quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and a $7,000 fine for face-masking Titans receiver Damian Williams, according to Pro Football Talk.com.
Harper said he wasn't trying to play dirty, but added he didn't disagree with the officials throwing the flag on either play.
The fines were the second and third of the season. He was fined $15,000 for hitting Panthers receiver Steve Smith after Smith scored a touchdown.
by Ed Staton