49ers vs. Saints Pick 12/8/19
San Francisco 49ers (10-2 SU, 7-4-1 ATS) vs. New Orleans Saints (10-2 SU, 8-4 ATS)
NFL Week 14
Date/Time: Sunday December 8th, 2019. 1:00PM (EST)
Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome New Orleans, L.A.
Point Spread: SF +2.5/NO -2.5 (Intertops)
Over/Under Total: 44.5
The marquee showdown in week 14 will highlight the two best teams in the NFC when the San Francisco 49ers faceoff with the New Orleans Saints inside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. At 10-2 SU, the 49ers and Saints are tied for the best record in the NFL along with the Seahawks, Patriots, and Ravens. However, the team that survives this Sunday’s meeting at the Superdome will likely emerge as the NFC’s top contender with a leg up in the race for a 1st round bye in the playoffs and potentially home-field advantage throughout the postseason.
The Saints will have the luxury of getting this match-up in New Orleans following three straight wins against inferior NFC South foes. As everyone knows, the most threatening aspect to this Saints team revolves around the offense with QB Drew Brees, WR Michael Thomas, and RB Alvin Kamara, who are averaging 24.8 points per game. This Saints offense will have the fortune of attacking a 49ers defense that has been beaten up with injuries over the last few weeks. Meanwhile, the 49ers are coming off their most challenging test of the season, which resulted in a 20-17 loss to Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens. Now the 49ers have been listed as slight 2.5 underdogs as they try to avoid a 2nd straight road loss. However, the 49ers have been underdogs on four separate occasions this season and have covered in all four games. I believe that trend has a good chance of continuing despite a difficult road challenge on Sunday.
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49ers injuries update for week 14
The most discouraging aspect to liking the 49ers this week revolves around multiple injuries on the defensive side of the football. Safety Jaquiski Tartt fractured a rib in last week’s loss to the Ravens and could miss this Sunday’s game. DT Julian Taylor is expected to miss some time with an elbow injury. Meanwhile, DT D.J Jones, CB Richard Sherman, and DE Dee Ford are all listed as questionable after suffering minor injuries in last week’s loss to the Ravens. The 49ers are hopeful those guys will be available on Sunday, but their true status will not be known until later in the week.
Despite the injuries concerns, this 49ers defense has played well all season and last week’s 20-17 loss to Baltimore was not because of poor effort on the defensive side of the football. San Francisco played exceptionally well in that game holding the NFL’s top offense to their lowest point total of the season. The strength of this San Francisco defense lies in the secondary where they have shut down opponents all season, allowing just 134.2 yards per game, which leads the NFL by a wide margin. If you consider the match-up this week against a New Orleans’s rushing attack that is withering with Alvin Kamara and relying week to week on the arm of Brees, this match-up plays into San Francisco’s defensive strength.
49ers rushing attack vs. Saints defense
The key defensive match-up in this game will likely surround the Saints defense that will attempt to stop the NFL’s 2nd most efficient rushing offense averaging 148 yards per game on the ground. However, the Saints have been strong against the run allowing just 88 yards per game (3rd in NFL) on the ground for the season. Despite what people may believe, San Francisco remains a rushing offense backed with three capable tailbacks in Tevin Coleman, Matt Breida, and Raheem Mostert. Though the Saints have defended the run well this season, they have not faced but 1-2 solid rushing teams. I think this Saints defensive front is going to be tested in this game, and I believe we will find out they are not quite as good as people expected. The key to any difficult road game is controlling the tempo, and this is exactly what the focus will be here. If the 49ers get things rolling on the ground, look for things to open up in the passing game with QB Jimmy Garoppolo.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I think this will be a close game, but I expect the 49ers to pull out the victory. I think they are more efficient on both sides of the football and will find a way to get the job done. Take SF +2.5
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