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Titans Saints Betting – Locker Gets Rough Ride Against Saints

Posted by Stan Simmons on 8/31/2011 4:17:00 PM
titans saints betting

Online betting players shouldn’t put too much stock in the final week of preseason as teams are just trying to avoid injuries, but you can still pick up on a couple of things. Rookie quarterbacks usually struggle as they’re getting into the league, and Tennessee’s rookie will get a lesson on Thursday when the Titans head to New Orleans.

What: NFL Betting
When: Thursday, September 1st, 8:00 PM ET
Where: The Superdome, New Orleans, LA
Pick: New Orleans Saints

Why Bet On Tennessee Titans

The Titans did just enough to pull out a 14-13 win over Chicago at home, as Jamie Harper had a nine-yard touchdown run and Tommie Campbell ran a Caleb Hanie interception back 90 yards for a score to give Tennessee all the points they needed. Matt Hasselbeck went 12-of-22 for 135 yards as he is still getting used to his new teammates, while rookie Jake Locker was 2-of-4 for 13 yards. Locker is fortunate to learn from a player like Hasselbeck, who has never been the most physically gifted quarterback in the world, but he is intelligent and accurate and can teach Locker a lot about the game. Defensively, the Titans forced a pair of turnovers, but they’ll have to improve their run defense as they gave up 148 yards on the ground.

The Chris Johnson holdout situation is still hovering over the team and the Titans have to get their star running back in the lineup to maximize their potential. They averaged 3.4 yards per carry against the Bears, but Johnson brings a different dynamic to the offense and you always have to be wary of him, which opens up the play-action game for Hasselbeck or Locker. Yes, it’s going to cost them a lot of money to sign Johnson, but it may cost the Titans more if he continues to sit out. As far as injuries go, the Titans won’t have defensive linemen Jason Jones and Derrick Morgan, so those spots will be up for grabs.

Why Bet On New Orleans Saints

The New Orleans offense dropped 514 yards on Oakland in a 40-20 rout on the road, and while Drew Brees was 15-of-23 for 189 yards, it was Chase Daniel who tossed a pair of touchdowns, which should cement his spot as Brees’ backup over Sean Canfield. The Saints also ran for 126 yards and rookie Mark Ingram found the end zone, which is encouraging as New Orleans needs a running game in 2011. The offense really took over when the second and third-stringers came out as the Saints scored the final 23 points of the game. Cornerback Jabari Greer led the team with five tackles, while the Saints forced two turnovers and added three sacks as coordinator Gregg Williams continues to blitz heavily in the preseason.

There wasn’t much for head coach Sean Payton to be upset about, but the Saints did allow the Raiders to average 5.3 yards per carry, and that isn’t the way to boost your NFL betting odds. But overall, this may have been the best performance by anyone in the preseason and it has to make the Saints feel good about their chances heading into the season. New Orleans has a couple spots open on the defensive line as end Will Smith should be suspended for the first four games of the regular season because of a drug infraction, and tackle Aubrayo Franklin has a sprained knee, so players will be auditioning up front. Receiver Lance Moore will also miss the game because of an ailing groin. 

How It Will Play Out

The Saints are 3.5-point NFL betting favorites at home in this contest, but they have lost three straight in the regular season to the Titans, coming away with an 0-2-1 ATS mark while two games fell under the posted total. The starters will be gone halfway through the first quarter, but that doesn’t mean the game will be any less intense as players are battling for roster spots. However, it may mean that the game could be sloppy.

Go with the Saints at home as Daniel is getting into a rhythm, while Locker is still a rookie and he is going to make some mistakes, especially on the road, and that is why the New Orleans Saints should be your sports betting pick on Thursday.

Titans Saints Betting Pick: New Orleans Saints -3.5

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