Saints Packers Betting – Packers Take Out Saints In NFL Opener
Sports betting players will get a real treat to kick off the 2011 regular season in the NFL, as the last two teams to win the Super Bowl will be in action on Thursday night when Green Bay hosts New Orleans. The Saints can tell the Packers something about playing with a bulls-eye on your back, but Green Bay will shrug off their first challengers with a victory at home.
What: NFL Betting
When: Thursday, September 8th, 8:30 PM ET
Where: Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI
Pick: Green Bay Packers -4
Why Bet On New Orleans Saints
As always, the Saints figure to have an explosive offense led by quarterback Drew Brees, but it could be more balanced if rookie Mark Ingram injects the running game with some life. The Saints were 28th in the league on the ground, but Ingram, a former Heisman winner at Alabama, can get on track New Orleans will be able to throw teams off. He’ll start the year sharing time with Pierre Thomas, but many are banking on Ingram to be the featured running back at some point. The defense looked solid over the preseason and defensive coordinator Gregg Williams didn’t hold back on the blitzes, which some people may think of as breaking some unwritten rule, but how else is Williams supposed to figure out who fits into his system? Head coach Sean Payton has given the okay, and you can expect this defense to be as aggressive during the regular season, starting on Thursday night.
The Saints’ defense has to step up after last year’s collapse in the playoffs, where the Saints fell 41-36 in Seattle in the biggest NFL betting upset in postseason history. New Orleans’ secondary couldn’t slow down Matt Hasselbeck and a subpar Seattle aerial attack, and then there was some awful tackling. The Saints will also be without defensive end Will Smith, who is suspended for the first two games of the season because of a drug violation.
Why Bet On Green Bay Packers
You don’t need many reasons to bet on the defending Super Bowl champions, but here you go: the offense is scary with Aaron Rodgers leading the way and Greg Jennings fueling a solid group of receivers, but get this: Green Bay should be even better in 2011. Running back Ryan Grant is back and healthy, and even though James Starks outplayed him in the preseason, it’s only a matter of time before Grant, who missed virtually all of last season because of an ankly injury, reclaims his spot as the undisputed starter. The Packers will also have a healthy Jermichael Finley back at tight end after a knee injury ended his 2010 campaign prematurely, and he was starting to heat up before getting hurt last year. Defensively, the major worry is replacing linebacker Frank Zombo, who will be out for a while with an ailing knee, but the Packers have depth in that area.
The Packers’ biggest worry this year will be playing with a target on their back, and all they have to do is look across the field to see this. The Saints won the Super Bowl this year and quickly realized that they were going to get the best of every team they played because everyone wants to beat the champs. The Packers have to realize this and they can’t take a game off. That is why it’s so hard to repeat as a Super Bowl champion.
How It Will Play Out
Green Bay is a 4-point NFL betting favorite at home, where they are 3-1 SU and ATS all-time against the Saints, and all four games have gone over the posted total. Given the power of these two offenses, that wouldn’t be a stretch on Thursday night. Last season, Green Bay was 5-3 ATS at home and 7-6 as an ATS favorite, while New Orleans was 3-5 ATS on the road and 1-1 ATS as an underdog.
This is going to be an intriguing chess match between Payton and Green Bay counterpart Mike McCarthy, but the edge has to go to Green Bay this week because their defense is a little better than the Saints. The Packers have the horses in the secondary to keep up with the New Orleans receivers, and we also expect Clay Matthews (who should have been the Defensive Player of the Year last season) to be a thorn in Brees’ side. Take Green Bay to begin their Super Bowl defense with a win in your online betting book.
Saints Packers Betting Pick: Green Bay Packers -4