NFL Betting – Saints Still Have Long Way To Go Beginning With Niners Sunday
When the New Orleans Saints opened their 2012 season with four-straight losses, few expected that they would be in contention for a playoff spot come week 12. However, the Saints went on to win five of their next six games, and now head in to a rematch of last year’s NFC Divisional playoff game against the San Francisco 49ers just one game back of an NFC Wild Card spot. New Orleans has come together and shown its resiliency the way this team has so many times in the past, but Drew Brees and the Saints aren’t taking anything for granted with a tough sports betting schedule that begins against the NFC West leaders.
San Francisco 49ers @ New Orleans Saints
Sunday November 25, 2012 – 4:25 PM ET
Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana
NFL Betting Line: San Francisco -1.5
New Orleans will host the 49ers on Sunday before back-to-back road games at the NFC-leading Atlanta Falcons and then at the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants before returning home for the division rival Tampa Bay Buccaneers. That represents what will easily be the toughest stretch of the season for the Saints, adding to the importance of each win.
NFL Betting Preview: San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers are undefeated through their last four games and are coming off one of their most dominant wins of the season, a 32-7 beat down of the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football in a game many thought would be very close. Backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick stole the spotlight in that contest with 243 passing yards and a pair of touchdowns in his first career start, and despite incumbent No. 1 Alex Smith being ready to return from a concussion, San Francisco head coach Jim Harbaugh intends to remain with the hot hand. Whichever quarterback starts will have the luxury of running back Frank Gore and the league’s leading rushing attack behind them on offense, as the 49ers have averaged 165.3 yards per game this season. San Francisco’s defense has been excellent as well, holding five of its last seven opponents to less than 10 points.
NFL Betting Preview: New Orleans Saints
Brees and the league’s second-ranked passing offense are going to have to find a way to beat that stout 49ers’ defense, and will need to put a premium on protecting the football and avoiding costly turnovers. The Saints’ offensive line has done a much better job of protecting Brees in the picket in recent weeks, and will need to raise its games to block San Francisco linebacker Aldon Smith, who is the reigning NFC Defensive Player of the Week after registering 5.5 sacks against Chicago. New Orleans has rushed for 140-plus yards in three-straight games even without running back Darren Sproles, that after running for 100 just once in their first seven games. The Saints’ defense has also shown improvement since linebacker Jonathan Vilma was inserted back in the lineup, but there is still work to be done.
NFL Betting Preview: Outlook & Pick
New Orleans actually opened up as 1-point favorites before the line swung nearly a field goal in the other direction, a sign that the majority of online sportsbook fans aren’t convinced that the Saints have what it takes to beat one of the toughest teams in the NFC. New Orleans has won the last six regular season meetings in this series, but this is easily the strongest online sportsbook team that the 49ers have fielded over that span.
NFL Betting Pick: San Francisco 49ers – 1.5