Green Bay Packers vs. New Orleans Saints Preview and Pick – Week 12 Monday Night Football Picks

Green Bay Packers (5-5) +2.5, 51.5 O/U at New Orleans Saints (5-5)
-2.5, 51.5 O/U, Superdome, New Orleans, La., 8:30 PM Eastern, Monday,

by Badger of

The pigskin is likely to be flying all over the place this week as two of the NFLs top offenses try to outscore each other when the
Green Bay Packers travel to the Superdome to take on the New Orleans
Saints in an NFC showdown on ESPNs Monday Night Football.

The Saints, under the guidance of MVP-candidate Drew Brees, own the
leagues top-ranked passing attack at 411.5 yards per game. Brees,
who was held to 266 yards passing and one touchdown in the Saints
30-20 victory over Kansas City last weekend, will be looking to close
the Saints three-game gap in the NFC South standings with a win at
home in primetime.

Green Bay sports one of the games top scoring offenses under first-year starter Aaron Rodgers. The Packers, who rank 4th in the league
at 27.4 points per game, are coming off of 37-3 throttling of
longtime NFC North rival Chicago last Sunday. This will be the first
game for the Packers on Monday Night since their season-opening 24-19
victory over Minnesota.

Oddsmakers in Las Vegas opened the game with the Saints as standard 3-
point home favorites, but early money at the window has dropped the
spread down to 2.5 points in favor of the home team. The number may
drop more since the Packers are one of the publics favorite teams,
which has been the case at as they have lowered the
number down to 1-point already.

The over/under total opened at 53 and has already dropped to 51.5 at
most offshore sportsbooks. The moneyline bet currently lists the
Saints as -145 favorites, with the Packers as +125 underdogs.

As mentioned, offensively this game looks like it will be an aerial
show. Brees likes to throw it around a lot and as he showed early in
the season when star receivers Marques Colston and Jeremy Shockey
were hurt, it doesnt matter who is in the lineup. Colston has been
back now for three weeks and has yet to find the end zone, but Lance
Moore has picked up the slack with 268 yards and three touchdowns in
the last three games.

Rodgers rebounded nicely from a really bad game versus the Minnesota
Vikings two weeks ago (only 142 yards, 72.9 QB rating) to throw for
227 yards and two touchdowns against the Bears. For the season the
Packers average 222 yards per game in the air, good for 11th-best in
the NFL to this point.

The difference in the game, offensively at least, will be the running games of both teams. Last week the Packers and Ryan Grant finally
broke loose with a standout game. Grant ran for 145 yards and a TD,
and the Packers as a team had over 200 for the game. Meanwhile, the
Saints continue to struggle on the ground with a 91.8 yards per game
average, just 28th in the league.

Defensively what makes this Monday Night Football interesting is how
each teams strength lines up versus the opponents offensive strength.

The Packers have one of the NFLs top cornerback tandems in Charles
Woodson and Al Harris, and a strong pass defense in general (176.3
ypg 3rd), so it should match up well versus Brees and the Saints
passing attack.

The Saints have a decent run defense (111 ypg 19th), and if they can stuff Grant at the line and force Rodgers into a lot of third-and-
long situations it could make things a bit difficult. Otherwise, the
Saints defense (24th overall 349.1 ypg; 25th in scoring 24.9 ppg)
really isnt up to the caliber of a playoff-hopeful team.

These two teams havent met on the field since the Saints slipped out
of Lambeau Field with a 34-27 victory back in September of 2006. The
last game played in the Superdome was all Packers, by a lopsided 52-3
score. The Packers have won seven of the last 10 head-to-head, and
they also own an 8-2 ATS mark over that same span.

Most bettors are well aware that the Packers were tops in the NFL
with a 13-3 ATS record last year. This year they have picked up right
where they left off, going 7-3 ATS so far including their current
five game cover streak. The Packers are also 13-3-1 ATS in their last
17 road games.

The Saints are 6-4 ATS this year, but have alternated covering and then not covering the spread every other week for the last six games.
Last week they covered versus the Chiefs, so that means if the
pattern holds true they are in for a letdown.

There are a few betting trends that make the over look like a solid wager. The over is 8-1-1 in the Packers last 10 road games. The over is also 8-1-1 in the Saints last 10 home games and is 11-3-1 in their
last 15 games overall.

Badgers Pick: Im not saying the Packers secondary will shut down the Saints passing game, but it will slow it down. On the other side the Saints just dont have enough defense to stop the Packers
offense. Packers win and cover on the road. Take the Packers plus the
2.5 points here.