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Predictions For Betting On Saints Titans - Saints Figure To Pull In The Reins At Tennessee On Thursday

Posted by Tony Bryant on 8/29/2012 6:47:12 PM

The New Orleans Saints know that they're not going to be playing with a full roster when the regular season begins. For this reason, they're likely to go slow against the Tennessee Titans.

New Orleans Saints @ Tennessee Titans – Thursday, August 30    
NFL betting line: No line

Why New Orleans Will Win 

The betting websites that have an angle for the Saints in this contest are going to pound home one simple point: Tennessee's quarterback situation inspires much less than complete optimism. The Titans have selected young Jake Locker as their starter for the coming regular season, a move that comes on the heels of a quarterback battle during the preseason that was less than fully decisive. It's not so much that Locker won the job, but that competitor Matt Hasselbeck did not do much to change opinions.

In other words, this was a two-way race that was lost by the loser more than it was won by the winner. There are serious doubts about Locker's ability to make the right reads and decisions at the next level. Locker gained a substantial amount of playing time last season and was able to taste the pressure of live action, but on the other hand, his opponents will now have more game film to study and more ways of targeting his weaknesses.

This will leave Locker in a vulnerable spot, vulnerable enough that the Titans and coach Mike Munchak will probably feel the need to give him some work in this contest. It's common practice in the NFL to rest a starting quarterback in the exhibition finale, but the Titans probably don't have that luxury here. They will likely give Locker a fair amount of work, and that's going to leave Locker in an uncomfortable place.

He won't want to risk injuries in this game with the regular season just a week and a half away. He'll try to throw more dump-off passes to his checkdowns and not go through his regular progressions of reads. These kinds of actions, when taken together as a bundle, suggest that Tennessee won't score very much in the first half. When Hasselbeck comes in, the Titans might not play with supreme energy because they know that Locker is the quarterback they must protect more than anyone else.

Why Tennessee Will Win

When playing online poker, you have to take chances at times, but on many other occasions, simply making the prudent percentage play is advisable. This is what the New Orleans Saints are facing in this exhibition. The Saints know that coach Joe Vitt is about to begin serving a suspension for his role in the BountyGate scandal that has rocked the organization and forced its general manager (Mickey Loomis) and coach (Sean Payton) to miss part or all of this season. Moreover, Jonathan Vilma – a mainstay of the Saints' defense – is going to miss the whole season. The Saints know that they're going to be shorthanded when the regular season begins, so the notion of withholding a full effort until Sept. 9 holds a lot of weight in this contest. It's very hard to expect New Orleans to be emotionally or tactically invested in this game. That's Tennessee's ticket to victory.

Who Will Win

The Saints really are going to play at diminished capacity and without much of any appetite on Thursday. This is a team that's trying to maintain some small degree of cohesion in the midst of many distracting transitions, with Aaron Kromer beginning his tenure as the fill-in for Vitt, the interim coach. When an interim coach is being replaced by yet another coach, you know that's a very unstable situation. Tennessee will win this game.

NFL Football Betting Pick: Tennessee


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