2011 Season NFL Football Past Picks

January 14, 2012

14

New Orleans at San Francisco

Saturday 01/14 04:30 PM Eastern

4 units on Game Total UNDER PICK (risk 4 to return 4)  RESULT: LOSS

The New Orleans Saints are playing offensively at a level beyond even what the Green Bay Packers and Aaron Rodgers have done this season. Drew Brees has been surreal and the Saints are in uncharted waters having scored 42 or more points in each of their last four games. In those four games Brees has thrown for 17 TD passes to just three INT's. After last week's easy OVER in the New Orleans/Detroit game sailing over the 59 point total, this looks like an easy OVER too, right? Not so fast. The Saints have had an easy schedule this season in terms of the defenses they have faced. Since week five they have not faced a single defense that ranks better than 19th with the exception of the Atlanta Falcons. The problem with that is Atlanta ranks 20th against the pass, allowing Brees to operate. The big offensive numbers in the current New Orleans 9-0 SU + ATS run have come against eight teams that rank 20th or worse out of 32 teams. The only team that ranked respectfully was Tennessee and, guess what? The Saints scored 22 in that one. In stark contrast, San Francisco ranks fourth in the league in defensive yards allowed. It is worth noting that they rank in the middle of the league (16th) against the pass. But does that mean Brees will feast? The Niners played to a 13-3 record and often had leads. Opposing teams often had to throw to try to win. As a result, the Niners allowed 104 of their 229 points in the fourth quarter! There was a lot of passing yards there but despite that, San Francisco allowed only 14.3 ppg. So I believe the Niners will have enough defensive success vs. Brees and the Saints to keep this score from getting out of hand. It's also very important to look at the location of this game. The Saints scored 41.6 ppg at home but just 27.3 ppg on the road - a full two-TD difference. And as far as the Niners go, they averaged 38 total points per game and gave up just 10.9 per game at home on the year. This total looks enticingly low because of the Saints offensive prowess in recent games, but now you know the rest of the story. Play UNDER.

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