Saints Titans Betting – Johnson, Titans Take Saints Down A Notch
Sports betting players are seriously considering a New Orleans run to the Super Bowl as the Saints have won four in a row, led by their superstar quarterback. However, they’ll run into a Tennessee team who is getting production from the running back they gave a giant contract to in the offseason, and the Saints are ripe for an upset on the road.
What: NFL Betting
When: Sunday, December 11th, 1:00 PM ET
Where: LP Field, Nashville, TN
Pick: Tennessee Titans +3.5
Why Bet On New Orleans Saints (9-3 SU, 8-4 ATS)
Drew Brees would be the runaway MVP of the league if it wasn’t for Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers, and he put on another clinic in a 31-17 win over Detroit by going 26-of-36 for 342 yards for three touchdowns and no picks. The Saints also ran for 100 yards, scored on both of their trips to the red zone and they converted half of their 12 third-down opportunities. The defense wasn’t great, allowing 466 yards, but they picked off the Lions’ Matt Stafford, stopped Detroit on nine of 11 third-down chances and they remained disciplined, unlike the Lions, who committed 11 penalties to three for the Saints. New Orleans now has a two-game lead over Atlanta in the NFC South and are 6-0 SU at home, and they’ve covered the NFL betting spread in all six of their games at the Superdome and that bodes well for their postseason chances.
New Orleans managed to come out of the Detroit game without any major injuries, so they’ll be at full strength for this trip to Tennessee. This team looks very similar to the one that won the Super Bowl two seasons ago as Brees has been incredible, and the defense has been giving up a lot of yards, but they manage to get off the field when they need to. They’ll have to step up against the run as Tennessee’s Chris Johnson is starting to find his groove and the Titans’ offense feeds off his ability to pick up yards.
Why Bet On Tennessee Titans (7-5 SU, 6-5-1 ATS)
Johnson was the story of the Titans’ 23-17 win in Buffalo as he ran for 153 yards and two scores, which takes a lot of pressure off Matt Hasselbeck, who was 16-of-25 for 140 yards. Johnson had a few big plays and that put the Bills on their heels, which is what happens for a team with a major rushing threat. That means Hasselbeck can go back to his role of being a game-manager, which is what he is suited for at this point in his career. The defense recovered a couple of fumbles and even though they allowed 379 yards, they made plays when they had to and got off the field, which is very similar to New Orleans. The Titans are 18th in the league against the pass and they’ll have to be much better this week with the Saints coming to town because Brees has a tendency to make defenses look silly. They’ll have to use Johnson to control the ball and keep the Saints’ offense on the sidelines, although they’ll take a few big runs if their big-money player can pull them off.
Linebacker Barrett Ruud (groin) continues to be a worry, but Colin McCarthy has been excellent in his place and the Titans can afford to keep Ruud off the field for another week until he’s fully healed. Receiver Nate Washington (ankle) played through the pain on Sunday and managed four catches for 40 yards, but his injury makes Johnson even more important. Johnson gained some critics when he held out before this season, but while he was slow to get going there is no way that Johnson was going to be held down for long. The line has improved a lot as of late and that has been a key, and the Titans need Johnson to continue this roll if they’re going to pull off the home upset.
How It Will Play Out
New Orleans is a 3.5-point favorite on the road according to NFL betting odds, and these two have met three times since 1997, with the Titans going 3-0 SU and 2-0-1 ATS. Two of those games went under the posted total, and the Titans have to make this a low-scoring affair if they’re going to beat New Orleans; they want no parts of a shootout. The Saints are 3-3 ATS on the road in 2011, while Tennessee is 3-3 ATS at home.
The Saints haven’t been the same team at home as they have been on the road, and we’re taking Tennessee for the upset for a few reasons. Johnson has his mojo back and should be able to put up yards, and Hasselbeck has good memories of playing the Saints; last year in Seattle, Hasselbeck’s Seahawks defeated the Saints at home in the biggest sportsbook upset in NFL playoff betting history. The Saints have been rolling, but they’re due for a letdown, so go with Tennessee in your online betting picks.
Saints Titans Betting Pick: Tennessee Titans